Forget The Prius Prime, Toyota’s Testing A RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV could be getting some serious competition as spy photographers have caught what appears to a plug-in hybrid Toyota RAV4.

The model doesn’t look too special at first glance, but a closer inspection reveals what’s believed to be a charging port on the passenger side rear fender. There doesn’t appear to be any other changes, but that’s not too surprising as this appears to be a powertrain testing prototype.

Little is known about the model, but it will likely use the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that powers the RAV4 Hybrid. That engine produces 176 hp (131 kW / 178 PS) and 163 lb-ft (221 Nm) of torque.

Also Read: 2019 Toyota RAV4 Debuts With A More Appealing Robust Design

While the engine should carryover, we can expect more powerful electric motors and a larger battery pack. Speculation suggests this could enable the crossover to travel around 30 miles (48 km) on electricity alone.

A lot of details remain unclear, but the model could eventually become one of the most popular plug-in hybrids on the market. That remains to be seen, but Toyota sold more than 427,000 RAV4s in the United States last year and there isn’t much competition when it comes to mainstream plug-in hybrid crossovers.

The exception, in the United States at least, is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV which features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and two electric motors. This setup enables the crossover to have a combined output of 190 hp (142 kW / 193 PS) and an electric-only range of 22 miles (35 km).

more photos…

Picture credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for Carscoops

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