1989 Toyota RAV4 concept or how did the legend start?July 3, 2019
The original pre-production version of the Japanese crossover was more fun than the RAV4 production models.
What does the name of the beloved Toyota RAV4 crossover mean? The car was positioned by Toyota as a youth car for outdoor activities, hence the origin of the name (Recreation Active Vehicle), and the number “4” indicates a permanent four-wheel drive. Concept debuted in 1989 in Tokyo.
The car shown there had the following specifications: a four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine, four-wheel drive, a rear limited slip differential, four-wheel ABS. The body length was 3,695 mm, width – 1,695 mm, and height – 1,660 mm.
Why did we decide to recall this concept right now? Since the RAV4 crossover has become one of the most important crossovers in the automotive industry, we decided that looking at its origin would be a very important step towards understanding the model.
Rightfully recognized around the globe as the very first compact crossover, the RAV4 dates back to the mid-1980s, when Toyota first came up with this idea in 1986. However, in Tokyo at the Motor Show in 1989, the car was introduced under the name “RAV Four”.
We managed to find the original press release of 1989, in which Toyota defined the concept as “a neo-urban 4WD car designed for an active lifestyle of young city dwellers”. It was actually more than just a concept car for a demonstration.
Only in 1994, the first generation compact crossover RAV4 went on sale in Japan and Europe. Now in its fifth generation, the popular model is more impressive in size than the concept presented a long time ago.
A few days ago, we wrote that a racing car was made from a Toyota RAV4 crossover. The 2008 Toyota RAV4 with a 3.5-liter V6 and a five-speed gearbox has now become just a monster on wheels.
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