The original prototype Recreational Active Vehicle looked more funny than the production model RAV4. And it requires a special attention.
The first compact crossover on the market, the RAV4 has its roots in the mid-1980s years – for the first time Toyota announced a new idea in 1986. However, before the motor show in Tokyo in 1989, no progress was observed. And only at this event the concept of a compact SUV introduced, called the RAV4 – a shortened version of the Recreational Active Vehicle with four-wheel drive.
Specifications: concept 1993 had a four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine, all wheel drive, rear limited-slip differential, all-wheel drive anti-lock brakes. Vehicle dimensions: 3.69 m long, 1,69 m wide and 1.66 m in height.
We managed to find the original press release, 1989, which Toyota describes the concept as “a new city car designed for young people leading an active way of life.”
Updated and more powerful version is introduced?? at the same motor show in Japan in 1993 – with independent suspension four-wheel and rear suspension with independent lever suspension. At this time, Toyota shortened the name simply to “RAV 4” equipping the car rear limited-slip differential torque-sensitive, and all-wheel drive anti-lock brake system. The image has not survived, but we know that the new concept had a removable aluminum sliding hatch and a flat rear seat that can fully recline for increased loads.
The first generation RAV4 went on sale in Japan and Europe in 1994 and the United States received a small crossover in 1996. In the fifth generation compact crossover, the more massive compared to the original concept.