2021 Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid: The “Most Powerful RAV4 Yet"

It could have 220 horsepower or 22,000—Toyota won't say yet.

Wearing an exclusive new paint color, Supersonic Red, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 plug-in-hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) has been announced ahead of its November 20 unveiling at the Los Angeles auto show. Toyota touts it as "the most powerful RAV4 yet," and describes it as having "spirited acceleration, nimble handling, and impeccable style." We'll be the judge of those things, eventually, when we see it in person and drive it. It will be sold alongside the conventional RAV4 hybrid.

As more Toyota models are adapting conventional hybrid powertrains, the new RAV4 model also doubles Toyota's selection of plug-in models from one, the current Prius Prime, ahead of a planned onslaught of pure electric vehicles due by 2025. Heather Updegraff, vehicle marketing and communications general manager, says 44 percent of hybrids sold in the U.S. in calendar year 2018 were Toyotas. The brand has six hybrids in its lineup, and plans to expand that in the coming years. In 2018, 9 percent of all Toyotas sold here were hybrids, and the goal is to increase that to 25 percent, also by 2025. A hybrid version of the new-for-2020 Highlander SUV goes on sale early next year, with a 550-mile fuel tank range.

Toyota did not reveal fuel economy, range estimates, or pricing for the RAV4 PHEV. The Prius Prime is priced about $3,500 higher than an equivalent conventional hybrid Prius. The 2021 RAV4 PHEV is likely to be available only in higher trim levels for the first model year, with the drivetrain trickling down to the lower-mid LE trim level in subsequent years.

Toyota also announced new warranty extensions for all its hybrid, PHEV, and fuel-cell models, beginning with the 2020 model year. Batteries will be covered for 10 years or 150,000 miles, up from eight years or 100,000 miles. The warranty for other EV, PHEV, or fuel cell components will remain at eight years or 100,000 miles. The warranty coverage also will be extended to each vehicle's second owner.