Up close and personal with the Rally RAV4
Special Features of the Rally RAV4
Back in May, Toyota was kind enough to show off photos of the so-called, 2015 Rally RAV4, driven by Ryan Millen in the Rally America racing series. At the time, and for probably good reason, details about the Rally RAV4 were kept out of print. Now that the season is over, Millen is making the promotional rounds and some of the details about the highly modified vehicle have been made public. While an upgraded, purely off-road version of the famous Toyota RAV4 (Hello, Toyota TRD Shop), would probably be pretty popular at Toyota of Naperville, this is as close as we are going to get.
What is truly impressive to point out, the Rally RAV4 started life as a pretty standard production-model 2015 Toyota RAV4 LE. However, in short order, Millen’s team went to work to make it worthy of some of the most grueling trails on the off-road racing circuit. The first order of business was to get rid of anything that didn’t make the Rally RAV4 lighter, faster or more durable. This meant grabbing wrenches, sockets and probably a sawzall, to strip out the door panels, rear bench seat and headliner. In a very short amount of time, the team stripped 500 pounds from the curb weight of the Rally RAV4.
“I’ve driven just about everything Toyota has to offer,” Millen said in Toyota press release, “and I’ve been very impressed with the RAV4’s performance in spite of the fact that it’s very stock. We never imagined it would do so well right out of the box.”
You didn’t misread that statement. With all of the tools and components available to the team, the same 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that powered the street version of the RAV4 was used to push it through sand and mud. However, some changes were made to the transmission to make it compliant with the racing circuit’s rules. This meant adding a six-speed automatic transmission that only turns the front wheels.
Millen grew up around Toyota Racing vehicles. His father had great success in driving several Toyota models through the Baja 1000 including the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Toyota Tundra TRD Pro pickup truck as recently as 2014.
If you would like to see how the new 2016 Toyota RAV4 can perform for you, contact a Toyota of Naperville sales professional today.