Toyota’s Rally RAV4 Makes an Appearance at SEMA Show
Toyota’s SEMA Display has been a pretty happening place this week, what with all the vehicles on display. Five different TRD models were created specifically for the show, as well as a Tonka 4Runner, a Tundra limousine, and more. But there’s one vehicle on display that wasn’t created just for the SEMA Show—the Toyota RAV4 which has assisted driver Ryan Millen in four victories in the 2015 Rally America series.
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The car is based on a stock RAV4 LE, but the interior has been gutted to reduce the vehicle’s weight by 500 pounds. Additionally, Millen and his team replaced the vehicle’s standard 17-inch steel wheels with a set of 15-inch alloy wheels with BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires. Millen also added TEIN suspension components on both axles to provide improved cornering in all conditions.
The Rally RAV4 still features the same engine as the production RAV4 LE—a 2.5-liter four-cylinder good for 176 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. The front-wheel-drive RAV4 competes in the 2WD Open Class division. So far, Millen and his navigator/fiancée Christine Fate have won four out of five class titles in rallies they have entered in this vehicle.
When pressed as to why he didn’t modify the stock RAV4 further, Millen explained, “I’ve driven just about everything Toyota has to offer, 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.”
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- Dawn CarberryContributor
Dawn Carberry is the digital marketing manager and the head blogger for the Haddad Automotive Group, located in the city of Pittsfield in Western MA. The Haddad Auto Group includes Haddad Toyota, Haddad Subaru, Haddad Hyundai, and Haddad Nissan new car dealerships, and Haddad of South County used cars.