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New Toyota RAV4 Prime Plug-In Is the Quickest Toyota After the Supra

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2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime
Photo: Toyota

Toyota has announced the new 2021 RAV4 Prime, the plug-in hybrid version of North America’s best-selling SUV, and it’s also a rocket. It gets 90 miles per gallon, boasts 302 horsepower, and does 0-60 mph in just 5.8 seconds, making it the most powerful non-luxury SUV you can buy and the second-quickest vehicle in the Toyota lineup after the Supra sports car.

With performance specs like these, it would be an understatement to say the Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid is an impressive machine. It’s perhaps even more impressive that Toyota didn’t even change the engine — all that extra power comes from electric motors.

Related: Learn more about electrified Toyota vehicles

Under the hood of the new RAV4 Prime is the same 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle inline four-cylinder you can find in the RAV4 Hybrid, which is rated at 176 horsepower. But the RAV4 Prime also uses two electric motors that draw power from a lithium-ion battery pack mounted in the underbody. The electric motors power the rear wheels as needed, enabling the RAV4 Prime to have standard on-demand all-wheel drive as well as a whopping 302 horsepower.

Toyota was keen on pointing out that this is essentially the RAV4’s performance model, even though it can also go 39 miles on battery power alone and will get you the equivalent of 90 miles per gallon. So sure, it has a sport-tuned suspension and ridiculous acceleration you’ll find only in luxury performance SUVs built by the likes of Porsche or Maserati, but it’s also the most efficient Toyota RAV4 you’ll be able to buy. That’s just the world we live in now.

Related: Cool new automatic features to expect in the 2020 Toyota lineup