A new Toyota model may be produced in Canada, but no details about the vehicle have been released. A Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) spokesman told Automotive News Canada that the automaker will “make an announcement once this decision has been made.”
It’s unclear whether the new vehicle would replace one that’s presently in production.
The automaker currently builds the RAV4 in two plants in Ontario. A new hybrid model will also be produced on the same line as the regular-powered RAV4 starting in April 2019.
Toyota North America recently announced it plans on expanding RAV4 production in the United States, but this action shouldn’t affect Canadian production of the hybrid model.
“RAV4 hybrid vehicles for the Canadian market and gasoline models (including for the U.S. market) will continue to be produced in Canada,” TMMC told Automotive News Canada in an email.
The company noted that the RAV4 is the best-selling non-pickup-truck in North America and “the 2019 model is attracting even more attention from consumers.”
In May 2018, Toyota revealed its intention to spend C$1.4 billion on two Ontario plants to build the RAV4 with the federal and Ontario governments kicking in an estimated C$220 million.
The Lexus RX 350 and the RX 450h are currently built by Toyota at a separate plant in Cambridge, Ont. All three Toyota plants in the province employee about 8,000 workers.
The original RAV4 hit the market in 1996. The 2019 hybrid will feature additional ground clearance and black-finish lower-body protection. The Electronically-Controlled Continuously-Variable Transmission (ECVT) will provide an estimated mile per gallon of 41 (city), 37 (highway), and 39 (highway and city combined).
The 2019 hybrid will feature a new all-wheel-drive system with a separate rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels. The new AWD system will increase total torque by 30 percent.
The 2019 RAV HV models will also feature Predictive Efficient Drive (PED), which learns driver behaviour and analyzes the road to “help optimize hybrid battery charging and discharging operations based on actual driving conditions.” The vehicle essentially “remembers” hills and stoplights, for example, and regulates the hybrid powertrain operation to expand efficiency.