Toyota Will Race a Rally-Tuned RAV4 at 2015 Rally America

If you thought Toyota is only sticking to the Le Mans 24 Hour Race, where the Japanese brand will fight Audi, Porsche and Nissan with the TS040 hybrid prototype, think again.
Toyota RAV4 Rally America 5 photos
Photo: Toyota
Toyota RAV4 Rally AmericaToyota RAV4 Rally AmericaToyota RAV4 Rally AmericaToyota RAV4 Rally America
Besides embarking on that challenging and fatigue-triggering run, Toyota also like to roll their sleeves up and get dirty in Rally America. That's why their weapon of choice for the 2015 Rally America is the RAV4 SUV, which will compete in the 2WD-Open Class.

It's a rare sight you know, a race-bred Toyota RAV4 competing in a professional race series. But it's also interesting, since engineers tuned the RAV4 to make it more rally-oriented without touching standard performances.

The model is a modified Toyota RAV4 LE, but the engineering crew chose to leave the oily bits untouched, which means the RAV4 uses a stock transmission and the 2.5-liter four-cylinder mill that pushes 176 HP and 172 lb-ft (233 Nm).

However, the car was put on a diet, and 500 pounds (227 kg)  of stock weight were shed in the process. A roll cage was then added, along with BFGoodrich all-terrain DOT 215/75R15 tires and new front and rear TEIN suspension.

In case you might have some questions about why the RAV4 was chosen, here's what Toyota has to say about that:

“Over the years, RAV4 has become known more for its benefits as a practical family-vehicle alternative to a larger SUV, and we felt it was due time that its performance and handling characteristics were put on display."

They sure show a lot of confidence in the vehicle, which will have to battle its way through difficult terrain during rally stages. However, the rally-ready RAV4 will have it's steering wheel in the right hands since Ryan Millen will sit in the driver's seat.

The pilot has raced Toyota's since he was a child and won the 2014 Baja 1000 in a Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Also, he's the son of off-road legend Rod Millen, and we all know racing genes do count as a substantial résumé.
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