Toyota doesn’t make any subcompact or compact rockets currently. Sure the Scion FR-S has its charms, and the folks at Toyota have been known to take a decent car like the Celica, and throw a turbocharger and all-wheel drive system at it for a little racing. However, for the coming year, Toyota is focusing on the RAV4 as its rally racer.
The Toyota RAV4 will compete in the 2015 Rally America 2WD-Open Class season. The RAV4’s stock 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 176-horsepower engine will be unchanged, and the front-drive version will get the nod. That doesn’t mean the RAV4 will be untouched. Fully 500 pounds of stuff have been torn out of the racer to add lightness. That lower weight is after the roll cage is added back in. The racer will also sport 75-series 15-inch tires, rather than the fancy-pants low profile tires on yours.
The racer will be fielded by Ryan Millen. The Millen name may sound familiar. Racing is the family business and more often than not, the family is racing a ‘Yoda. Ryan himself won the 2014 Baja 1000 in a Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Commenting on the new racer, currently in development Millen said “I’ve driven just about everything Toyota has to offer, and I’ve been very impressed with the RAV4’s tight, compact body and smooth handling. I’m looking forward to putting it through the paces this season.”
Although a racing RAV4 is fun, we feel cheated that the new Lexus RX200t F-sport and its new turbocharged engine didn’t get the nod as a racer. Maybe that announcement is pending?