Toyota South Africa Motors says the new RAV4 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that has just gone on sale in Japan is not in “our immediate future”.

The RAV4 PHV, which is also offered in North America as the RAV4 Prime, employs the Japanese firm’s latest hybrid system, comprising a 2,5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, an electric motor on each axle and a lithium-ion battery.

Toyota’s local arm told CARmag.co.za “plug-in models are not in our immediate future locally due to current infrastructure requirements but will remain an option for future introduction as part of Toyota's alternative fuel strategy”.

The RAV4 PHV generates 225 kW, resulting in what Toyota describes as “sporty, powerful driving”. The firm claims a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of 6,0 seconds and an all-electric driving range of 95 km (the latter, interestingly, up on the 63 km claimed for the US-spec model). So, on a fully charged battery and fitted with a 55-litre petrol tank, Toyota says the new RAV4 PHV boasts a theoretical cruising range upwards of 1 300 km.

Billed as the “leading model” in the RAV4 line-up, the newcomer features a model-specific grille and lower front bumper, along with 19-inch, 12-spoke alloy wheels.

As a reminder, the current RAV4 range in South Africa comprises five variants, priced from R454 500 for the 2,0 GX to R630 800 for the 2,5 AWD VX. In April 2020, Toyota announced a handful of updates for the RAV4 line-up.