Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
11/17/20 8:30 a.m.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y1fZATg8quQ

Even though the Toyota RAV4 may spend most of its time navigating parking lots, that doesn’t mean it can’t hold its own on the rally stage.

See how Toyota used an almost completely stock RAV4 to show just how capable its popular CUV is both off-road and at speed.

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TXratti
TXratti Reader
11/17/20 9:34 a.m.

Yeah! Ryan Millen kicked butt in that thing. 2WD championship winner, it's a ridiculous thing. 185hp, stock auto transmission, stock brakes for most of the year, etc. He had a 4WD one built but Toyota pulled out, That one debuted with a different driver last weekend in Washington.

Racer Magazine also had a whole video series with it too.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/17/20 9:48 a.m.

Very cool. Reminds me of the 1st gen Ridgeline trophy truck. It performed very well, but the factory lost interest. Maybe if they'd kept it up, it wouldn't be seen as a hairdressers truck.

 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
11/17/20 9:55 a.m.

The answer to "What will people race if manufacturers just build lame CUVs?"

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
11/17/20 10:09 a.m.

*Virtually stock powertrain

The chassis is far from stock, and likely has totally changed suspension geometry and massive amounts of reinforcement.  Many other rally competitors also use "stock" powertrains with great results. In many cases the OEM engineered parts are more reliable in this environment for powertrain components.

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/17/20 11:00 a.m.

I have no problem with this. The Rav4 is the 'highest performing' small vehicle Toyota makes. I don't mean just objective measurements, i mean as an overall vehicle doing overall vehicle things, it pushes the farthest of any small Toyota. Most recent one i've driven was a 16 or 17. I liked it fine. Drove a 19 Forester recently and that was fine too, other than the lack of an option that gives you 5.7s 0-60, 40mile electric range, and 40+ mpg on gas. There's literally nothing else in the segment even close. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
11/17/20 11:09 a.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

I don't know the full details (besides that it's fun to drive in Forza Horizon 4), but I know there's a current-gen Ridgeline being run:

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
11/17/20 11:11 a.m.

In reply to Vigo (Forum Supporter) :

I 100% agree. After getting to drive a newer hybrid model a little bit ago, everything just made sense. The RAV4 really feels like it can do anything a "normal" person would ever need it to do.

racerdave600
racerdave600 UltraDork
11/17/20 11:52 a.m.

We bought my now ex wife one new in '14, and it was nice and perfect all around daily driver for her.  Steering feel was decent and it handled pretty well given it's task.  It was a pretty big step up in ride and handling from her previous '03 CRV.  It would be an easy button tool for driving to work and hauling crap.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
11/17/20 12:24 p.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

“You can't make a racehorse out of a pig. But if you work hard enough at it you can make a mighty fast pig.”

TXratti
TXratti Reader
11/17/20 12:42 p.m.
engiekev said:

*Virtually stock powertrain

The chassis is far from stock, and likely has totally changed suspension geometry and massive amounts of reinforcement.  Many other rally competitors also use "stock" powertrains with great results. In many cases the OEM engineered parts are more reliable in this environment for powertrain components.

I know on good authority, and having seen this car many times myself that the geometry of the suspension was stock. It did have some trick Tien rally dampers, but the pickup points were wholly unchanged. I'm sure they probably skinned some of the control arms for durability. Definitely not a "Stock" vehicle, but surprising how little they actually changed, for performance purposes.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
11/17/20 1:30 p.m.

Oh, I saw that thing at Empire State Performance Rally in 2016, I think. Whatever year Wally and I crewed for Rob Russon and Chris Greenhouse. It was pretty cool.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/17/20 9:59 p.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

Yeah, but that's a full-on race truck. The First gen effort was more along the line of adding better shocks, lift kit, lights, roll bar and such and turning it lose. 

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/17/20 10:02 p.m.

A friend has the V6 RAV-4 of a couple generations ago. That sucker's fast! Sadly, he treats it as a budding classic and won't let me rallycross it sad 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/17/20 10:37 p.m.

My recollection, looking under that RAV at STPR at Parc, was that it wasn't remotely stock. But maybe I have a bad memory. It was definitely quick, however. I remember there was a good bit of drama at that STPR - Millen damn near got in a fight with a well-known privateer team between stages at STPR by trying to jump them without permission in a control, and hitting their smaller car (lightly) while they were sitting still (I heard this story firsthand from the other guys). Then during the spectator super-special when an Mk2 Escort that was beating them badly got high-centered, he supposedly pulled up, didn't offer a tug, and taunted the other team and left them there.   I don't personally know him nor care what happens at the front of the pack, but have heard some pretty interesting stories 

Side note: Honda R/D team entered a Passport at several ARA events last year and did well (they also entered a Fit and a CR-Z!). I talked to the crew chief and according to him, it was pretty must totally stock other than revalved shocks, cage, and armor. And they had the A/C cranked (it was super hot and muggy that weekend). I checked out the inside and it was almost comical how much space there was with all the seats gone, even fully caged. They even had the factory electronics screen in place and functional :)

Passport Rallies as Fan-Favorite - Honda Research & Development Americas,  LLC

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/17/20 10:39 p.m.
NickD said:

Oh, I saw that thing at Empire State Performance Rally in 2016, I think. Whatever year Wally and I crewed for Rob Russon and Chris Greenhouse. It was pretty cool.

I want to say 2016 (or was it 2017) was the last time Rob did a rally. That was the year that he was right ahead of us at Black RIver (with Amber Stacey as his codriver) and broke two wheels cutting across the train tracks. And then we did the exact same thing 45 seconds later haha. My codriver still hasn't let me forget that he yelled DON'T twice and I still cut....

Related note: My Sequoia (being driven by Matt Rhoads since I was out doing fast sweep at the time) once towed Greenhouse's Neon at Sandblast for some reason.

spandak
spandak HalfDork
11/18/20 12:22 a.m.

I remember seeing the Passport photos. Something about using an "almost" stock vehicle is super cool to me

For the Rav, did the transmission have paddles or anything? I can't imagine they just left it to its own devices. 

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
11/18/20 5:13 a.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:
NickD said:

Oh, I saw that thing at Empire State Performance Rally in 2016, I think. Whatever year Wally and I crewed for Rob Russon and Chris Greenhouse. It was pretty cool.

I want to say 2016 (or was it 2017) was the last time Rob did a rally. That was the year that he was right ahead of us at Black RIver (with Amber Stacey as his codriver) and broke two wheels cutting across the train tracks. And then we did the exact same thing 45 seconds later haha. My codriver still hasn't let me forget that he yelled DON'T twice and I still cut....

Yeah, ESPR was the very last rally that he did. He did some damage to the car that needed to be fixed (we absolutely mangled one of the shocks trying to get it apart to replace a top hat) and then got married and bought a house and life got in the way.

scooterfrog
scooterfrog Reader
11/18/20 2:23 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

i just bought my wife a 2009 limited v6.

once i upograde the radio it will be nearly perfect.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/18/20 2:33 p.m.
TXratti said:
engiekev said:

*Virtually stock powertrain

The chassis is far from stock, and likely has totally changed suspension geometry and massive amounts of reinforcement.  Many other rally competitors also use "stock" powertrains with great results. In many cases the OEM engineered parts are more reliable in this environment for powertrain components.

I know on good authority, and having seen this car many times myself that the geometry of the suspension was stock. It did have some trick Tien rally dampers, but the pickup points were wholly unchanged. I'm sure they probably skinned some of the control arms for durability. Definitely not a "Stock" vehicle, but surprising how little they actually changed, for performance purposes.

Reminds me of the quote "We did some stage rallies with stock struts and Winterforces and we didn't die."

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