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Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid: Emissions-free motoring coming soon as Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV-rival spied testing

A plug-in hybrid could soon be joining the RAV4 Hybrid (pictured)

Toyota's super-popular RAV4 could soon be getting a plug-in hybrid variant, with what appears to be a PHEV version spied undergoing on-road testing.

The move would not just give Toyota a true rival to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, but would further strengthen the appeal of the RAV4 in Australia

Demand for hybrid versions of the brand's popular SUV has been "unprecedented", so it's only natural that Toyota would look to add even more eco-friendliness to the lineup. 

“We’re only two weeks into taking orders, but the current order intake is at 65 per cent hybrid,” Toyota Australia's vice-president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, told CarsGuide in May.

“I think it will settle below that, in the longer term - and we will continue to see where the market moves. But the RAV4 hybrid order books are definitely exceeding our expectations when it comes to volume."

Details of the plug-in hybrid remain thin on the ground - and Toyota is yet to comment publicly - but we'd expect the new model to use the 2.5-litre, four-cylinder engine currently at work in the RAV4 Hybrid. We'd then expect a bigger battery and more powerful electric motors, providing a pure-electric range of up to 50kms. 

We reached out to Toyota in Australia for comment, who told us "we have nothing to announce at this stage".