Auto Show

The Toyota RAV4 5D Adventure Mountain Rescue was built for disasters

Toyota has released rainy images of a concept it calls the RAV4 5D Adventure, a crossover decked out for mountain rescue operations. It was supposed to be displayed at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January, but since that event was COVID-cancelled, it will be shown this weekend at a dealer-sponsored exhibition in Toyama Prefecture in central Japan.

The location is important because Toyama, located along the northern coast of Japan, is one of the many areas where massive storms left hundreds of cars stuck in snowy traffic jams last winter.

The RAV4 5D Adventure builds off the Toyota RAV4 Adventure Gear concept shown at the pre-COVID Auto Salon in 2020. To help it traverse sketchy surfaces, it’s fitted with sturdy-looking large diameter wheels and knobby tires. There looks to be more damage-resistant bumpers front and rear with grippy integrated steps at the corners. Step rails help ingress and egress on unstable terrain, while a ladder on the rear hatch improves access to the roof rack. High-visibility red grab bars are located on the A- and C-pillars and the front bumper.

Also highly visible are an emergency beacon bar and red lights embedded in the grille. That grille rocks a TRD Pro-like design featuring the old school Helvetica Toyota logo rather than the three ovals.

However, the party trick of the concept are the modular cube units that can be fitted into various docks located around the car. In the rendering, those docks are occupied by powerful LED light cubes plugged into the eight outlets on the roof rack and four outlets below the headlights where fog lamps would normally reside. Each of those slots can be replaced with interchangeable cubes that serve as speakers, cameras, wi-fi signal boosters, USB charging ports or lidar for measuring distance. As such, equipment can be custom-tailored to the emergency situation.

The interior boasts an augmented reality projection on the windshield to help the driver navigate obstacles in low-visibility situations. A smartphone-controlled rooftop drone can read the movements of other cars and people.

Along with the RAV4, the local dealer organization will also display a smorgasbord of AWD vehicles including the Yaris Cross, C-HR (which is available with AWD in Japan) and Harrier (Venza). The exhibit is a canny move, considering it’s the region’s recent record snowfall.

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