Good Oil: Your big, beefy, butch RAV4 is ready now
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Clearly, someone within Toyota Motor Corporation has had enough of the RAV4 being thought of as automotive wallpaper. The 2019 edition of the Japanese carmaker’s perennially personality-free SUV was unveiled at the New York Auto Show last week. And it’s been working out at the gym.
The fifth-generation RAV is on ’roids, as evidenced by the incoming model’s muscular body panels and lower, more aggressive stance. Don’t look it in the eyes! Don’t look it in the eyes!
Actually, all might not be quite as it seems for Kiwi RAV customers (so breathe, Avis, breathe ... ). The version on show in New York is very much a US-spec machine, boasting what the Americans call Adventure styling, potentially not destined for our shores.
That’s disappointing. No, we’re as unlikely to add a RAV to our mid-size SUV shopping list as the next person, let’s be honest.
But the new “prison yard” take on what has, until now, remained an inoffensive but ultimately uninteresting-looking SUV works for us. It’s almost a bit Lexus-ish ... which we’re unsure whether would be insulting to either sibling brand.
When you think about it, Toyota is making an effort to regain a more aggressive, performance-themed foothold on the market.
The Supra is about to make a comeback, and in Northern Hemisphere markets the little fire-breathing Yaris GRMN edition is asking the likes of Ford’s Fiesta ST200 and the Peugeot 208 GTi to put up their collective dukes.
Elsewhere the new Camry, especially in V6 guise, offers a nice mix of exec aggressiveness, without being silly about it in an attach-pointless-TRD-bodykit-here kind of way.
The 2019 RAV echoes this sentiment. Let’s just hope, for its sake, the Hertz procurement team isn’t intimidated.
F1 feeder classes also get weird protection
The halo head protection divining rod attached to this season’s batch of F1 race cars will filter down into other open-wheel categories from next year, the sport’s governing body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), has announced.
FIA Single-Seat Commission bigwig Stefano Domenicali confirmed to an Aussie motorsport outlet during the Melbourne Formula 1 event that halo protection for F3 and F2 categories, as well as Formula-e, will be mandatory from next year.
Top priority for the FIA, though, is Formula 4. Who even knew there was a Formula 4?
As to less-than-favourable opinions on the halo device, Domenicali sniffily
dismissed them, suggesting that after a couple of F1 races they will no longer be a talking point.
So, for something that appears almost universally reviled, the halo device looks like it’s here to stay.
A bit like crocs. Or James Corden.
Fingerprint scanning makes this Bentley a vault on wheels
What is this James Bond-esque madness? Bentley customiser Mulliner has redesigned the centre console of the Bentley Bentayga SUV to include a secure compartment that can be accessed only by the owner’s fingerprint.
Or maybe the chauffeur’s ...
Thanks to this high-tech addition, Bentley owners need never worry again about getting that heritage Patek Philippe timepiece dusty at the polo or having to lug around bulky bearer bonds in the suit jacket breast pocket.
These everyday items can be stored in safety, so no prying valet parking jobsworth can rifle through one’s in-car possessions.
The system, says Mulliner, can even support more than one set of fingerprints. Although wouldn’t one just have two or more Bentleys’?
Now that we’ve heard about Mulliner’s fingerprint scanning system, we have to admit it’s a wonder other brands hell-bent on appearing super cutting-edge in the tech stakes haven’t thought of it before.
The fingerprint scanner provides a little bit of theatre. But then, so does Jaguar Land Rover’s rotary transmission dial, which glides up from the flush surface of the centre console when the car is started.
Range Rover is probably kicking itself it didn’t think of a fingerprint scanner for the high-priced SV Coupe.