Ryan Millen will pilot.
Toyota is about to enter into rally competition with a rather unusual vehicle choice: a two-wheel-drive RAV4.
Equipped with nothing more than a roll cage, Tein suspension system and BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires, the RAV4 will enter into the Rally America series, whose field consists of Ford Fiesta STs, Mitsubishi Lancer Evos, and about and more Subarus than the parking lot at a Vermont antiquing convention. The engine it utilizes is the stock 176 hp, 172 lb-ft of torque 2.5L inline-four, but engineers have lightened the car by over 500 pounds.
"I've driven just about everything Toyota has to offer... and I've been very impressed with the RAV4's tight, compact body and smooth handling. I'm looking forward to putting it through the paces this season," said Ryan Millen, sounding suspiciously like someone who was getting paid to drive the car. That's probably because the son of racing legend Rod Millen is, in fact, getting paid to drive the car. The pairing of a Millen and a Toyota off-roader have had good results before, as Ryan won his class at the Baja 1000 last year behind the wheel of Tundra TRD Pro.
This isn't the first time Toyota has entered an unusual front-driver into Rally America. In 2011 a Scion xD was transformed into an off-tarmac racer. The RAV4 will compete in the 2WD-Open class in six races starting June 13.