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Toyota has launched the 201kW RAV4 V6 that it expects to attract first-time buyers to the RAV4 brand and reinforce the company's leadership of the Compact SUV market.

New RAV4 V6 is powered by a 3.5-litre all-alloy quad-cam engine with dual variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) - the most powerful naturally aspirated engine offered by Toyota in Australia.

The 201kW Toyota RAV4 V6 is the most powerful model in the Compact SUV market.

The acclaimed Toyota 2GR-FE engine also powers Aurion, Tarago V6 and Kluger.

The launch of three new RAV4 V6 models brings to nine the overall variants in the RAV4 line-up, all equipped with VVT-i engines and active AWD.

The three new quad-cam V6 models - CV6, SX6 and ZR6 - all have five-speed transmissions.

Towing capacity has increased by 400kg to 1900kg, compared with four-cylinder RAV4 models.

"The launch of RAV4 V6 is the most significant step for the RAV4 brand since its launch in Australia 13 years ago," said Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing, David Buttner.

"Since 1994, RAV4 has evolved to be larger, better equipped, with more passive and active safety, and increased performance.

"The addition of the class-leading 201kW V6 models significantly alters the dynamic of RAV4 and the profile of people who buy it.

"Compact SUV buyers who have had a connection to RAV4 styling and Toyota brand values but wanted extra performance now have that option available with the RAV4 V6.

"RAV4 V6 will help retain existing RAV4 owners and attract new buyers for the first time."

Compact SUV is the fastest-growing segment in the SUV market, with sales increasing 19.1 per cent for the nine months to September 2007.

The proportion of six-cylinder sales compared to four-cylinder sales in the Compact SUV market peaked at 29 per cent in 2001, and steadily declined to 16 per cent in 2006.

"While sales in the four-cylinder segment have been strong, the six-cylinder segment hasn't shown the same growth in recent years," Mr Buttner said.

"The introduction of RAV4 V6 will help reverse the trend in the six-cylinder market by attracting a different type of buyer to the already popular RAV4 brand."

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