TV-AWD: Explained by Toyota Head Engineer
Back in 2018, the RAV4 received a very significant upgrade. It’s traditional AWD system was completely redesigned into a dynamic one that many Toyota models have adopted since then. But what makes it different? Why is it better than a traditional AWD system?
What is TV-AWD on a Toyota RAV4?
Dynamic TV-AWD Improves Upon Traditional AWD
Dynamic Torque-Vectoring All-Wheel Drive (TV-AWD) is an AWD system that independently distributes 50% of engine torque to the left and right rear wheels based on system-monitored driving conditions. By using ratchet-type dog clutches in the front and rear axles, the system can disconnect and disengage when AWD isn’t in use, resulting in 80% lower fuel economy loss. On top of this, the system also utilizes AWD Integrated Management (AIM) that coordinates the engine, transmission, brakes, and AWD systems during operation to increase handling and driving stability.
Most traditional AWD systems just supply around 20% of the engine’s torque to the non-powered axle. For instance, a RWD vehicle’s front axle would get 20%. This is a set amount that can’t be changed. So, if one wheel is on an inclement surface and the other isn’t, you’ll get significant pull toward the side with normal grip. And if you’re driving on roads where snow and ice are mixed in with bare pavement, you’ll wind up fighting your vehicle for control.
What About Hybrid Vehicles?
The hybrid RAV4 has a slightly different system dubbed E-Four AWD. It has increased rear output torque over the original hybrid drivetrain by around 1.3x. It also benefits from AIM, controlling the individual torque supplied to each wheel. The result is a snappier, more responsive hybrid drivetrain system.