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Toyota RAV4 In The Style Of Military Armored Vehicle

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TEXT: 青木邦敏(AOKI Kunitoshi)  PHOTO: 青木邦敏(AOKI Kunitoshi)

  • TOYOTA RAV4
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MARS 1 attracts attention at Tokyo Auto Salon 2023

The 5th generation “RAV4” has been selling well since its introduction in 2019. Its aggressive shape makes it popular as a custom base vehicle, and various types of body parts are sold by MANY manufacturers. At the Tokyo Auto Salon 2023, many 50-series RAV4-based custom cars made an appearance. Among them, one car that caught AMW’s attention was the “MARS 1” using CYBER X RACING’s parts, the first car of the new “VRARVA” brand launched by KUHL JAPAN in 2023. MARS 1 won the Grand Prix of the Tokyo International Custom Car Contest 2023 after being judged among the eight best cars on the official Tokyo Auto Salon website.

Like a near future military vehicle

VRARVA’s brand strategy is to create a style based on the concept of the near future. The new model further emphasizes its powerful and tough image as a crossover SUV and brings out a futuristic feel both on and off the road.

Mr. Hiroto Enomoto, who was in charge of the body design, talked about this customization.

“When we were creating the design, we first conducted market research. We felt that there were many classic styles and outdoor-oriented types. So, we created a military style that was not similar to existing models but was an idea that had never been seen before.

From there, we paid homage to the cutting-edge designs used on vehicles such as tanks, armored vehicles, and fighter jets, and came up with a design for a practical, rugged, yet highly mobile package. The image is that of an armored military vehicle of the future.

Of course, we also developed features to prevent the front and rear bumpers from contacting the road surface, which would occur in off-road driving due to overhang issues.”

Powerful image looks like a military armored vehicle

The approach of covering the entire body as a protector is quite new. And the armored style, reminiscent of a state-of-the-art military vehicle, is also cool. And material is hard to believe, but it is made of FRP. The edges are designed to stand up, which also enhances the metallic look.

The body kit consists of 12 parts. The front part has a lowered center and 9mm wide fenders on each side of the hood, emphasizing the design of the left and right fenders. The front bumper is a three-piece type consisting of the upper part of the grille, the upper bumper under the headlights, and the lower bumper around the fog lights.

On the body side, the front fenders were added in front of the front doors, and door panels with the “VRARVA” logo were added to the lower part of the front and rear doors.

In addition, a protector-type panel was mounted from the rear of the backseat door to cover the fender. From there, the three-dimensional construction leading to the rear bumper is impressive.

The price for a new MARS 1 complete car is 4,290,000 yen (including tax).

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