Making its world debut at the 2016 Geneva motor show, the C-HR gives Toyota a new presence in the crossover market. Designed to stand out both within the Toyota line-up and in its segment, it represents Akio Toyoda’s determination to allow greater stylistic freedom and promote engineering creativity in order to achieve eye-catching designs and enhanced driving pleasure.
The unique character of the C-HR demonstrates the flexibility of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) for vehicle developers in the three key areas of design, powertrain and dynamics, allowing them to deliver a fresh take on the increasingly popular compact crossover segment.
As a result, the C-HR remains remarkably true to the general features of the concept cars that attracted so much public attention at Paris in 2014 and Frankfurt in 2015. The coupe-like lines are a testimony to the resolve of its designers to create a style that stands out in the Toyota range, and to establish a new direction amongst mid-sized crossovers.
Finally, guided by Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba’s vision of “Response, Linearity and Consistency”, the driving dynamics have been deliberately benchmarked on the precision and control experienced at the wheel of a modern C-segment hatchback, thanks to the refinement of the TNGA platform and its low centre of gravity. The aim was to allow the C-HR to carry its speed through corners, with excellent body control and steering fluidity.
C-HR is designed not only to be enjoyable when flowing through busy city traffic but also on the open road, independent of the surface condition.
A Coupe-like Design
The C-HR introduces a distinctive styling featuring a body with a diamond architectural theme with wheel arches projecting prominently at all four corners to emphasise the new crossover’s strength and rigidity. The C-HR’s modulated structure combines the powerful lower body and raised ground clearance with the slim and sleek cabin profile of a coupe.
The front represents a further development of Toyota’s design identity. The slender upper grille flows from the Toyota emblem into the sleek, aggressive wing extremities of the headlamp clusters and wraps fully around the front corners of the vehicle.
The lamp clusters incorporate full LED lighting with light guides and sequential turn signals, giving the C-HR its own unique visual signature. Below, the enhanced three-dimensionality of the bumper that’s integrated with the wheel flairs and the trapezoidal lower grille architecture reinforce the C-HR’s wide, firmly planted stance.
The movement of the blacked-out rocker panel towards the front and rear wheel, along with the shoulder axis that runs through to the front and rear emphasize the fast-looking, “lift-up” feel of the thin body.
The C-HR’s coupe-like styling is further enhanced by disguised rear door handles integrated within the C pillar, and the powerful projection of the sweeping roofline into a large, skeletal frame rear spoiler.
To the rear, the strongly tapered cabin integrates the back door while securing luggage space. This contrasts with the pronounced flaring of the wheel arches to give the new crossover a wide and extremely powerful stance.
This car is the result of a global cooperation between design centres on three continents and was managed by Project Chief Designer Kazuhiko Isawa. The original exterior design was created by Calty, the Toyota design studio in California.
Responsive and Frugal Powertrains
The C-HR will be equipped with a modern 1.2 litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine punching out 85 kW. Employing direct injection and a relatively high (for turbocharged engines) 10:1 static compression ratio, this provides the C-HR with abundant torque at low engine speeds, achieving a peak of 185 Nm at just 1500 rpm and maintaining it all the way to 4000rpm.
Buyers will have a choice of a 6-speed manual gearbox or a Continuously Variable automatic Transmission system.
South African introduction will take place in Q1 of 2017 with local specifications being confirmed closer to launch timing.