Today the brand-new Toyota C-HR Concept made its world debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. What we have here is an innovative new crossover that Toyota says, “Combines a new, dynamic design language with an agile and engaging drive.” While we can’t speak to the car’s drivability, there’s no doubt that this is definitely something new from Toyota’s design department.
You may remember that Toyota had already teased the C-HR Concept not once, but twice, so we already knew a fair bit about the concept. However, seeing it in-the-metal instead of as a digital rendering makes an enormous difference in how the crossover comes off. In the preview images it almost looked like a cartoon; on stage it looks like something we’d actually want to drive.
In particular, the diamond-cut line work of their new design language comes off much cleaner on the showroom floor. For example, we can now see that the floating roof has a subtle faceted pattern that creates a “lively play of light in the cabin,” like having a sun-catcher built into the car. That’s a design feature we’ve never seen before, but desperately hope to see again!
Another thing that’s even clearer now is just how small this compact crossover really is. It’s almost more coupe then SUV, and you can see in the image below that it only comes about shoulder-height. Still, there’s no denying that this sporty concept looks like it’d be a blast on the road.
One more thing that we didn’t necessarily realize before the C-HR Concept debuted in Paris is that it was actually developed specifically for the European market. It makes sense since Europe is still the most demanding market for small and mid-size vehicles, and Toyota said as much in their press release. They go on to say that, “Toyota Motor Europe has become the companies of skill Center for diesel engines, perceived quality and vehicle dynamics.”
Finally, while Toyota didn’t give us any specific technical details about the C-HR crossover’s hybrid powertrain, they did build more hype around it. Apparently, it’s “a new, advanced full hybrid powertrain that delivers an engaging driving experience, deal with 21st century traffic conditions and deliver outstanding efficiency.”
If we had to guess, we’d say that the C-HR will probably get the powertrain from the next-gen Prius. The press release talks a lot about “hybrid heritage” and Toyota’s contribution to “the widespread acceptance of hybrids,” as well as the wild success of their Prius models.
All in all, we have to admit that we’re more than a little jealous of our European readers. While we still don’t know exactly what this C-HR concept will become, it’s clear that it will definitely become something. That goes against our previous guess that the C-HR Concept was more design study than pre-production concept.
If you’d like to learn more about the Toyota C-HR Concept, just watch the video below. Otherwise, thanks for reading and stay tuned tomorrow for more cool Japanese cars from the 2014 Paris Motor Show.