Posts Tagged ‘C-HR Concept’

Production Toyota C-HR At The Geneva Show

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

After being on a grand tour for the past two years and then being debuted as a design study at the Paris auto show in the fall of 2014 the Toyota’s C-HR concept has remained prominent on the continent and even managed to make its grand entrance at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show showing off its impressive body to the viewers. Just a month later, this innovative and expectantly trendy C-HR model popped up at the 2015 Los Angeles auto show wearing a Scion badge and a vivid coat of red paint. It was at the Los Angeles show that it was revealed that this brilliant C-HR was a go. Unlike Scion itself, which is now dead. Now the production version has been debuted 2016 Geneva auto show, and it looks impressive.

Toyota C-HR

Personally, I dislike the styling of this car’s direct competitor, the Nissan Juke, but this Toyota C-HR blows it away. I know which one I would pick from looks alone.

It is quite evident that Toyota chose not to stray too far away from their original concept, and will probably impress the masses when they see how they added the low-profile/floating roof to the transition of this production vehicle. Certainly, the entire C-HR is only somewhat different from its original concept form, with very minor variations to the headlamps and the lower front end connecting the smaller wheels as the most noticeable changes.

According to Toyota’, their Toyota new global architecture (TNGA) which is also found under the newest Prius, it appears that the C-HR, which will have a full hybrid powertrain along with one or more gas-only alternatives.

The Toyota C-HR was scheduled to be sold in the United States as Scion, but those plans were crushed in early February 2016 when Toyota broadcasted that it would be closing its youth-oriented division. Despite the fact that the announcement wasn’t very surprising, ironically the C-HR’s crossover standing and hybrid powertrain might have certainly helped Scion in crucial market areas where it lacked any product. Now that it is coined a Toyota, the C-HR will be competing with well-known models like the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and Nissan Juke vehicles that made their mark on the subcompact crossover division while the new C-HR was still on tour around the globe in concept form.

It is anticipated that the C-HR will go on sale later this year, shortly after which I expect we will be seeing them pop up in the car auctions over here in Japan.


Next-Generation Toyota Prius Design ‘Not Good Enough’

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

2015 Toyota Prius Design Rejected

Today we learned just how determined Toyota is to integrate a more powerful and emotional design language into their lineup. The next-generation Toyota Prius, which was originally due out in early 2015, will be the first car to showcase that new style.

Unfortunately, we’ve learned today that the original design for the Japanese automaker’s iconic hybrid hatchback didn’t meet the cut, and so the launch of the next-generation Prius has been delayed by almost a year. If everything goes smoothly from here on out, we’ll have the new Prius by this time next year, but nothing is guaranteed just yet.

The news comes from an interview between Automotive News and Toyota’s executive VP, Mitsuhisa Kato, plus a couple other unnamed execs cited throughout the article. According to insiders, this is how the decision to delay the new Prius was made:

The chief engineer in charge of developing the next Toyota Prius brought the original design for the hybrid hatchback to an executive meeting late last year. That’s when Kato, backed by the opinion of Mr. Akio Toyoda himself, rejected the design for not meeting the cut. The report indicates that there were several other issues with the original car’s design outside of pure aesthetic appeal, but at the same time that there was no way they’d release a new Prius that didn’t have a feeling like a “fresh breeze”.

2014 Toyota C-HR Concept

Toyota originally planned to promote the next-generation previous throughout 2014. However, it was only in April of this year that the design was approved at a corporate level. That’s why we’ve only seen one single concept that heralds the Prius, and even that was an indirect application. We’re talking about, of course, the Toyota C-HR Concept pictured above, which we saw earlier this year at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. We know that the C-HR previewed a hybrid crossover (the Prius will remain a hatchback; don’t worry), but the “diamond architecture” of the concept will carry over to the new Prius.

We certainly don’t blame Toyota for taking their time with this one – not only is the Prius one of their best-selling models with over 1 million units sold in 2013 (for the second year in a row), it’s also the first production model that to utilize Toyota’s new “diamond architecture” design language, which we’re assuming will permeate the rest of the lineup over the next five-ish years. A successful launch for the new Prius would mean that Toyota is succeeding in expanding their appeal to the hipper, more emotionally-driven drivers of today.


New Toyota C-HR Concept Hits the Stage in Paris

Posted by Stephen On Friday, October 3rd, 2014

2014 Toyota C-HR Concept

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.

2014 Toyota C-HR Concept Profile

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.

2014 Toyota C-HR Concept Size Comparison

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.

2014 Toyota C-HR Concept rear view

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.


Toyota C-HR Concept Officially Revealed Ahead of Paris Debut

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Remember the Toyota C-HR Concept we previewed last week?

At the time, all he had to go on was a single darkened teaser image of the crossover’s silhouette, and even that lacked detail. Fortunately for us, this weekend Toyota revealed a full rendering of their new small SUV concept. Take a look for yourself below:

Toyota C-HR Concept Preview

Just as a reminder, here’s what we’ve already said about the Toyota C-HR Concept:

First, it will debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show early next month. Second, it will probably be a prequel to a new Toyota Auris Cross, a mule of which we’ve already seen testing at the Nürburgring. Finally, we know that Toyota is introducing the concept as “a vision for a hybrid-powered compact crossover that displays an emphatic new design language.”

Now, here’s what’s new:

Given the quirky aesthetic seen in the new C-HR renderings Toyota has released for us, it’s clearer than ever exactly who this compact crossover is aimed at. Let there be no doubt – this is a Nissan Juke fighter.

Unfortunately, Toyota didn’t give us any new information about the concept’s technology or performance specs. What they did give us with these two new images, though, is more information about the specific styling cues you’ll find in the C-HR, as well as what those themes mean for future Toyota vehicles.

Toyota C-HR Concept Preview rear above

The Japanese automaker describes the C-HR’s new aesthetic as a “diamond styling theme”. The name apparently comes from the way “the lower bodywork has been sculpted to create faceted surfaces, like the precision cutting of a gemstone.” They further explained that the front end of the car can be seen as a forward development of Toyota’s current design language; whereas the roofline and the rear are more of a theoretical future direction for Toyota’s aesthetic.

Honestly, more than anything these new images imply that the C-HR Concept is NOT meant to directly preview a real-world vehicle… At least, not without some major modifications. To us, the C-HR study’s primary purpose is to gauge interest in a best-case-scenario Toyota Juke, and to remind the world that they can, in fact, design cool-looking cars when they try.

There’s no denying that these two new renderings of the Toyota C-HR Concept have gotten us a lot more excited about the new crossover prototype. However, it would be very, very surprising if the best parts of this concept’s design – those gem-cut wheels, the floating roof and taillights, the redesigned bumper – ever made it into a real-world vehicle under the Auris name. So, either this C-HR doesn’t preview an Auris, or it’s entirely unrealistic and theoretical.

Either way, we’re still very excited to see the C-HR make its debut at the Paris Motor Show next month. Stay tuned for more information when the hybrid crossover concept makes its appearance.

 


Japanese Car Auction Find – Limited 2014 Toyota Auris 180GS

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 19th, 2014

2014 Toyota Auris 180GS Char Aznable Edition

Earlier this week we learned about the new Toyota C-HR concept. If you’ll remember, we theorized that the concept would eventually come to production as the new Toyota Auris Cross – a crossover version of the regular Toyota Auris. So, it seemed fitting that we dig up a great-looking Auris for this week’s Japanese car auction find.

What we’re looking at today is an immaculate 2014 Toyota Auris. But, this particular find is unlike any Auris hatchback you’ve ever seen.

2014 Toyota Auris 180GS rear

What’s that, you say? This car is too sporty to be a conventional Auris hatchback?

You’re absolutely right.

If you look closely at the grille, you’ll see a strange yellow emblem unlike any Toyota logo or any Toyota-affiliated marque. Turns out, this limited edition model was never sold in the US. The auction sheet shown at the bottom of this post reveals that this Auris was built on Toyota’s ZRE186H chassis, which is the same chassis as used in the Toyota Auris RS S in Japan. However, the model is listed as an Auris 180GS, so what’s the deal?

After a bit of research, I learned that this limited edition Auris 180GS was advertised in collaboration with the popular anime franchise, Mobile Suit Gundam. Toyota and the show’s creators even produced an animated advertisement where the series’ antagonist – Char Aznable – is interacting with a cartoon-version of the special edition Toyota Auris:

That explains the strange logo on the grille and the military-style text all around the car’s exterior and interior, as well as the custom floor mats using the same yellow emblem seen on the grille. You can just barely see it beneath the protective floor covering in the interior image below:

2014 Toyota Auris 180GS interior

Clearly this is a very unique car with a one-of-a-kind design, but what’s running beneath the hood?

The regular 2014 Toyota Auris 180GS is fitted with the larger of the hatchback’s two powertrain options – a 1.8L engine paired with a CVT configured for front wheel drive. This is actually one of Toyota’s newest engines and uses their patented Valvematic system to improve efficiency. Although we couldn’t dig up concrete stats for this specific model, our guess is that this Auris runs on the highest-tuned version of Toyota’s 2ZR-FAE engine, which would mean a power output of 148bhp and 129 lb-ft of torque.

Even if this limited edition Toyota Auris were a regular hatchback, it would still stand out from the crowd because of its pristine 6-rated exterior and A-grade interior. These are literally the highest ratings that a car auction can receive, and the auction sheet below shows a single minor blemish across the car’s entire exterior.

For more information, continue reading beyond the auction sheet for a more detailed translation:

2014 Toyota Auris 180GS auction sheet

“Grade 6, interior A, first registered January 2014, 180GS Package, FAT, AAC, service book, original AWs, power steering, power windows, original navigation system, airbag, original TV, panorama roof, special body kit navigation system and TV, Modelista lowered suspension sprints, special floor mats, rear view reversing camera, special steering wheel and shift knob and antenna, minor scratches on AWs, minor interior grime, marks as per map.”