Toyota’s C-HR concept spent the last two years on a grand tour of sorts. After making its debut as design study at the Paris auto show in the fall of 2014, it remained on the continent long enough to make the scene at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show wearing slightly more practical duds. A month later, the high-hipped and hopefully hip C-HR concept popped up at the 2015 Los Angeles auto show sporting a Scion badge and a brilliant coat of red paint. It was in L.A. that we learned the C-HR was a go. Now, just prior to the debut of the production version at the 2016 Geneva auto show, images have leaked; we picked up on them via Carscoops.
It’s clear that Toyota didn’t stray too far from the original concept, and we’re kind of impressed how the low-profile/floating roof made the transition to the production vehicle. Indeed, the entire C-HR is only slightly altered from its concept form, with minor changes to the headlamps and lower front fascia joining the smaller wheels as the most discernible changes. Based on Toyota’s new global architecture (TNGA) that’s also found under the latest Prius, we think the C-HR will offer a full hybrid powertrain in addition to one or more gas-only options, but Toyota so far has managed to keep the specific technical details under wraps.
The C-HR was slated to be sold in the U.S. as Scion, but those plans were quashed in early February when Toyota announced it would be shuttering its youth-oriented division. Although the announcement came as little surprise, the C-HR’s crossover positioning and hybrid powertrain could have definitely helped Scion in key market areas in which it lacked any product. But now, badged as a Toyota, the C-HR will compete with the likes of the Honda HR-V, Nissan Juke, and Mazda CX-3, vehicles that put a fire to the subcompact-crossover segment while the C-HR was still circling the globe in concept form. We expect the C-HR to go on sale later this year; we’ll learn more once the sheet is pulled off in Geneva.
2016 Geneva Auto Show Full Coverage