The largest automaker in the world, also the biggest company in Japan – Toyota – continues its ecological march towards a green strategy by delivering during the Geneva Motor Show in a world premiere the first full hybrid subcompact crossover.
The C-HR has been a model rather long in the making – we saw two Toyota concept and even a Scion version just prior to the subbrand’s untimely death. But now the wait is over and the funky subcompact crossover is available in the metal in production form on the show floor of the Geneva Motor Show. And while it will also use regular powertrains, the main trump card (since quirkiness looks already overrated) is that it’s the first to sport a full hybrid system. That’s because the C-HR is underpinned by the newly developed TNGA platform has premiered on the new generation Prius. This was an easy inheritance fit – the C-HR will have the same hybridized 122-hp 1.8-liter gasoline engine with a thermal efficiency of 40% and emitting less than 90 g/km of CO2 and mated to an electric motor and a battery pack.
Those not looking to save the planet or reduce the gas bill may also have the C-HR with a turbocharged 1.2-liter gasoline engine borrowed from the Auris, packing 115 hp (85 kW) and mated to a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission which has been specifically modified for the Old Continent. The C-HR can be linked to an optional all-wheel drive system and across select markets (excluding UK) it will also be offered in a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter engine version.
In terms of design the Toyota C-HR looks ready to abandon the Japanese brand’s dull appearance and come as a worthy rival in terms of funkiness for the Nissan Juke. The design resembles that of a coupe-like crossover, with the rugged traits remaining intact thanks to the plastic cladding and increased ground clearance. The upscale variants will be packing full LED headlights featuring sequential turn signals and the taillights will also use the light-emitting diodes technology. The rear door handles have been tucked within the C pillar and production for the C-HR will be handled by the company’s factory in Turkey – the hybridized powertrain coming from the UK. The European version will reach showrooms during the second part of the year and the US version will come out sometimes next year.