Toyota ready to tackle European crossover segment image

Following the unsuccessful attempt to enter the subcompact crossover rave with the Urban Cruiser, Toyota has decided to take another swing at the segment, but this time with a fashionable compact model.

The model would be based on the recently unveiled C-HR concept, which had its official premiere during the 2014 Paris Motor Show. The world’s largest automaker is targeting rather affluent, younger urban buyers that seek a more assertive offering than the make’s RAV4 SUV.

“We think that the RAV buyer is quite different from what we have staked out for this new C-HR,” says Toyota Europe sales chief Karl Schlicht. The production version “would fit in a size below the RAV4, but would still be considered a C (compact) segment crossover.” The concept “has the essential combination of compact packaging and agility required by customers with active, urban lifestyles,” commented Toyota’s launch press release.

The concept has been placed squarely in between the Auris compact hatchback and the RAV4 compact SUV in terms of dimensions: 4350 mm long and 1500 mm tall.

“The whole industry knows (crossover) segments are growing,” said Schlicht. “We think we need to have a strong unique design. A hybrid is also an advantage for us to make sure we get separation from the RAV4, size-wise but also target-wise.”

The model would be equipped with a new gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain – likely the one developed for the next generation of the Prius hybrid due in 2015 – and without providing any details the executive hinted the new assembly would yield significant fuel efficiency improvements.

Via Automotive News Europe