For a car that should be a relatively straightforward addition to its maker’s lineup, the 2018 Toyota C-HR has had a long and convoluted development process.
The C-HR will appear in production-ready form later this month at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, after multiple teases and one rebranding. It’s Toyota’s first subcompact crossover, marking the Japanese automaker’s entry into an increasingly popular segment that already includes models like the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, and Mazda CX-3.
Toyota first showed the C-HR as a concept car way back in 2014, at the Paris Motor Show. It then unveiled a second concept version at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. That concept was then rebranded as a Scion for an appearance at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show a few months later. At the time, Toyota planned to sell the C-HR as a Scion in the U.S., and as a Toyota everywhere else.
But earlier this year, Toyota decided to kill its Scion “youth brand,” transitioning most of its models to the main Toyota brand. That includes the C-HR, as well as the FR-S sports car, iA sedan, and iM hatchback. The latter three are now the Toyota 86, Yaris iA, and Corolla iM, respectively.
The production version of the C-HR debuting in Los Angeles will likely be similar to the European-spec version that appeared at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. That means you can expect rather funky styling for a Toyota, with the same Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform used by the Prius hybrid underneath. The C-HR itself may get a hybrid powertrain, or just a standalone four-cylinder engine with no electric assist.
Besides the 2018 Toyota C-HR, other notable debuts lined up for the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show include the 2017 Mazda CX-5, Honda Civic Si, and Alfa Romeo’s first SUV. Stick with Digital Trends for the latest updates.