The angular crossover concept first debuted at the Paris Motor Show in 2014, but was refreshed for this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show with rear doors. Toyota claims the recent concept will look very similar to the production version, which seems like a bold move for a brand with normally tame designs.
Then again, the 2016 Prius has adopted a daring (you be the judge if you’d also insert “attractive” here) design, so a radically-styled crossover isn’t out of the question. Considering the C-HR will rival unique models like the Nissan Juke and Jeep Renegade, Toyota may have decided on a more standout look for the C-HR to keep pace with its competition.
The world’s first look at the production C-HR will be in the spring of 2016, with sales following before next summer. Toyota isn’t set on the C-HR name, though, so expect that to change along with its production-ready body.
The C-HR will be built on Toyota’s TNGA (Toyota New Generation Architecture) platform, which is shared with the new Prius. This will enable Toyota to offer the C-HR as a hybrid (a first in its class), though the automaker has yet to clarify if a gas-engined version will be sold as well. The hybrid powertrain will combine a four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and CVT transmission. Though the C-HR will compete with the Juke and other sub-compact crossovers, Toyota claims it will have superior interior space.
The car’s striking design reportedly came directly at the behest of CEO Akio Toyoda, who wanted something audacious. Lexus led the charge with recent models like the NX, IS, and RX, and now it appears Toyota is trekking confidently down that path. It remains to be seen how consumers will embrace the new looks, but the 2016 Prius has already ruffled a few feathers.