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Frankfurt show: Toyota amps up C-HR concept

Power play: Toyota’s C-HR Hy-Power Concept revealed at this week’s Frankfurt motor show will preview the Japanese car-maker’s intentions of providing a more performance-focused electrified powertrain.

Toyota performance hybrid future is go with C-HR Hy-Power Concept

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Toyota logo13 Sep 2017

By DANIEL DEGASPERI

TOYOTA Motor Corporation (TMCo) has unveiled its C-HR Hy-Power Concept as a preview of what it has dubbed a “significant and strategic future development of high-performance hybrid options” that will be announced in early 2018.

While Australian C-HRs employ an 85kW 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, TMCo has only said that the C-HR Hy-Power Concept uses a hybrid system “that offers more power and performance” than the 90kW power output of the petrol-electric drivetrain featured in the European C-HR and the Prius.

It is clear from images, however, that the vehicle uncloaked at the Frankfurt motor show overnight utilises an automatic transmission.

The Japanese car-maker further added that the lightly tweaked – with brighter colours and trim – concept “signifies the presence of a more powerful hybrid powertrain, heralding an expansion of Toyota’s hybrid program”.

It means that faster Toyota hybrid production models are all systems go, with Toyota Motor Europe (TME) president and CEO Dr. Johan Van Zyl announcing at the Frankfurt motor show that “in future it is our ambition to provide our core models with a choice of two hybrid powertrains”.

“We listen carefully to our customers’ opinions,” he said. “It is not just about hearing what they like about our hybrid technology. We also want to learn from them how we can make our hybrids even more attractive to more people.

“It is exactly that kind of feedback that has made us realise there is an opportunity to introduce a higher performance hybrid powertrain.

“The prospect of a more powerful hybrid system is part of the inspiration for the new Toyota C-HR Hy-Power design study. It symbolises the dynamic and fun-to-drive qualities that have helped make the Toyota C-HR such an instant success.”

Dr Van Zyl explained that the duo of hybrid powertrains in future production models will take Toyota’s current offerings in a new direction.

“One will provide the traditional benefits of efficiency and fuel economy, like in our current offer,” he continued. “The second will build on this and add more power and a more dynamic driving character. We will reveal more details about these plans early next year.”

Using the same bodywork as the production C-HR, the Hy-Power Concept merely adds further design flourishes to the standard production model.

TMCo said that its European design studio (ED2) wanted to avoid heavy customisation of its small SUV, but explore new textures and finishes in order to emphasise the model’s fun-to-drive nature.

The C-HR Hy-Power Concept mixes a Dark Carbon matte-silver exterior with gloss-black elements on the front lip spoiler, wheelarch flares, 20-inch alloy wheel inserts, side skirts and rear roofline with spoiler.

A contrast ‘diamond-cut’ film is used on the roof, matching the Burning Orange finish of the front pillars and mirror caps, and also the quilted black leather with orange stitching inside.

“What we wanted to do was almost to purify or concentrate the unique value of the Toyota C-HR and see how we could give it further emphasis by using a new and unique colour and interior trim execution,” ED2 chief designer Lance Scott said in a statement.

“The challenge was not to stray away from the qualities that define the Toyota C-HR, but to add to them in a fresh and original way.”

The C-HR has achieved a European segment share of 11 per cent in its first 10 months, while Toyota’s hybrid versions are up by 52 per cent year-on-year.

The hybrid mix of Continental sales is extremely high on Yaris (45%), RAV4 (52%), Auris (nee Corolla, 65%) and with CH-R (77%) topping the list.

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