2016 Geneva Motor Show: 2017 Toyota C-HR crossover production model is launched

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 4, 2016

The new Toyota C-HR has been unmasked at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, providing a fresh definition of what a crossover should be in terms of design, powertrain and dynamics. Underpinned by a platform based on the flexible TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture), the new C-HR is the result of Akio Toyoda's resolve to allow greater design freedom and determination to promote engineering creativity.

Thus, Toyota was able to come up with a mid-sized crossover that stays true to the general features of the concept-cars that the carmaker unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 2014 and at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015.

In fact, the C-HR features coupe-like that attest to the determination of its designers to come up with a design that is distinct from other Toyota vehicles and to set up a new styling direction in the mid-sized crossover segment that is not only sensual but also dynamic.

Exterior Design

The body of new Toyota C-HR carries on a diamond architectural theme. It features wheel arches protruding at all four corners, thereby highlighting its strength and rigidity. Moreover, the new C-HR features a powerful lower body, a raised ground clearance, and the sleek cabin character of a coupe.

The front end of the new Toyota C-HR signifies an evolution of the carmaker’s “Under Priority and Keen Look” design identity. For instance, the crossover’s slender upper grille flows from the Toyota mark to the sleek wing edges of the headlamp clusters.

The grille then fully wraps the front corners of the new C-HR. Lending the C-HR a distinct visual signature are the headlamp clusters that feature full LED lighting, light guides and sequential turn signals. Beneath the lamp cluster is a three-dimensional front bumper integrated with the wheel flairs.

Completing the front is a trapezoidal lower grille that boosts the crossover’s wide imposing stance. Highlighting the speedy appearance of the C-HR’s sleek body is its shoulder axis that flowing through to the front and rear as well as the movement of the blacked out rocker panel towards the crossover’s front and rear wheels.

Additionally, the C-HR features masked rear door handles integrated within the C pillar as well as a protrusion of its sweeping roofline into a skeletal frame rear spoiler – both augmenting the crossover’s coupe-like appearance.

At the rear, the back is integrated into the C-HR’s tapered cabin while the protruding flaring of the wheel arches gives the crossover its wide and dynamic stance. Rounding up the rear look of the C-HR are glaring rear light clusters that could be specified with LED lights for a more dramatic rear visual signature.


Serving as the core of the new Toyota C-HR is the carmaker’s latest 1.8 liter hybrid system, thereby allowing the new crossover to offer a level of efficiency not yet existing in the segment. Being fuel efficient doesn’t mean that the C-HR sacrifices performance and driving fun.

After all, the new Toyota C-HR will come featured with an engine range developed to provide the kind of driving pleasure that customers are seeking. The C-HR comes equipped with the latest-generation hybrid powertrain that is not only more efficient and lighter, but also delivers a sort of performance better than its predecessor with an output of 122 DIN hp.

Despite this power, C-HR emits less than 90 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometers – the best within the crossover segment. Thanks to a series of revisions made to the engine, its thermal efficiency has improved to around 40 percent.

Toyota also made other hybrid system parts lighter and smaller and repositioned them for optimum packaging – thereby helping to further lower the C-HR’s center of gravity. Customers may also have the C-HR crossovers be powered by the new 1.2 liter turbo engine that was first seen in the Auris.

This engine develops up to 115 DIN hp (85 kW) and is paired to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a Continuously Variable automatic Transmission (CVT).

The CVT -- which is developed to deliver a better response and a more direct feeling for European customers familiar with both manual and automatic transmissions – could be availed in either front-wheel or 4-wheel drive versions. Toyota is planning to build a 2-liter CVT-only model for selected markets.

New Toyota C-HR sits on a chassis whose design and development were closely overseen by Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba. In fact, at the very start of project, Koba drove thousands of kilometers in Europe to better understand the requirements of the road network and the way European drive take on the wheels.

Serving as the ideal starting point for developing and designing all elements of the chassis is the new TNGA-based platform, basically because of its low center of gravity and multi-link rear suspension. To ensure that his "Response, Linearity and Consistency" vision becomes a reality, Koba involved himself in each key assessment and decision.

For instance, designers made the steering of the C-R to be perfectly linear -- along with the optimum limitation of rolling motion – for a more precise driving attribute. Toyota also designed the chassis to limit body movement so that the new C-HR remains settled and accurate during a trip, making it more enjoyable and reliable to drive.

Press Release

TOYOTA C-HR - Toyota’s Fresh New Take on the Crossover

The Toyota C-HR’s unique character demonstrates the flexibility that the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) gives to vehicle developers in the three key areas of design, powertrain and dynamics, enabling them to deliver a new and fresh take on the increasingly commoditized crossover segment.

As a result, the Toyota C-HR remains remarkably true to the general features of the concept-cars that attracted so much public attention in Paris in 2014 and in Frankfurt in 2015. Its coupe-like lines are a testimony to the resolve of its designers to create a style that stands out in the Toyota range, and to establish a new direction amongst mid-sized crossovers.

The Toyota C-HR also brings innovation to its segment through the introduction of a hybrid powertrain. Using Toyota’s very latest 1.8 hybrid system, the C-HR’s driving experience is perfectly aligned with modern urban life, and matched to a level of efficiency previously unseen in the crossover segment.

Finally, guided by Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba’s vision “Response, Linearity and Consistency” the C-HR’s driving dynamics have been deliberately benchmarked on the precision and control experienced at the wheel of a modern C-segment hatchback, thanks to the meticulous refinement of Toyota’s most recent platform and its low centre of gravity. The aim was to allow the C-HR to carry its speed through corners, with excellent body control and steering fluidity, making it enjoyable not only when flowing through busy city traffic but also on the open road independent of the surface condition, in a way that exceeds the current standards for a crossover.

Stand Out With Passion

Aware of the already crowded crossover market, the development team decided from the start on a very targeted approach, centred on a clear and singular customer image.

He is a driver who is predominantly driven by emotional considerations. He wants to stand out, and wants to be the first to try new experiences and products. He chooses style over outright practicality, and he sees his car as an extension of his personality. He looks for quality in anything that he buys, and he enjoys a spirited drive. And, since he lives in the city, his car needs to be able to keep up with him as he weaves in and out of rush hour traffic.

A Coupe-like Design

In response to the tastes and requirements of this target customer, the Toyota C-HR introduces a distinctive styling that brings newfound dynamism and sensuality to the crossover market. The production car remains remarkably true to the concept car which was first shown at the Paris Motorshow in 2014, and which registered extremely well with the target customer.

Featuring a body with a diamond architectural theme with wheel arches projecting prominently at all four corners to emphasise the new crossover’s strength and rigidity, the C-HR’s modulated structure combines the powerful lower body and raised ground clearance with the slim and sleek cabin profile of a coupe.

Viewed from any angle, the C-HR’s combination of facetted gemstone-like shapes with fluid surfaces and elegantly integrated detailing create a delicate balance of precision and sensuality.
The front represents a further development of Toyota’s Under Priority and Keen Look design identity. The slender upper grille flows from Toyota mark into the sleek, aggressive wing extremities of the headlamp clusters and wraps fully around the front corners of the vehicle.

The lamp clusters incorporate full LED lighting with light guides and sequential turn signals, giving the C-HR its own unique visual signature.

Below, the enhanced three-dimensionality of the bumper that’s integrated with the wheel flairs and the trapezoidal lower grille architecture reinforce the C-HR’s wide, firmly planted stance.
The movement of the blacked out rocker panel towards the front and rear wheel, along with the shoulder axis that runs through to the front and rear emphasize the fast-looking, “lift-up” feel of the thin body. The C-HR’s coupe-like styling is further enhanced by disguised rear door handles integrated within the C pillar, and the powerful projection of the sweeping roofline into a large, skeletal frame rear spoiler.

To the rear, the strongly tapered cabin integrates the back door while securing luggage space. This contrasts with the pronounced flaring of the wheel arches to give the new crossover a wide and extremely powerful stance. Standing proud of the tapering body work, prominent rear light clusters may also be equipped with LED lamp technology to give the rear view of the C-HR an equally expressive visual signature.

This car is the result of a global cooperation between our design centers on 3 continents and was managed by PCD (Project Chief Designer) Kazuhiko Isawa at headquarters. The original exterior design was created by Calty, our design studio in California.

Responsive and Frugal Powertrains

The Toyota C-HR will be equipped with an engine-range that is designed to deliver exactly the fluent driving behaviour that its customers are looking for. This finds its full expression at the wheel of the hybrid version, the intrinsic characteristics of which guarantee a smooth, jolt-free ride. Fitted with the latest-generation hybrid power plant, the C-HR has CO2 emissions of less than 90 g/km, unrivalled within its segment.

Delivering 122 DIN hp, this new hybrid powertrain is more efficient and lighter, and offers sharper performance than the previous system. Detailed design changes to the engine have resulted in a thermal efficiency of 40% – a world-beating performance for a petrol unit. Other hybrid system components have been made lighter and smaller, and have been repositioned for optimum packaging, further contributing to the car’s lower centre of gravity.

Alternatively, the Toyota C-HR is available with the new 115 DIN hp/85 kW 1.2 litre turbo engine, which debuted in the Auris. It comes with the choice of a 6-speed manual gearbox or a Continuously Variable automatic Transmission system, which is developed to meet expectations in response & direct feel for European people familiar with manual and automatic gearboxes. The CVT is available in front-wheel or 4-wheel drive versions.

And finally, a 2-litre CVT-only model will be available for certain markets.

Dynamics that Belie a Crossover

The design and development of the Toyota C-HR chassis has received the full attention of the Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba, himself a keen driver. From the very outset of the project, he travelled thousands of kilometres along European roads in order to understand not only the requirements of the road network, but also the way that Europeans drive.

“I have noticed, for example, that Europeans have a much more fluid driving style, based on a more acute observation of traffic” observes Hiroyuki Koba. “They avoid obstacles simply by adapting their trajectory and speed and will focus to carry on speed aiming for efficient progress, while elsewhere in the world the preferred approach is very often to stop. This has prompted us to work with our European team on driving precision in all aspects of the vehicle. We wanted to achieve performance on a par with a good C-segment hatchback.”

With its low centre of gravity and multi-link rear suspension, the new TNGA-based platform has formed an ideal starting point from which to ensure that all of the features of the chassis could be designed to obtain an immediate and natural response to the driver’s actions. Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba has been engaged in each key dynamic assessment and decision, assuring that his vision “Response, Linearity and Consistency” fully came to life.

In particular, steering has been designed to be perfectly linear which, together with the optimum limitation of rolling motion, gives the Toyota C-HR remarkable driving precision for a crossover. Limiting body movement, which generally affects tall cars in particular, also has a direct influence on comfort. Even on European often battered roads, the car remains remarkably composed and accurate, adding to the confidence and joy of driving.

Advanced Safety Equipment as Standard

In line with Toyota’s strategy to democratise advanced safety equipment, the C-HR will be equipped with technology usually reserved for higher segments. The Toyota Safety Sense system that will be offered as standard on C-HR includes a Pre-Collision system, Lane Departure Alert, Road Sign Assist and Automatic Highbeam, as well as Pedestrian Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control.


The Toyota C-HR will be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey (TMMT) in Sakarya, Turkey. This marks the first time a hybrid-powered vehicle has been produced in the country, and falls within the scope of Toyota Motor Europe’s Greater Europe manufacturing and sales operations.

This will be TME’s third hybrid vehicle production plant in Europe, together with Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (Yaris Hybrid) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK in Burnaston, Derbyshire (Auris Hybrid and Auris Hybrid Touring Sport). The hybrid engine is to be produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK’s engine plant in Deeside, Wales.

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