Futuristic meets funky as Toyota premieres all-new C-HR
Internal combustion only engines depart, meaning the sole availability of hybrid powertrains, including a new plug-in hybrid.
Production C-HR has been altered little from the C-HR Prologue concept shown last year. Image: Toyota
Teased only one time earlier this time, Toyota has officially taken the wraps off of the all-new C-HR that will go on-sale towards the end of this year.
Introduced seven years ago not only Toyota’s first coupe-styled SUV, but at the time, also one of its most dramatic looking, the second generation Coupe-High Rider, known incidentally as the Izoa in China, signals a radical departure from its predecessor both externally and underneath the bonnet.
Still a standout
Toned down marginally from the C-HR Prologue concept shown last year, the Aygo X inspired C-HR adopts what Toyota calls a “super-coupe profile” also resplendent on the Prius in the design of the C-shaped LED headlights that cuts into the bonnet, the sealed upper grille, a U-shaped lower bumper with a prominent air intake and wheel sizes up to 19-inches.
Eschewing the concept’s side-mounted cameras for traditional mirrors, the C-HR also loses the concealed rear door handles, but receives flush doors pulls all around as a result of Toyota wanting improve accessibility.
Retained from the Prologue though is the kinked C-pillar line, the optional bi-tone exterior colour and at the rear, the spoiler integrated into the roof.
Compared to the front, the rear has been subtly revised with the departure of the lower faux diffuser in favour of a sealed insert, plus a redesigned bumper.
Kept are the thin LED lights connected in the middle by an illuminated “Toyota C-HR” badge rather than the corporate Toyota logo that sits underneath.
Still based on the TNGA-C platform that underpins the Corolla and locally made Corolla Cross, the C-HR, despite appearing bigger and not as compact as its predecessor, has had it overall length reduced from 4 385 mm to 4 360 mm and its width upsized by 35 mm to 1 830 mm.
Overall height is unchanged at 1 564 mm, with the same applying to the 2 640 mm wheelbase. Neither the claimed boot space nor ground clearance was mentioned.
As with the previous model, a GR Sport has again been availed to the C-HR, identified by not its GR badges, but also a mesh pattern grille, 20-inch GR alloy wheels and a bi-tone colour consisting of a black roof and Precious Silver body hue.
New world inside
Similar to its exterior, the C-HR’s interior tells a different picture from the original, with a look derived from the RAV4 and unsurprisingly, the Corolla.
Taking pride of the place, the infotainment system measures eight-inches or 12.3-inch and is flanked by a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster while sitting atop a squared-off central hang-down containing physical buttons for the climate control.
Along with a new centre console and gear lever, the C-HR gains a new steering wheel, a wraparound mood light strip on the doors for the 64 colours, and on the specification front, a wireless smartphone charger, Head-Up Display, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an infra-red panoramic roof that negates the need for a blind while also saving five kilograms, plus materials and fabrics made largely out of recycled plastic bottles.
Reserved for the GR Sport are liquid black accents, GR branded sport seats with red stitching, a GR steering wheel also with red stitch work, red accents on the gear lever and an uprated JBL sound system.
Hybrid and hybrid only
Its platform revised with retuned brakes, steering and suspension, the biggest alteration resides up front where all petrol engines fall away completely, along with the six-speed manual gearbox.
The result of buyer preference in Europe, Japan and Australia, the C-HR, therefore, becomes a hybrid only model, albeit with two engines carried over from the previous generation; the 1.8 that develops 103 kW and the 2.0-litre outputting 145 kW.
While both will do 180 km/h and are linked to a CVT, the latter offers the option of all-wheel-drive, whereas the former is restricted to front-wheel-drive.
Joining the Prius, the biggest addition is a new plug-in hybrid that adds a secondary electric motor to the 2.0-litre for a total system output of 162 kW, 0-100 km/h in 7.4 seconds a claimed all-electric range of 66 km.
Now available for ordering in Europe with delivers commencing soon, the C-HR has not been confirmed for South Africa just yet, but is anticipated to become a reality in 2024 should approval be given.