Toyota C-HR Concept unveiled
Providing a look at what may be a compact crossover addition to the next generation Prius family, the Toyota C-HR Concept made its Paris debut. Spun from the automaker's New Global Architecture and showcasing visual cues that "hint at a future design direction for Toyota vehicles," the C-HR Concept also is fitted with Toyota's next-gen hybrid powertrain that will deliver "significantly improved fuel efficiency."
Styled primarily for European consumers under Toyota's Global Vision philosophy, this C-segment crossover was a cooperative effort that involved teams in Europe as well as Japan. With its corners literally cut by design, the C-HR's diamond-themed lower bodywork is meant to resemble the faceted surfaces of a gemstone. Bold front and rear fascia sculpting and aero-inspired lighting elements create a pronounced 3D look that's reinforced by the C-HR's prominent fender contours and unique wheel design. Crowning the low-profile shape of this 3-door hatch is a floating roof that incorporates a series of patterned openings that create a unique lighting effect inside the C-HR's cabin.
While Toyota offered no specific no details on the C-HR's gas/electric setup, it's virtually certain to be the same Hybrid Synergy Drive system touched on by TMC's Managing Director Satoshi Ogiso at last year's Toyota Hybrid World Tour 2013. Set for use in the next-gen Prius, it's lighter, smaller and less expensive than the current HSD package. Ogiso confirmed that it will incorporate several advanced battery technologies and pair trimmer but more power-dense electric motors with a new gasoline engine that promises to have the world's best thermal efficiency rating, matchups that should put its combined EPA mark well north of 55 mpg.
While Toyota continues to aggressively move ahead with launch plans for its Fuel Cell Vehicle that's due to go on sale here next year, the world's leading producer of hybrid vehicles remains fully committed to that technology in the near to mid-term. Recently, it announced that global sales of its Toyota and Lexus Hybrid models had passed the 7 million mark.
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