Crossover gets cross: C-HR Hy-power concept shows what's up Toyota's sleeve | CAR Magazine

Crossover gets cross: C-HR Hy-power concept shows what's up Toyota's sleeve

Published: 12 September 2017 Updated: 12 September 2017

► Previews high-performance C-HR
► Colourful makeover but no extra metal
► Exact power upgrade still TBC

The Toyota C-HR is the coolest-looking mainstream car the Japanese manufacturer has made in ages, and also one of the most fun-to-drive hybrids currently on the market.

It’s the perfect platform, then, to showcase Toyota’s forthcoming high-performance hybrid plans. Enter, the Toyota C-HR Hy-Power Concept.

Am I looking at a McLaren P1 hatchback?

Sort of, but we can’t tell you how close this concept’s performance is to Woking’s hybrid hypercar because there aren’t any official figures for it.

Toyota's C-HR Hy-Power concept could be very fast indeed. Or not. They haven't told us yet

Toyota says the powertrain in this C-HR hybrid, unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motorshow, will offer more power than the 120bhp system featured in the standard car, but how much is anyone’s guess.

While that’s perhaps a bit vague, there’s nothing ambiguous about Toyota’s plans to offer higher performance hybrid versions of all its core models, with details on the first to follow in 2018.

What can you tell us?

Lots about the styling, which is very bold indeed. Thank ED2, Toyota’s France-based European design studio for that. 

The aim of the concept is to boost the desirability of the standard C-HR by emphasising its styling and driving character.

So pop-riveted box-arches aplenty then?

Nope – from the outset ED2 was keen to avoid bolted-on elements, choosing instead to amplify the car’s lines with colours, finishes and detailing.

It might not look like it in the pictures, but this concept features exactly the same sheet metal as the showroom car, which is handy if it ever goes into production. 

Rear view of the Toyota C-HR Hy-Power concept shows wilder bodywork

The main bodywork colour is dark carbon silver with a matt finish, with a scattering of gloss black bits including the lower front spoiler, the area around Toyota badge, and the wheel arch trims.

Lifting the dark bodywork are dark chrome elements in the headlamps, around the windows and in the 20-inch alloy wheels.

Then there is an anodised orange finish on the front pillars, the door mirror housings and within the headlamps, plus around the mesh pattern of the lower grille.

Diamond pattern on the roof of the Toyota C-HR Hy-Power concept

Finally, and you’ll only see this if you can see the car from above, there’s a special diamond-patterned film covering the roof. It flows from black at the back of the car to orange at the front.

Any changes inside?

The interior brings the exterior’s colour scheme inside, with black upholstery and the same eye-catching orange detail.

The black leather seats are picked out with orange headrests and bolsters, plus there’s an asymmetrical quilting pattern stitched with orange yarn.

Toyota C-HR Hy-Power concept cabin design

This is repeated on the inner door panels, with orange arm rests and highlight trim running the full width of the instrument panel.

When can I buy one?

Hard to say, but a faster C-HR should be in the pipeline. Toyota’s currently in the midst of a performance renaissance, what with the GT86 and forthcoming Yaris GRMN (that we’ve already driven in prototype form) and FT-1 project; plus it has already raced the C-HR at the Nurburgring. So that could be a very exciting prospect indeed.

Read more about the Frankfurt motor show 2017 in our A-Z guide

By Adam Binnie

Bauer Automotive's commercial content editor; likes bikes and burgers, often over-tyred