TOYOTA will finally have a response to the popular Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V when the company’s first modern compact SUV arrives in Australia, in the fourth quarter of next year.
Priced and sized below the venerable RAV4, the as-yet unnamed production version of the C-HR concept car will be revealed in finished form on March 3 next year at the Geneva motor show, before being rolled out globally soon after that.
As shown at Frankfurt this week, the C-HR concept is a development of a similarly sized vehicle that broke cover at last year’s Paris motor show, but gains (among other things) two extra doors and less outlandish proportions.
Nevertheless, the German concept remains deeply rooted in show-car razzle dazzle, with oversized wheels, exaggerated fenders, and an impractically rakish roofline. Don’t expect such a brazenly coupe-like silhouette in the final production version.
While drivetrain information is scant, it is rumoured that the CX-3 rival will usher in a range of fresh four-cylinder petrol options for the T-brand, including direct-injection turbo units as small as 1.2-litres for some markets.
Most will be driving either the front or all four wheels via a six-speed manual or Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
As the second vehicle to employ the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) that underpins the fourth-generation Prius (which also made its debut at the Frankfurt show), the productionised C-HR is on track to offer a series-parallel hybrid system on some models. This means that there may be no turbo-diesel alternative.
Toyota is making much of the TNGA’s low centre of gravity and high body rigidity, stating that it will “minimise body movement and vehicle roll during cornering… (allowing for) suspension settings that deliver ride comfort without detriment to driving dynamics”.
The C-HR’s exterior is the work of Toyota's ED2 (European Design Development Centre) in France, while the interior was created in Japan.
In related news, Toyota also showcased a RAV4 Hybrid at Frankfurt, though there is no word as to if or when Australians will be able to buy one.