2017 SEMA show: Toyota unhinges C-HR

2017 SEMA show Toyota unhinges C-HR

IF YOU are a fan of Toyota’s popular C-HR compact crossover, but wished it had a little more punch then you’re in for a treat. The Japanese car maker has skipped tuning stages one through 10 and created a monstrous SEMA show car that can embarrass pedigree supercars on their race track home turf.

The newest addition to Toyota’s line-up is ordinarily powered by a modest 1.2-litre 85kW turbo petrol that is enough for hauling four people or perhaps a boot of groceries, but the R-Tuner show car that was unveiled in Las Vegas this week has swallowed the 2.4-litre donk from the Camry plus a turbo for more than 447kW.

Engine internals were upgraded with titanium and Inconel valve-train components and forged pistons and conrods to handle the elevated temperatures, while the single Garret turbo boosts induction with 23psi.


Not a fan of the Toyota C-HR’s CVT? The R-Tuned has taken care of that too, replacing the automatic transmission with a five-speed manual and, while the car remains front drive, an OS Giken LSD and 275/35R18 Toyo Proxes help get the massive amount of power to the track.

But the R-Tuned C-HR is not a drag racer and has been designed to rule the racetrack with triple-adjustable Motion Control Suspension, motorsport dampers and some serious aero attention.


A bespoke adjustable front splitter, side air dams and adjustable rear spoiler lifted directly from Fast and the Furious contributes up to 137kg of downforce at speeds of about 160km/h.

The result? A full-noise attack of the Willow Springs track in California returned a lap time of 1:25.22, which has only been improved on by a handful of serious supercars including the Porsche 911 GT3, Nissan GT-R Nismo and McLaren 650S Spyder, says Toyota.


Braking is courtesy of a set of Brembo four-pot billet calipers that grab 14-inch discs, while weight-saving modifications improve braking performance as well as cornering and acceleration.

On the inside, most of the standard interior has been binned to shed kilos, while a carbon fibre bonnet cuts even more weight. Toyota has not revealed how the R-Tuner C-HR tips the scales after its crash diet but says it weighs ‘hundreds of pounds’ less than the showroom version.


The extensive modifications were carried out by Dan Gardner (no, not this writer) ex-Toyota factory racing driver and owner of race car preparation specialist DG-Spec.

“The C-HR R-Tuned has been to the track every month since we started the project late last year,” said Gardner. “It’s probably been subjected to more real-world tests than just about any car built for SEMA. It’s not just a show concept but a track-worthy performance vehicle, and I can’t wait to see what people at SEMA and beyond think”.

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.