Next-generation Toyota C-HR will receive hybrid and plug-in hybrid power when it launches this year
Toyota previewed the look of its second-generation C-HR with a dramatic concept late last year, and these latest spy shots suggest that the edgy design is going to be retained by the production model.
Caught on roads close to Toyota’s European R&D base, this prototype shows how some of the key cues from the concept – called C-HR Prologue – will be retained. The camouflage does a reasonable job of disguising the details, but the overall profile reveals that the chunky ‘blade’ C-pillars are going to make it to showroom vehicles, along with the roof spoiler.
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The majority of the headlight units are hidden, but there’s enough visible through the swirls to suggest that the ‘hammerhead’ motif of the concept will feature. One significant change does appear to have been made to the bootlid, though, with the Prologue’s complex, stretched tail-lights being dropped. Instead there are more conventional units at the edge of an integrated lip spoiler beyond the hatchback glass. Toyota design sources told us at the concept’s preview that this would probably be the case, on grounds of cost.
They also suggested that the Prologue’s roofline was “99 per cent” of the production version’s, and the prototype certainly appears to have an aggressive profile. It’s a sign that Toyota is going to stick to the original C-HR’s priority of dramatic design, instead of improving the rear cabin space. The sides of the C-pillars have been pulled back slightly, though, in a bid to allow a little more light through to the back seats.
The prototype’s flanks show evidence of sharp creases, a key indicator that this car, which ran silently past our spy snapper, is a C-HR instead of the production version of the all-electric bZ Crossover concept that was also released last year.
Although Toyota also has the Yaris Cross small SUV in its stable, the Japanese giant will be hoping the new C-HR crossover will continue as its second best-selling car in the UK – just behind the Corolla. Toyota has already confirmed that the Mk2 C-HR will arrive in 2023, and that it will be offered as a plug-in hybrid for the first time, alongside a version featuring the company’s latest hybrid set-up.
The new car’s wheelbase is believed to be extremely close to that of the existing C-HR – and it probably should be, given that the production model will use the same TNGA platform. This architecture means it’s conceivable that the C-HR could use the same 2.0-litre PHEV system as the recently revealed Prius Mk5.
That car, which Toyota has elected not to sell in the UK, has 191bhp and can manage up to 60 miles on electricity alone. Even if the C-HR has a slightly smaller battery, it should be comfortably within the threshold for low company car tax.
It might prove more of a technical challenge for engineers to squeeze in that car’s 221bhp plug-in set-up, though, since it has a chunkier battery that would be a tighter fit under the back seats of the more compact vehicle. There won’t be a pure-electric version of the C-HR because Toyota is lining up a new bZ model that will sit above the second-generation C-HR in the line-up.
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