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Toyota has revealed its new C-HR Hy-Power Concept and billed it as a “significant and strategic future development of high-performance hybrid options” that will be officially revealed early in 2018.
The company says the C-HR Hy-Power Concept uses a hybrid system “that offers more power and performance” than the 90kW power output of the petrol-electric drivetrain featured in the European C-HR and Prius.
Current Australian C-HRs use an 85kW 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, with no hybrid powertrain on offer.
Toyota acknowledges that the Hy-Power's brighter styling “signifies the presence of a more powerful hybrid powertrain, heralding an expansion of Toyota’s hybrid program”.
Therefore, faster Toyota hybrid production models are expected, with Toyota Motor Europe (TME) president and CEO Dr. Johan Van Zyl announcing at the Frankfurt motor show that “in future it is our ambition to provide our core models with a choice of two hybrid powertrains”.
“We listen carefully to our customers’ opinions,” he said. “It is not just about hearing what they like about our hybrid technology. We also want to learn from them how we can make our hybrids even more attractive to more people.
“It is exactly that kind of feedback that has made us realise there is an opportunity to introduce a higher performance hybrid powertrain.
“The prospect of a more powerful hybrid system is part of the inspiration for the new Toyota C-HR Hy-Power design study. It symbolises the dynamic and fun-to-drive qualities that have helped make the Toyota C-HR such an instant success.”
With two hybrid powertrain offerings, Toyota will be able to skew each drivetrain towards different characteristics, according to Dr Van Zyl.
“One will provide the traditional benefits of efficiency and fuel economy, like in our current offer,” he said. “The second will build on this and add more power and a more dynamic driving character. We will reveal more details about these plans early next year.”
The Hy-Power Concept however, merely adds further design flourishes to the standard production model and uses the same bodywork as the production C-HR.
According to Toyota, its European design studio – ED2 – wanted explore new textures and finishes in order to emphasise the model’s fun-to-drive nature while avoiding heavy customisation of its small SUV.
A Dark Carbon matte-silver exterior is featured on the C-HR Hy-Power Concept with gloss-black elements on the front lip spoiler, wheelarch flares, 20-inch alloy wheel inserts, side skirts and rear roof-mounted spoiler.
The roof is covered in a contrast ‘diamond-cut’ film that matches the Burning Orange finish of the front pillars and mirror caps, and the quilted black leather with orange stitching inside.
“What we wanted to do was almost to purify or concentrate the unique value of the Toyota C-HR and see how we could give it further emphasis by using a new and unique colour and interior trim execution,” ED2 chief designer Lance Scott said in a statement.
“The challenge was not to stray away from the qualities that define the Toyota C-HR, but to add to them in a fresh and original way.”