With its coupe-like lines, there’s no missing the fact that the visual links between concept and production versions of the mid-sized Toyota C-HR crossover go deeper than the shared name and badges…
In this article, we join Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba (pictured above) to explore the differences between production and concept versions of the C-HR in more detail.
“The launch of the new Toyota C-HR is a breakthrough moment for Toyota,” says Koba. “The whole philosophy behind its creation is unique.”
“Clearly, the key design themes of C-HR concept, and C-HR production car are the same,” says Koba. “We worked hard to maintain the overall shape and form – and of course, we kept the name!”
“If you were to measure both, you might find the concept is a little lower and wider than the production car, but this is all…”
“We worked hard to keep the flowing feature lines shown in the doors, and the roof.”
“All of the main features of the design of the concept car made it onto the front of this car,” says Hiroyuki Koba. “Right down to the way the front grille is shaped, and the way the front grille is presented.”
It’s a similar story at the rear, where the boomerang-shaped lights and tapering tailgate add extra visual drama.
“The Toyota C-HR has been designed to be engaging to drive – and like the original concept car, make a powerful visual statement.”
The jewel-like front headlamps and curving tail lights were key details of the concept car – and are faithfully recreated for the production car.
“The light design is very strong” says Koba. “We really wanted the front of the car to look bold and striking.”
“Of course, regulations [that governs the height and position of the front headlamps] mean that there are some small differences in the position of the lights, but it is very small.”
“I really am very pleased with the way they wrap around the front of the car.”
“During development, we actually made the windscreen a little larger,” says Koba. “The C-HR is designed to be the perfect car for the city, so it was important to have excellent visibility.”
“Of course, we also had to upgrade the rear view mirrors for the same reason, but it’s important to see that the rear screen has hardly changed at all. It’s virtually identical in size and placement. This is one of the details that helps give us our sporty, coupé look.”
The door handles…
“Look at the handle on the rear door,” insists Koba. “This door handle is unique in all of Toyota – and I am very pleased with it.”
“Our concept car showed clean and smooth surfaces for all of the doors. Of course, our drivers and passengers need to be able to get in and out easily, but this detail [of mounting the rear handle behind the line of the rear window] really helped us keep the sharp waist line of the car, and the coupe-like roof.”
The driving experience…
“The Toyota C-HR concept car was presented as a hybrid, though at launch we will offer both petrol and petrol hybrid versions,” says Hiroyuki Koba.
“Hybrid is very important – as the C-HR is designed to be a good car for the city.”
“But more than this, the car will offer a very good driving performance.”