The Toyota CH-R crossover concept that made a debut at the ongoing Paris Motor Show will make the transition into production in 2016. In production guise, the crossover concept is expected to transform into a compact SUV. The loud design elements will make way for softer, more conservative lines on the production version. However, the CH-R concept’s production version is likely to be quite a sharp looker by Toyota’s ultra conservative design standards.
While early test mules of the CH-R concept have been spotted using the Toyota Auris (Corolla) hatchback’s skin, newer test mules will begin using the production body of the CH-R given the 2016 launch timeline that the Japanese automaker is aiming at.The Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA) rather than the Corolla’s platform is likely to underpin the CH-R concept. In terms of engine options, a new hybrid powertrain borrowed from the next generation Prius has been confirmed for the CH-R.
The CH-R compact SUV will be Toyota’s answer to the likes of the Nissan Juke and the Renault Duster, and will sit beneath the RAV-4 in terms of price and positioning. The CH-R could be a global model meant for both developing as well as emerging markets. Apart from building the CH-R in Europe, Toyota has also made positive noises about Thailand being the emerging market hub for its new compact SUV.
Given the fact that India and Thailand have similar buying demographics, it could well be that the production version of the CH-R concept will mark Toyota’s foray into the booming compact SUV segment here. Toyota, for long, enjoyed a premium image in India, which has since been undone with budget car launches such as the Etios sedan and the Liva hatchback. The CH-R compact SUV, along with the Vios C-Segment sedan, will afford Toyota another chance to reconnect with the premium end of the market here.