The Toyota CH-R Concept Four-Door Crossover Debuts, Again

The Concept Toyota CH-R Debuts for the second time – this time at Frankfurt Motor Show 2015

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Toyota, the manufacturer that has built its reputation on cars like the Corolla and Camry, isn’t prone to taking risks. So while the CH-R concept it revealed at the Frankfurt auto show may seem like a risky proposition for a car the company says it might produce as soon as next year, it’s safe to say the final version won’t look quite this daring.

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CH-R Concept Debut Number Two

This four-door compact crossover is actually the second to wear the CH-R name; the first was shown in Paris in 2014, with even wackier styling, and missing the rear doors you can barely make out here. Toyota says that evolution is part of its plan to turn the CH-R into a mass-market model to compete with the likes of the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3, without resorting to the kind of “homogeneous” styling it says small crossovers are known for. (Toyota should perhaps not be throwing stones at that particular glass house.)

CH-R Styling

Given the CH-R’s evolution so far, we expect the design to be rather more mainstream by next spring: Toyota says it hopes to show a production version of the CH-R (we’re betting the name will stick) at the 2016 Geneva auto show. Even still, Toyota seems poised, for a change, to push some stylistic boundaries, something it rarely does even with more niche-market models.

toyota ch-r concept

Future Plans for Toyota’s Concept Crossover

Toyota offers no details about what’s under those outré outsides, save to say that the chassis is based on the same ‘Toyota New Global Architecture’ (TNGA) that underpins the 2016 Prius hybrid. It’s a safe guess that a production CH-R might use the Corolla’s 1.8-litre engine, and we’d bet a hybrid variant is a strong possibility, but that’s as far as we’re willing to speculate. Let the record show, however, that we’re actually looking forward to seeing where Toyota goes next with this particular design experiment.


Chris has been writing professionally about cars since 2004, in print and online. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and two feline tyrants. In rare quiet moments, he can be found travelling or playing one of his way-too-many guitars. Chris is also a journalist member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).