The Toyota C-HR has been exceptionally well received since its launch at the end of 2016, drawing lots of buyers with its emotive styling that makes it stand out in the crossover market. The versatile TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform has enabled the C-HR to have different powertrains as well as a brisk driving character.
For the Frankfurt Motor Show this week, Toyota’s designers at ED2, the company’s European design studio in France, used the original styling for inspiration to create a concept model. This model proposes a higher-powered hybrid version (which will be announced next year), with an even more impactful and emotional styling treatment.
The result is the C-HR Hy-Power Concept that explores the ‘diamond’ architectural theme of the production model, displaying a high-quality execution and attention to detail throughout. The design also reflects the presence of a more powerful hybrid powertrain, heralding a future expansion of Toyota’s hybrid programme which began in the 1990s.
From the start of the project, the design team knew that they did not want to use heavy customisation or ‘bolted-on’ elements to achieve the impact they were looking for. Instead, their skills were applied to amplifying the inherent qualities of the production car’s design through innovative use of colours, finishes and detailing. In fact, the concept uses exactly the same sheet metal as the model that is in Toyota showrooms around the world.
Exploring the diamond theme that underpins the C-HR’s styling more deeply, the team at ED2 found inspiration in the natural forces that turn carbon into diamonds and the way in which solid rock can conceal a fiery, molten core. This thinking led to the use of a new Dark Carbon silver paint with a matt finish to accentuate the interplay between the vehicle’s sharp lines and deeply sculpted surfaces.
The effect is heightened by the use of gloss black elements, including the lower front lip spoiler, the area above the Toyota emblem on the front of the car and the wheel arch trims. Dark chrome sustains this effect, witnessed in the headlamp ornamentation, window frames and in the 20-inch alloy wheels.
A dramatic contrast is struck by dazzling use of an anodised Burning Orange finish on the front pillars, the door mirror housings and an accent bar within the headlamp units. The colour is also used as a highlight within the black diamond mesh pattern of the lower grille.
The use of colour, texture and form combine to even greater effect on the concept car’s roof. A unique, ‘diamond-cut’ film covers the entire surface in a faceted, crystalline pattern that flows from darkest black at the rear to brilliant anodised orange at the front, mixing together contrasting matt and gloss planes.
The interior carries forward the exterior themes to sustain the power of the concept’s design with a tone-on-tone approach the combines black upholstery and trim with Burning Orange details. The highly supportive seats are finished in black leather with orange headrests and bolsters. Burning Orange yarn has been used to create a unique, asymmetrical quilting pattern of multiple diamond shapes across the seatbacks and cushions.
The design is replicated on the inner door panels, which also feature orange arm rests. A further flourish is provided by the orange finish for the highlight trim that extends the full width of the instrument panel and frames the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia touchscreen.