South Africa 14.9.2017 08:37 am

Toyota plans higher-performance hybrids

The significant announcement accompanied the world premiere of a striking hybrid concept car based on the C-HR SUV at the Frankfurt motor show.

Toyota Motor Corporation announced plans to develop higher-performance versions of its world-leading hybrid technology for core models.

The significant announcement accompanied the world premiere of a striking hybrid concept car based on the C-HR SUV at the Frankfurt motor show in Germany.

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Created by Toyota’s European design studio ED2, the C-HR Hy-Power Concept explores a more performance-focused hybrid powertrain as well as new ideas in colour, texture and trim.

The concept has been designed around the use of a new hybrid powertrain that offers more power and performance than the 90kW combined system output featured in Prius and European versions of the C-HR. Locally the C-HR is fitted with a 1.2 litre turbo petrol engine.

Toyota said its intention with the C-HR Hy-Power Concept was to develop the styling of the compact SUV to connect even more strongly with customers who have highly individual tastes and lifestyles, emphasising its stylishness and fun-to-drive character.

The new concept displays an even more impactful and emotional styling treatment that signifies the presence of a more powerful hybrid powertrain, heralding an expansion of Toyota’s hybrid program.

Toyota said more details regarding the significant and strategic future development of higher performance hybrid options would be revealed early next year.

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The Toyota C-HR, which was launched locally in February, has enjoyed strong global sales success with its striking styling and a rewarding driving character, founded on its Toyota New Global Architecture-based (TNGA) platform.

In developing the Toyota C-HR Hy-Power Concept, the design team wanted to achieve impact while deliberately avoiding heavy customisation or “bolted-on” elements. 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 showroom car.

Exploring the diamond theme that underpins the Toyota C-HR’s styling, the team at ED2 found inspiration in the natural forces that turn carbon into diamonds. 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 use of an anodised Burning Orange finish on the front pillars, the door mirror housings, an accent bar within the headlamps and as a highlight within the black diamond mesh pattern of the lower grille.

A unique “diamond-cut” film over the entire roof exhibits a faceted, crystalline pattern that flows from 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 that combines black upholstery and trim with Burning Orange details.

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.

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The design is replicated on the inner door panels, which also feature orange armrests. 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 multimedia touchscreen.

ED2 chief designer Lance Scott said the design team did not want to make significant changes to the dramatic and highly distinctive design of the production car.

“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,” Mr Scott said. “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,” he added.

Toyota Motor Corporation has sold more than 10 million hybrids globally, with hybrid technology forming a cornerstone of Toyota’s long-term outlook and environmental strategy.

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