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Auto Show:  2014 Paris Auto Show

Toyota C-HR Concept: Paris Auto Show

author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2014

What Is It?

The Toyota C-HR Concept is a sporty, compact crossover concept with highly unique styling. Shown at Paris in an unusual shade of purple, the C-HR Concept looks like nothing we've ever seen from Toyota -- for better or for worse.

On the outside, the C-HR Concept looks a lot like a sporty coupe -- except for the fact that it boasts a raised ground clearance, huge wheels and tires, and enormous fender flares that mimic an off-road vehicle's. It also boasts a highly unique rear end with some of the most unusual taillights that we've ever seen. In short, the C-HR draws a lot of attention.

As for the interior, Toyota hasn't revealed it yet -- and even a 2-minute teaser video released by the automaker doesn't show off the C-HR's cabin.

As for the powertrain, Toyota also hasn't announced any details, though the automaker says that it'll be a "full hybrid" designed to provide "significantly improved fuel efficiency." Toyota also said that the C-HR Concept is about 171 inches long, which places it a little shorter than the brand's popular RAV4 compact crossover.

Will They Ever Sell It?

Probably not -- though Toyota says that the C-HR Concept previews "a type of crossover vehicle Toyota would like to bring to market." Given that Toyota's SUV lineup has been decidedly mainstream since the departure of the brand's FJ Cruiser, we wouldn't expect to see the automaker eventually build something unique.

Why It's Important

Although the Toyota C-HR Concept is unlikely to come to market, the eye-grabbing 2-door crossover is important because it proves that Toyota still has its eye on building more unique, engaging vehicles. Formerly known as a mainstream brand with few enthusiast cars, Toyota has fought back against that reputation with models such as the Scion FR-S, the FJ Cruiser and an updated Camry with bolder styling. The C-HR Concept seems to continue the brand's attempts at inspiring more emotion.

In addition to its unique styling, the C-HR Concept's hybrid powertrain is also an important aspect of the car. There are few hybrid SUVs on the market today, and even an unusual one such as the C-HR Concept could find favor with shoppers who want to combine go-anywhere driving characteristics with vastly improved fuel economy.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Toyota C-HR Concept: Paris Auto Show - Autotrader