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Paris 2016: Toyota debuts C-HR crossover

On sale shortly, model expected to score with coupe looks.

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Toyota will increase its efforts in the crossover battlefield with the all-new C-HR, which debuts at the Paris motor show.

In production-ready form the C-HR (the initials stand for Coupe High-Rider) is close in looks to the concept version that debuted at the last Paris show in 2014. Its designers expect the car to stand out in the ever more congested mid-sized crossover market due to its coupe-like lines.

The car measures 4360mm long, 1795mm wide and 1550mm high, with a 2640mm wheelbase. The design, dubbed a ‘diamond-shape architectural theme’ features prominent projecting wheel arches at each corner and a raised ground clearance.

The interior is a new design for Toyota, notable elements including an instrument panel extending into the door trim and a focusing of the instruments around the driver. An eight-inch touchscreen controls the latest Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system, and stands proud , allowing the dash to be shallower and improve vision out of the car.

Highlight of the powertrain options will be a full-hybrid unit that matches a 1.8-litre petrol engine to the electric motor. Combined the two offer 122hp with combined cycle fuel consumption of 78.5mpg and CO2 emissions down to 82g/km. Updates to the unit include lighter and smaller components, lowering the car’s centre of gravity.

A 1.2-litre petrol engine with 115hp will also be available but UK buyers won’t get the 144hp 2-litre petrol unit offered in some markets.

Toyota says that the CH-R will go on sale before the end of 2016 and meanwhile the Paris stand is also seeing the European debut of the FCV Plus hydrogen fuel cell concept car first seen at the Tokyo show earlier in 2016.

The FCV Plus uses four electric motors, one mounted in each wheel, fed by a fuel cell stack mounted between the front wheels and supplied by a hydrogen tank behind the rear wheels.

When not in use as a car, the FCV Plus doubles as a generator of electricity for the home and can also feed energy back into the national grid.

Aiding fuel efficiency are the aerodynamics, that also extend to the car’s underside.  The rear wheels and front floor have wireless battery charging panels built in, and words and symbols can be displayed on the windscreen and rear window to help others recognise when the car is charging.

A production version of the FCV Plus is not expected to be launched for at least 15 years, by which time Toyota predicts the hydrogen powertrain will be only half the size of the current unit.

The FCV Plus is some years from production reality.
The FCV Plus is some years from production reality.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.