With the 2014 Paris Auto Show less than a month away, we are now starting to see the teaser images roll in. The latest one is particularly interesting, as it may mean a complete redesign of one of Toyota’s most popular models. This shadowy teaser image is of a Paris-bound concept dubbed the C-HR.
Toyota released precious few details along with the teaser image, but it did say “The C-HR concept combines a powerful new design language with an engaging driving experience and a hybrid powertrain.” A hybrid model is nothing out of the ordinary for Toyota, as the company is a pioneer in the hybridization of automobiles. But what is out of the norm for Toyota is a wild design language like this concept appears to have.
From the looks of this silhouette, it appears as if this crossover may share some DNA with the Lexus NX crossover that is all-new for 2015. What’s more, the NX crossover also features a hybrid drivetrain, which leads me to believe this concept is indeed related to the small Lexus.
Toyota typically shares drivetrains between itself and Lexus, so you can expect the C-HR to arrive with the same 2.5-liter engine and an electric motor as the NX 300h. In this setup, the electric motor drives the rear wheels, while the gasoline engine, electric motor or a combination of both drive the front wheels. Unfortunately, Lexus has yet to release the full specs on the NX 300h hybrid, but somewhere in the 200-horsepower range is a fair estimate.
The real question is whether this new design language and hybrid drivetrain will find its way into a next-generation RAV4 or if this is a replacement for the trusty Toyota crossover? The chances of Toyota replacing the successful RAV4 with an all-new model are slim, so I expect this concept to be a preview for the next-gen RAV4 that will likely hit dealers in a few years.