Toyota C-HR Hy-Power concept adds hybrid oomph, fiery visuals

The angular compact crossover SUV gains more style and added gas-electric firepower.

Chris Paukert Former executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
2 min read
Watch this: Toyota Hy-Power concept turns up the wick on the C-HR Hybrid

Toyota's C-HR has never lacked for attitude, but there's no doubt that the small crossover could benefit from a bit more oomph. The Japanese automaker is answering that call -- at least in show car form -- with the C-HR Hy-Power, a more powerful hybrid concept vehicle that also has even more visual swagger.

North American customers might be surprised to learn that there's already a hybrid version of the C-HR on offer in other markets, as we only receive the 2.0-liter gas powertrain with 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. According to Toyota, fully 75 percent of C-HRs sold thus far in Europe have been hybrids, so it makes sense that its Frankfurt Motor Show star is gas-electric. Rather frustratingly, however, while Toyota is saying the new hybrid powertrain "offers more power and performance than the 120bhp system featured in the current [European] production Toyota C-HR," it isn't saying how much extra power the system actually makes, nor how that power was realized.

In addition to its mysterious new hybrid powertrain, the C-HR Hypower benefits from some visual upgrades conceived by ED2, Toyota's design studio in southern France. Changes to the matte dark-carbon-painted C-HR include burning orange and gloss black highlights. The cabin receives matching black leather with orange quilt stitching, headrests, bolsters and armrests, along with some dashboard highlights, too.

C-HR Hy-Power Concept juices up Toyota's smallest SUV with hybrid power

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It makes sense that the ED2 crew were given the chance to amp up the C-HR's personality for this concept, as they helped develop the original 2014 concept vehicle that sired the eventual production model.

No word yet if Toyota will green light a hybrid powertrain for the North American market, but it wouldn't be surprising if the Japanese automaker started to expand the model's color and options palette for increased personalization. After all, the C-HR was originally developed as a Scion.