Shouting ‘anything you can do, I can do better’ in the direction of Nissan’s compact and quirky Juke, Toyota has also confirmed that a final production version of the C-HR will debut at March’s Geneva motor show.
As a concept, the revised and glossier 2015 C-HR show car retains the general shape and proportions of its satin-finished predecessor, although a number of finer details have been tweaked on the march toward a production future.
Those include a more cohesive and market-ready look to the C-HR’s headlights and lower daytime lamps, along with similar changes at the rear end that include updated tail lights, new lower LED lighting in the outboard ‘vents’, and a re-shaped diffuser.
Likewise, larger mirrors now sprout from the doors, ahead of new - although likely not final - handles that sit flush with the surrounding panel.
Little else has changed, however, with the hybrid-powered C-HR retaining its edgy Lexus-like folds and creases, low roofline and huge sports wheels at each corner.
We can likely expect much of this to change between now and March, although Toyota is known to be embracing a more youthful and audacious style in its push to deliver more “emotion” with its future models.
To some extent, how much the C-HR changes will depend on the reaction to this latest version, designed - Toyota says - “to gauge reactions from specific target customer groups so that their feedback can further inform the project designers and engineers”.
However it turns out, Toyota’s Australian arm has confirmed that it’s eager to bring the C-HR here as a rival to models like the Juke and the less ‘out there’ but still very sporting Mazda CX-3.
"Given the right specification, pricing and availability for our market, we would expect the C-HR production model to accelerate the already-hot demand for vehicles in the small SUV segment," Toyota Australia sales and marketing chief, Tony Cramb, said today.
"Toyota is obviously keen to compete in what is the fastest-growing category across the entire Australian market, with sales up more than 30 per cent so far this year."
As with the all-new Prius revealed last week, the C-HR is built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which will underpin the vast majority of the brand’s new models in the years ahead.
Above: last year's original C-HR concept.
Toyota says the TNGA platform gives the C-HR “a highly rigid body and a low centre of gravity that minimise body movement and vehicle roll during cornering”.
Watch for the C-HR to make the leap to production in March next year, and stay tuned to CarAdvice for word on its local potential.