Toyota Australia has an “immediate” desire to launch the C-HR petrol-electric hybrid crossover here, but is currently hobbled by restricted production in Japan.

2017 Toyota C-HR Koba in Electric Teal with optional white roof

The C-HR, which launched this week predominately as a rival to the Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Juke, is being sold here exclusively with a 85kW/185Nm 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine.

Because the C-HR shares its platform with the new Prius, it’s sold in core market such as the UK and Japan with a 90kW hybrid drivetrain, in this case a 1.8-litre petrol engine matched with an electric motor and nickel hydride battery array.

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Combined-cycle fuel use dips below 4.0L/100km, which is about 50 per cent better than the 95 RON-drinking 1.2. The claimed 0-100km/h time of 11sec is actually a tenth faster than the 1.2 petrol too.

While hybrid sales are small in Australia, Toyota is the market leader, with the Prius family, Camry Hybrid and Corolla Hybrid, alongside a number of Lexus petrol-electric offerings.

Toyota Australia’s executive director of sales and marketing, Tony Cramb, wants the C-HR Hybrid to join this list, but the fact Toyota holds 48,000 pre-orders in Japan alone — where our versions come from — mean there’s not yet a steady supply for us.

Toyota Prius

“We won’t be offering the hybrid at this point, but obviously as time goes on and production capacity increases, we will definitely be angling for the hybrid,” Cramb said this week.

He wouldn’t put a timeline on the market launch, but added that: “I can put a timeline on the desire — that’s immediate”.