Toyota bucked the trend at SEMA this year. Rather than limiting itself a handful of very pretty, mildly tweaked versions of its core range, it took a base C-HR and turned it into a fire-breathing monster.
The C-HR R-Tuned has a 447kW 2AZ-4FE engine shoehorned under the bonnet. With forged internals, a reinforced valve-train and a custom Garrett turbocharger (running 23PSI of boost, no less) the car will scramble from 0-60mph (97km/h) in just 2.9 seconds, and laps the 'big track' at Willow Springs International Raceway in just 1 minute 25.22 seconds.
For those playing along at home, that's faster than a Lamborghini Aventador SV. Along with the engine upgrade, the lightning lap time is likely down to the comprehensively overhauled chassis and aerodynamics package.
Along with a lower, three-way adjustable suspension setup, the big wings and pouting splitter develop 136kg of downforce at speed, and allow the car to pull 1.2G under braking and 1.7G during fast corners. No, the standard C-HR won't do that...
Having romped around Willow Springs, the team behind the hot C-HR are reportedly keen to attack the Nurburgring North Loop.
"The Toyota NGA platform the C-HR is built on is really stiff, so we worked on developing the handling characteristics," Dan Gardner, head of the tuning company behind the concept, said. "We wanted to make a supercar killer - the whole point is that it doesn’t make sense."
"The car was built for SEMA and Toyota has no plans for it from now on. But it’s the real deal. Personally, it would be a dream to take it to the Nordschleife. I have no doubt it could set the front-wheel-drive record there."
Honda is the current front-wheel drive lap record holder at the Nordschleife, having lapped the famous circuit in 7:43.8 with the latest Civic Type R. Renault, Volkswagen and Seat have all held the record in recent years – the fierce competition has spawned some of the most focused, hardcore hot hatches ever seen.
Although the C-HR R-Tuned isn't a production car, we'd be interested to see how it fared at the Green Hell. Who knows, maybe enough excitement will convince Toyota to put a punchier powertrain into the current model?