Toyota’s subcompact SUV to be a Scion in US

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Toyota is working on a sporty, subcompact crossover previewed by its C-HR concept first unveiled at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. In the United States, the vehicle will be sold as a Scion. The news was confirmed today at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show where Scion rolled out its own version of the C-HR concept.

The production version of the C-HR has already been spied testing in prototype form. It’s due to go on sale next year, most likely as a 2017 model, and will compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Trax, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Juke. Volkswagen is also preparing a subcompact crossover, which we expect to be launched in the next year or two.

While this concept has two doors and an almost coupe-like profile, the production version will have four doors and look more like a high-riding hatch. Furthermore, the production version will almost certainly miss out on the concept’s 21-inch wheels. Judging from the spy shots, it will still be a very sporty design complete with the concept’s blacked-out C-pillar.

Scion says the C-HR was designed for the “yuccie,” the young urban creative who wants something practical like an SUV but with an emotional design and size that’s ideal for the city. Things that influenced the design include sleek chopsticks made from recycled materials and chopping boards with grid lines for precise slicing.

2017 Toyota subcompact crossover spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2017 Toyota subcompact crossover spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

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Underpinning the vehicle is Toyota’s TNGA platform, a lightweight, sturdy design that made its debut in the recently revealed 2016 Toyota Prius. It’s said to allow a low center of gravity and increased body rigidity, which in turn leads to more responsive handling and improved ride comfort.

There’s no word yet on powertrains but expect the base option to be a four-cylinder paired with an automatic transmission or CVT. A hybrid option is also a possibility.

“The Scion C-HR will be a stand-out vehicle for us,” Scion Vice President Andrew Gilleland said in a statement. “It’s got amazing driving dynamics, superb functionality, and, like all Scions, premium features at an accommodating price.”

Exact specifications, including the price tag and powertrains, will be announced closer to the market launch next year. In the meantime, see what else is at the L.A. Auto Show by visiting our dedicated hub.

 
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