Toyota CHR hybrid SUV spied in India – Launch at Auto Expo?

Toyota CHR is a hybrid SUV which is already on sale in many markets around the world.

Image – Balaji J

Toyota CHR, a hybrid crossover SUV, is being actively tested in India. It is a part of the company’s plans to bring in more hybrid cars to India by 2020. The CHR could be added to the company’s hybrid lineup in India which currently includes the Camry and Prius. Toyota CHR could make its official debut at the 2020 Auto Expo next year.

Toyota CHR hybrid is positioned on the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform. It measures 4360 mm in length, 1,795 mm in width, and 1,565 mm in height. The design is very radical, and the car looks futuristic. Design highlights include LED headlights, LED tail lights, 18 inch dual tone alloys, rear roof spoiler, massive rear bumper, etc.

On the inside, Toyota CHR for the international market gets all black finish. There are soft touch materials on the dashboard as well as on door panels. The dashboard features a large touchscreen infotainment system which is compatible with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Along with best in class tech and comfort, the car is also loaded with safety features.

Powering the Toyota CHR is a 1.8 liter petrol motor along with an electric motor. Together, this hybrid combo delivers max power of 122 hp. Transmission options on offer are 6 speed MT or a CVT. CHR is also offered with a more powerful motor, but that is not a hybrid. It is a 2 liter petrol engine which delivers 145 PS and 144 Nm.

Toyota and Maruti have joined hands for sharing cars and technology. As part of this deal, Toyota will be sharing their hybrid and electric vehicle technology with Maruti. It is also learnt that as a part of Toyota’s strategy towards eco friendly vehicles, the company’s diesel engine lineup could give way to petrol hybrid. This will be seen on the new Innova in the coming years. The current generation Innova is offered with petrol and diesel engines with the diesel engine variant commanding more demand.

The next gen Innova will be introduced in 2021 or early 2022 and could have an hybrid option in place of its diesel engine. This move is in view of stricter fuel efficiency norms coming into effect from 2022 and with Toyota’s portfolio currently very diesel heavy, the company seeks to push forth with its hybrid technology in the country.

As a part of this move towards electric and hybrid vehicles, Maruti Suzuki has detailed the WagonR EV and Hyundai has recently launched the electric Kona. Mahindra eKUV100 will launch in India ahead of the festive season at around Rs 7-9 lakhs and MG’s eZS is also poised for launch. Though electric vehicles are being developed, there are challenges to be overcome which arise from battery technology. There are infrastructure limitations and slow acceptance of electric vehicles by buyers in the country.

Leading automakers in India such as Tata Motors and Mahindra have announced that they would not be offering smaller diesel engines due to the higher cost of upgrade to BS VI norms. Maruti Suzuki has also decided to stop all sales of diesel vehicles by March 2020.