Toyota reveals U.S.-spec C-HR compact crossover with gasoline engine, CVT

LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. version of Toyota's subcompact crossover C-HR will be equipped with one gasoline engine and a continuously variable transmission for now.

Toyota did not announce pricing in unveiling the crossover at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Thursday. But executives said they are targeting the low-$20,000 range to distinguish it from its larger RAV4 offering, which typically is sold in the high-$20,000 to low-$30,000 price point, depending on options. The wavy-bodied C-HR will be available next spring.

The naturally aspirated 4-cylinder gas engine makes a modest 144 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque sent to the front wheels through a CVT with a manual mode, Toyota said.

In Europe, the “Coupe-High Rider” is equipped with a hybrid engine or a small turbocharged gasoline motor, and is available with a manual transmission. Some of those combinations could come to the U.S. later.

The new baby crossover was presented to booming electronic music at the auto show by Bill Fay, group vice president and General Manager, Toyota Division.

“The C-HR will attract young, active multi-cultural professionals,” Fay said. “It gets us right in synch with the market’s love for compact crossovers, a segment that is expected to surpass one million sales by 2020.”

You can reach Laurence Iliff at liliff@crain.com

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