The sleek C-HR concept crossover Toyota has shown at global auto shows will come to the U.S. market as a Scion, the automaker confirmed Wednesday. Making its debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Scion C-HR concept previews the production version set to debut in 2016.
When the C-HR goes on sale in 2017, the subcompact crossover will be the third all-new model Scion has promised dealers, following the iA and iM that went on sale in September. The C-HR is just the second model to use Toyota’s TNGA platform, behind the fourth-generation Prius.
“We think the C-HR is absolutely spot on with that fun-to-drive, great-looking vehicle that young people are looking for,” Andrew Gilleland, vice president of Scion, told Automotive News ahead of the introduction.
Gilleland took over the position from Doug Murtha in September as Murtha moved on to corporate strategy and planning at Toyota.
By jumping into the ultrahot subcompact crossover segment, the sleek five-door CH-R is expected to become Scion’s volume seller. With the popular xB being discontinued, the C-HR also stands to become the ambassador for Toyota’s youth-oriented subbrand.
“We always wanted to kind of experiment, I think that’s a thing people need to be reminded of,” Gilleland said. “As we move away from the xB, we’re going to have another product that replaces it and stands for the brand, that iconic piece of it.”
Scion didn’t release details on the C-HR’s powertrain, though it likely will use a small four-cylinder engine and offer all-wheel drive as an option.
It’s a late entry in a rapidly growing field of subcompact crossovers, which includes the Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X, Nissan Juke and Chevy Trax.
Its aggressive styling was penned deliberately to put form over function, as Scion and Toyota are hoping it will appeal to a younger, urban buyer.
Pricing is unknown, though Gilleland said it was important to keep the C-HR under the $25,000 threshold to make it affordable for the young buyers Scion wants to capture and then feed to the Toyota brand.