Toyota invited The Render staff to come out to test the newest model dubbed the C-HR and the two-day event didn’t disappoint. The event took place at the famous Willow Springs Raceway in Lancaster, CA. Willow Springs is one of the oldest tracks in the United States and was built in the 1950s.
The Toyota C-HR is considered a Compact Utility Vehicles (CUVs) and are popular for their versatility, but are not generally known for high performance—until now. Making its world debut at Toyota’s 2017 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show display, the C-HR R-Tuned is the world’s quickest CUV. With a 1:25.22 lap time at Willow Springs International Raceway’s (California) 2.5-mile “Big Track,” the C-HR R-Tuned turned a quicker lap time than all but five production cars according to fastestlaps.com. Some of those exotic sports cars it bested include the McLaren 650 S Spyder, Porsche 911 GT3, and Nissan GT-R NISMO.
The C-HR R-Tuned leaves little doubt of its racetrack-oriented focus. The factory interior was removed aft of the front seats, along with a number of other weight-saving measures, including a Kaminari carbon fiber vented hood, shaving hundreds of pounds off the C-HR’s curb weight. It was thoroughly shaken-down during every step of the build, and performance data was extensively logged. In fact, the car was track tested no less than ten times.
Stylish, athletic and filled with technology like Toyota Safety Sense P™ (TSS-P), the all-new 2018 Toyota C-HR – or, Coupe High-Rider – represents a leap forward in design, manufacturing and engineering for Toyota. When it arrived at dealerships in April, the C-HR became a springboard of excitement and wanderlust for its trendsetting drivers. First shown in concept form at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the 2018 C-HR maintains the concept’s avant-garde physique; modern, comfortable cabin; and bold, outgoing character. The C-HR is available in two grades, XLE and XLE Premium, each equipped with a long list of standard features that includes 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, bucket seating, and 7-inch audio display.
The C-HR also has that sportiness to impress thanks to the efforts of Deputy Chief Engineer, Hiro Koba, who is a diehard racer with speed coursing through his veins. Koba-san and team made sure the C-HR exhilarates its driver anytime, anywhere, including around the famed Nürburgring circuit where vehicle development was chiefly executed. Like its uncanny looks, the C-HR’s blend of comfort, control, consistency, and responsiveness is extraordinarily impressive for the competitive paradigm it aims to shift.
The weather was perfect, with clear skies and crisp air as the Render staff had the opportunity to ride in the R-Tuned car with a professional driver around the track as well as a Nissan GT-R side by side. It was definitely well tested and the responsiveness and handling on and off the track were very impressive. The test drive of the stock version showcased the versatility of the vehicle as we drove numerous laps around the track and also took a brief city tour of the Lancaster area. Be on the look out for the 2018 C-HR on a road near you, with a MSRP that ranges from $22,500 for XLE to $24,350 XLE Premium.