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Extremely Unexpected: The Scion C-HR Concept

Amou "Joe" Seto |
November 19, 2015 | 7:44 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

At this year’s L.A. auto show debuts, there was a handful of new releases with manufacturers often hiding their cars under a sheet until it’s time for the grand reveal. The cover goes off, the speaker talks about the background/changes/innovation on the car, then the press swarms the car to get photos and video footage at the end like hungry piranhas to a fresh hunk of meat.

SEE ALSO: The Baby FR-S? The 2015 Scion Tc, Reviewed

 Please keep these headlights for the production version; They're simply awesome. (Amou "Joe" Seto/Neon Tommy)
Please keep these headlights for the production version; They're simply awesome. (Amou "Joe" Seto/Neon Tommy)

Before I went to go see the CH-R (which stands for Compact Size, High Ride height), I had gone to see the reveal of the new Fiat 124 Spyder and Hyundai Elantra. I had walked by the Scion concept a few times, and only noticed that it was actually pretty big. Not big as in Chevrolet Suburban/Tahoe big, but too big for anything I’d expect Scion to make. I just assumed it was a normal car on some stands under the drapery and moved on.

When I arrived at the Scion booth, the front seats were completely packed, so I had to sit in the back row. For the Elantra and the 124 Spyder, I was sitting in the front row and had a clear look at the cars when they were unveiled. This time around, I could hardly see anything. When the drapes went up, I really couldn’t believe my eyes.

The first good look I was able to get with the C-HR after swarming the stage. (Amou "Joe" Seto/Neon Tommy)
The first good look I was able to get with the C-HR after swarming the stage. (Amou "Joe" Seto/Neon Tommy)

At first glance, I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not, but then again I couldn’t get a good look at it because I was sitting so far away. When the presentation was over and the press was allowed the swarm the stage, I was allowed to get a good look at the car.

Imagine an Isuzu Vehicross with a face transplant from the new Prius and wheels so big they could fit on a monster truck. Then, add the roof and sloping rear window from the Mini cooper coupe, the rear window line from the Scion FR-S and rear lights from the new Honda Civic with the middle bar chopped out.

The car’s styling may seem like a mess, but at least Scion hasn’t tried to be overly conservative with the styling to the point where looking at a car puts you to sleep. After all, it is incredibly bold and easily the most interesting looking car at the show. Toyotas in recent years have some mad styling going on, so I really shouldn’t be so surprised at the C-HR. But I am.

The CH-R pretty much looks completely bonkers all round (Amou "Joe" Seto/Neon Tommy)
The CH-R pretty much looks completely bonkers all round (Amou "Joe" Seto/Neon Tommy)

Since this car will be entering production, part of me wonders how much of it is actually going to stay and how much of it will be phased out. My guess? A whole lot - the tiny, almost non existent door mirrors, boomerang-shaped windows on the rear doors and a extremely sloped rear window will all be gone. The Tonka truck wheels - gone. But regardless of what they change, the styling will still be bonkers.

Scion states that since the C-HR is based on the new Toyota New Global Architecture, a new modular platform said to offer better handling capabilities, which should make the car more fun to drive. Maybe then it’ll be like the Scion iA - ugly face, a riot to drive.

The huge, almond-shaped rear lights on the Scion C-HR (Amou "Joe" Seto/Neon Tommy)
The huge, almond-shaped rear lights on the Scion C-HR (Amou "Joe" Seto/Neon Tommy)

Reach Staff Reporter Amou (Joe) Seto here. Follow him on Twitter here



 

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