What looks like a Toyota C-HR but is faster than most supercars around a race circuit? The answer is the daring new 600bhp Toyota C-HR R-Tuned concept, revealed today at the annual SEMA aftermarket tuning show in Las Vegas, USA.
As the highlight of Toyota’s 18-car display of tuned and modified vehicles, the one-off R-Tuned concept was designed to take the production Toyota C-HR’s inherent dynamic qualities and wind them up to the maximum. In fact, such is the exploitable nature of the vehicle’s TNGA chassis that the project has exceeded the development team’s aspirations and will no doubt upset the supercar establishment.
“The [Toyota] C-HR R-Tuned has been taken to the track every month since we started the project late last year,” reported team principal Dan Gardner. “It’s probably been subjected to more real-world tests than just about any car built for SEMA. It’s not just a show concept but a track-worthy performance vehicle.”
Having set a phenomenal 1:25.22 hot lap of California’s 2.5-mile Willow Springs race circuit, the Toyota C-HR R-Tuned concept can not only assert itself as the world’s quickest crossover but faster than all but five sports car exotica, according to the independent fastestlaps.com website.
Incredibly, the Toyota C-HR R-Tuned remains entirely front-wheel drive, although it now features a limited-slip differential to mediate torque between the wheels, race suspension and substantial aerodynamic enhancements.
And these components have an immense job to do, given that the vehicle’s all-Toyota powertrain now produces upwards of 600bhp. Under the bonnet lies a 2.4-litre four-cylinder 2AZ-FE engine (closely related to the unit found in the current RAV4 Hybrid) with forged and uprated internals to cope with the 23psi of boost pressure delivered by a custom Garrett turbo setup. This is mated to a Toyota E-series five-speed manual gearbox in place of the original continuously variable transmission.
Getting under the skin of the Toyota C-HR R-Tuned
As witnessed, the custom Toyota C-HR R-Tuned concept leaves you in no doubt of its intentions. From its 600+ horsepower output and slick-shod footprint to its proudly imposing aero, this machine was clearly built to go fast. But it’s not simply fast in a straight line.
How it was built
Designed and developed for Toyota USA by DG-Spec, it follows the idiom of being an iron fist in a silk glove through the installation of a powerful, boosted engine in Toyota’s sophisticated yet supremely adaptable TNGA platform.
After taking a series of base performance figures, work began by stripping an unsuspecting and totally standard Toyota C-HR to an empty rolling shell in preparation for the installation of a weld-in safety cage. With the exception of the dashboard – now little more than a means of covering the bulkhead and providing a framework for the digital instrument cluster – none of the original trim has returned to the car. This has contributed to a significant weight saving, enhanced with the inclusion of a lightweight carbon fibre bonnet.
At the heart of the beast is a different yet still all-Toyota powertrain. Gone is the original 2.0-litre engine (available in the Toyota C-HR in the US) and continuously variable transmission, replaced with a 2.4-litre 2AZ-FE four-cylinder engine and E-series five-speed manual gearbox. Although well specified as standard with steel piston liners and a forged crankshaft supported by five main bearings, the new engine was additionally strengthened to handle the pressure of its custom turbo conversion. This consisted of a thoroughly reinforced valve train, forged connecting rods and pistons designed to reduce the compression ratio to 9.0:1.
This hungry machine is fed with a high-capacity, anti-cavitation fuelling system, while all timing, air/fuel ratios and boost pressure parameters are now managed by a fully modifiable AEM engine control unit. Similar efforts have gone into improving the engine’s breathing and cooling systems – all of which were rigorously tested during the car’s many shakedowns at Willow Springs International Raceway.
Moving to the chassis, sturdy four-pot Brembo front callipers clamp over 355mm floating discs, while the three-way adjustable Motion Control coil overs feature remote reservoirs (rear reservoirs mounted on rear diagonals of roll-cage) to increase the quantity of damping fluid and therefore reduce the possibility of fading through heat soak.
Toyota C-HR R-Tuned: specifications
Engine: 2AZ-FE 2.4-litre DOHC 16v four-cylinder rebuilt with forged con rods and 9.0:1 pistons, stainless steel intake valves, Inconel exhaust valves, race-spec valve springs, titanium retainers, race bearings. Engine secured on custom Hasport mounts. Custom cold air intake, Garrett GTX3076R Gen II turbo with 1.06 A/R turbine housing, custom intercooler with Garrett core, custom downpipe, water-cooled external wastegate, custom cat-back exhaust system. Custom wiring harness, AEM engine management, AEM sensors and adjustable fuel pressure regulator, race-spec fuel pump, twin oil coolers, custom race-spec radiator.
Transmission: Toyota E-series five-speed manual gearbox with cryogenically hardened and polished internals, custom Hasport gearbox mounts, custom Centreforce clutch and flywheel, OS Giken Super Lock limited-slip differential, transmission cooler with fan.
Chassis: 9×18” alloy wheels with 275/35 R18 Toyo Proxes RR tyres, Motion Control race-spec coilover suspension with remote reservoirs and Vogtland springs, Progress Technology adjustable rear camber arms and three-way adjustable rear anti-roll bar. Brembo four-pot front brake callipers with 355mm floating discs and race-spec G-Loc pads, G-Loc rear brake pads, and stainless steel brake lines.
Exterior: Kaminari vented carbon fibre bonnet, custom front and side air dams, custom adjustable front splitter, custom adjustable rear wing with gurney flap, custom vinyl livery.
Interior: custom eight-point weld-in roll-cage, Corbeau bucket seats with G-Force Pro Series six-point race harnesses, Racepak IQ3 data logger dashboard and VNET sensors.
All information is correct at the time of publishing