The global boom for crossover SUVs has left car designers scrambling. Traditional ideas of beauty in vehicles call for long, low, sculpted forms — not chassis designed to ride high and hold enough cargo to double as a dorm room. It's to be expected when automakers try a radical take or two, even as, with the Toyota C-HR Concept revealed today, the results seemed jumbled. Make enough folds and something might work, right?
Looking quite like a Local Motors Rally Fighter under the spell of a Scooby Doo villain hypnotist, Toyota says the C-HR "introduces an expressive new, diamond architecture styling theme," with "lower bodywork (that) has been sculpted to represent the facetted surfaces of a highly-durable, precision-cut gemstone." Power comes from a unspecified hybrid engine or the captured wingbeats of butterflies — it's a concept car, so whatever's under the hood is there purely for show. (Looking at the hood in these pictures, I'm not even sure how it would open.)
Like the wildest creations of any Paris fashion show, the C-HR's style sacrifices nothing to practical concerns, like rearview mirrors or rear sightlines or a roofline that would be capable of seating humans. But the future of a car like this isn't in its whole but its parts: maybe there's a way to adapt that glass-to-glass channel across the C-pillar and the persistence-of-vision lighting to a production car. If we're all going to want plus-size cars, our sense of style will have to catch up.