The Toyota C-HR is a radically styled crossover that dramatically reverses Toyota’s normal policy of conservative design. It’s powered by a new 85kW 1.2 litre turbo engine will go on sale in Australia in February 2017. Here’s eight things you didn’t know about it.

  1. The C-HR shares much of its underbody structure with the new Toyota Prius. In some markets a hybrid version will be offered, sharing pretty much all of the Prius’s powertrain, but in Australia we’ll only be getting a 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine.

  2. The 1.2-litre engine produces a relatively modest 85kW peak but is packed with innovative technology, including switchable valves that allow it to operate in ultra-efficient “Otto Cycle” mode. It generates its peak 185Nm of torque from just 1500rpm – similar to most diesels.

  3. Originally designed exclusively for the European market, where buyers have long since fallen out of love with Toyota’s mid-sized Auris hatchback, the C-HR is being offered in other territories including Australia after receiving an overwhelmingly positive response.

  4. Although it looks smaller than the Nissan Qashqai, it’s almost exactly the same length. At 4360mm the Toyota is just 17mm shorter than the Nissan.

  5. The base model will have a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, with the option of a CVT automatic transmission. There will also be an all-wheel drive version of the CVT, although likely only with the top-spec Koba grade.

  6. The Koba trim level is named after Hiruyuki Koba, the engineering boss who led the project to create the car. He’s a keen racer and competed in a prototype version earlier this year at the Nurburgring in Germany.

  7. C-HR is meant to stand for “Coupe – High Riding.”

  8. The Koba pack will bring bigger wheels and part leather trim, but also a nano filter for the climate control system to help remove dust and particulate pollutants.