Excuse us for getting a little too pumped up about a car commercial two weeks after the Super Bowl. We’re making an exception here because this ad by Toyota for its new C-HR crossover is that good.

The commercial takes a page from Japan’s rich culture of developing the most iconic video games in history. Toyota, presumably with the help of Capcom, released this commercial of the C-HR for the Japanese market. That’s the not the news here, though. Rather, it’s the treatment of the ad, which puts the C-HR inside the world of Street Fighter II, arguably the biggest and most popular fighting game in history.

The ad starts off with the CH-R lining up to battle Ryu, the Hadouken-throwing protagonist of the video game franchise. But instead of fighting each other, Ryu instead hops inside the CH-R before going on a tour of sorts to the home stages of the game’s other characters. In the process, it gets a car wash from E. Honda in Japan, performs a drift with Blanka in Brazil, and does a wheelie with Zangief in Russia, all before ending up in Thailand to face the game’s final boss, M. Bison.

With Ryu behind the wheel of the CH-R, the crossover somehow defends itself from M. Bison’s attacks by popping up its hood before shooting off some hadoukens from its headlights to finish off the big baddie. Who knew the CH-R came with that option?

It’s an incredible ad that touches on the two things at the core of Japanese culture: cars and video games. It sets up as one of the most memorable we’ve seen this year. And for what it’s worth, that final scene of all the Street Fighter II characters celebrating the CH-R’s win with Ryu polishing it off with a shoryuken uppercut is as fitting a conclusion to a commercial as you can get.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

A fantastic ad that hits us in all the right spots

This may be the geek coming out in me, but I don’t care. This is one of the best car commercials I’ve seen in a long time. It would have been well-received in the U.S., too, if Toyota decided to run it during Super Bowl LI. At the very least, it instantly becomes one of the most memorable ads during the game. That much I’m pretty sure of because it hits across different markets in a way that elevates both the star of the commercial (the Toyota C-HR) and its co-stars, which happens to be the entire cast of characters of Street Fighter II.

There are so many highlights in this ad that I’m not going to even bother listing them all done. I do have to give a special nod to the “car wash” scene with E. Honda and the scene with Vega where Ryu opens the window of the crossover to let out his patented cheer. Those were subtle touches that increased the fun factor of the commercial.

In the end, I think Toyota created the perfect commercial here with the help of Street Fighter II developer Capcom. I’m excited to see more of the C-HR after watching this commercial. What’s more, I’m craving to play Street Fighter II again as well.

Here’s to hoping that more car commercials of this kind are made in the future. Personally, I’d love to see how the C-HR does in Mortal Kombat now. Let Liu Kang take the wheel so he can finish off Shao Khan! Maybe Toyota can even come up with a fatality for the C-HR!

If you haven’t seen the commercial yet and you made it all the way here, I invite you to give it a look. It’s the best 60 seconds you’ll spend on YouTube today.

Read our full review on the Toyota C-HR here.

Source: YouTube - Toyota Japan

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