Lexus to Debut Compact Hatchback in September

Lexus BS Concept

Autocar is reporting that Lexus will be debuting a five-door compact hatchback concept at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show:

Company insiders suggest that the car was signed off late last year, largely at the behest of European execs who insisted that the Europe’s premium C-segment was an area of the market “too lucrative not to be in”.

As such, the new compact Lexus is likely to use the same powertrain as the US-market-only HS250h – a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine that, with the help of an electric motor, produces 187bhp.

Like the HS it’ll also be front-wheel drive, but it won’t use the same platform as the bigger HS.

“The Frankfurt concept is called C-Premium,” our source advised. It’s a 90 per cent match for the real thing, which we’ll see at Geneva next year. It should be on sale in the UK by Autumn 2010.”

What’s more, members of My.IS did some research and found that Lexus has registered CT200h, CT300h & CT400h in the USA and CT200h in Canada, which suggests that the compact hatchback could be making its way over to North America as well.

The name itself is full of details—CT is likely to stand for Compact Touring or Compact Tourer. The 200h & 300h suggests the hatchback could share engines with the new Prius and the HS 250h, with 400h being a top-of-the-line V6 hybrid.

While so much will depend on the styling, there’s no question that this model will be key in increasing Lexus’ presence in Europe, where hatchbacks reign supreme. No doubt this is the central reason the model will be introduced in Frankfurt.

Just imagine—a new Lexus hatchback in September followed by the production LFA at October’s Tokyo Auto Show, along with the LS-Sport & next generation GX debuting somewhere along the way as well. Exciting times for Lexus fans!

(Note: The above image is a few years old, and is no real indication of what the compact hatchback may look like.)

[Source: Autocar & My.IS]



  1. I am excited! Lexus has never had so much going on before!
    But, out of common sense, I doubt the little hatchback would be that amazing.

  2. wow

    now the competition ‘ll have a new tiny dimension

    and now lexus



  3. emptystreets130

    I honestly think that Lexus is going the wrong way in powertrain. Another FWD vehicle? I just doesn’t fit Lexus’ profile. Down the road, they might as well move everything FWD. If Lexus wants to go head on with the 1-series and the A3/S3 in terms of the fun factor, they need to stick with a lightweight RWD chassis, slap in the 4GR-FSE or 3GR-FSE, power either the RWD or all wheels and call it a day. We don’t need another Yaris based car with the HS250 already based of a modify Yaris chassis.

  4. emptystreets130

    oh to add on, I though Lexus wanted to move away from platform sharing concurrently with their Toyota lineup (depending on market like the Camry and ES and now Prius and HS.) The GS and IS are fine because Toyota outside of Japan does not sell the Toyota Crown, which the GS and IS are based off.

  5. What do you think about a rear engined, RWD car?
    Something like the original intention of the VW Up!
    Boxer engine? And there can be a bit extra trunk space up front that is connected with the cabin if the passenger wishes (great for skis).

    Is the front hood a bad place for a stylish solar panel? What is the cost for damage?

  6. emptystreets130

    A rear engine, RWD car wouldn’t be bad. It was fun in the MR-2 and the MR-S, but it would drive up the price of the vehicle.

    If the CT was based of the current Toyota Subaru coupe project but make it a 2 or 4dr, Hatchback, sedan or coupe variation. I could see Lexus having the potential in matching what the Germans are creating. Especially with the boxer engine that Toyota is trying to modify with DI technology.

  7. One problem that a rear engine, RWD car would have would be something all 911s have. The front doesn’t have any traction, but of course, Lexus can just put all their heavy computer gadgets and electric engine up front - maybe just as the electric engine powers the rear wheels of the AWD RX hybrid.

  8. So will this be in the US? I feel like we don’t need anything this small but i guess this could be used to bring in younger buyers if it’s priced under the IS in the US. a 400h engine in this tiny thing would give it some serious power though!

    So we have a CT, GX, LF-A, LS-F (LS “sport), that’s going to be a busy time for lexus, especially when you consider the GS design has been around since 2005 (2006 model year) and Lexus should be looking at the redesign for it also and start looking at a new ES. Lexus has a solid line up coming out.

  9. FWD = No Go in Europe.

    No chance to compete against the 1-series of BMW.

  10. it be nice if there is any news real news by september smile

    i wouldn’t mind waiting for a Lexus compact hatch smile

  11. All the other cars in the segment are FWD, like Audi A3 (also AWD), Alfa Romeo 147, Volvo C30, the coming Citröen DS3, so BMW is the odd one here. Though I hope Lexus fits a AWD system.

  12. It’s kinda pointless…
    FWD are for icy roads, but AWD can cover up that issue.

    If it’s just because of the cheaper costs and the fuel efficiency, Lexus should just focus on RWD and RWD-based AWD only.

  13. It would be nice for as a daily driver and for urban environments, wouldn’t it?

  14. but

    as a lot of you said

    what all people know is

    lexus is for RWD

    nothing more nothing less

    may be AWD but the base must be RWD

    it can be also Hybrid but RWD

  15. I find the idea of the CT very appealing, more so if I lived in a high-traffic area. This segment is expanding rapidly in Canada, the A3 & B-Class more so than the 1-series, so the CT would be a great fit here.

  16. Being a hatchback, this looks more in the mold of the B-Class & A3, both of which are FWD. That said, I would hope to see the CT in AWD.

  17. Let’s not forget the LS & ES facelifts also due this year…

  18. i donna think their is a facelift for LS or even ES

    by logic the NG-LS is due in 2012 with a previous about 6 to 8 months in auto shows

    and for ES the NG-CAMRY ‘ll be due in late 2011 and ‘ll be in sale i think with the 2011 NAIAS

    so why they(toyota) spend money in a nonsense facelift if the whole new next generation ‘ll be due in 3 years at max

    so if they make a facelift they ‘ll just make a single or tweak in the front and rear lamps

    i even guess that the front ‘ll not due to any even minor change

    and the rear may change the places of the lights as put the yellow of direction instead the reverse or something like that

  19. Hatch-backs are popular in Europe cause of their small size & practicality. But the hybrid batteries in the CT would significantly reduce trunk volume. There’s nothing wrong with Lexus having a few FWD models in the range, as they improve interior space & lower costs. Of course the core prestige models will continue to be RWD ie LS, GS, IS & SC.
    It would be great if the CT looked similar to the Lexus Landau concept by Italdesign from the early ‘90s.

  20. The LS has traditionally received cosmetic & mechanical upgrades once every 3 years, so based on that a facelifted LS should be unveiled sometime towards the end of this year, possibly in Oct. The current ES went on sale before the LS, so its facelift is due soon. Also the facelifted Camry has already gone on sale.

  21. Do we have any sales figures on these sized vehicles? Personally I see very few A3s and 1-Series, maybe that’s just not a popular sized car in San Diego but idk. The biggest problem is there is only about a $3000 difference between the 128i and 328i, that’s just not a big enough difference to make the size difference worth it. If lexus wants this CT to be successful then it needs to be priced well under the IS.

  22. so at the end Lexus makes an compact car like all the others? i guess i have to change my mind, looks like even luxury brands have “small” cars in there lineup today.

    and yes busy times for Lexus. more and more new cars coming up…

  23. Is this it?

    Looks real to me, but the image is over a year old.

  24. I tend to like facelifts. They keep the model interesting and fresh until the complete redesign

    However some are more dramatic than others.

    For example the 04-05 ES facelift made the ES look MUCH better.

    While the 07-08 GS facelift was subtle. I bet the average consumer could make out the differences.

    Does anyone know if the last generation RX was facelifted? Other than chrome door handles I couldn’t spot out any other differences.

  25. ** correction **

    I meant the average consumer could not make out the differences in the facelifted GS.

  26. Many luxury automakers have had compact hatchbacks in their lineup for decades. They have been sold in Europe and excluded from the US until recently.

    Lexus needs a compact sport hatchback to better compete in Europe. Hatchbacks are one of the hottest segments in Europe.

    Four or five years ago I would have said a hatchback Lexus should stay in Europe. However times are changing and there couldn’t be a better time to bring a premium luxury sport hatchback to the US.

  27. Great find! I haven’t seen that photo before.

    But that is a photoshopped image. IMO it looks like a Volvo C30 with Lexus design cues.

  28. Does anyone know if this will be a 4 door or 2 door hatch?

  29. The BMW Isseta is mainly responsible for the Bimmer’s existence today. They’re coming out with another small vehicle (smaller and cheaper than the MINI) to support themselves through the current economy downturn.

    Poor Bangle resigned after being overwhelmed with arguing with the engineers over their future miniature electric vehicle.
    I’d hate to imagine what the auto world would be like without Bangle - the same, conservative cars everywhere (shrug). My gratitude to the American who changed the German company and the world we live in today.

  30. Recently, the Yaris comes in both forms. I wonder what happened to that Yaris-based Lexus LF-Ch concept. Did it ever exist?

  31. The LF-Ch was ‘revealed’ on April 1…it was probably a hoax.

  32. thanks

    by any way if it real or not

    i love it

  33. I don’t think the problem is with Lexus sharing platforms, it’s more that Lexus L-Finesse styling cues keep making their way into Toyota products.

    Moving forward, I think there needs to be a better design separation of the two brands—I don’t see any problem with part sharing.

  34. I was hoping that the Toyobaru would end up being released as a Lexus, but I wonder if Toyota might need the brand boost even more.

    (Still, it would slot into the Lexus lineup as a SLK competitor quite nicely.)

  35. I expect the CT would start somewhere between $25-30k—fully optioned for $35k.

  36. emptystreets130

    That true. Lexus’ L-Finesse and Toyota’s Vibrate Clarity design are too much alike.

    But the point that I was getting to is that Lexus is doing some cost saving measure to compete with this segment or with any newly develop models. If Lexus wanted something to compete in the CUV market like that upcoming Acura crossover, I can see Lexus just pulling another Camry-based vehicle on the market. To me that is very un-Lexus like and I’m afraid that Lexus is going the way of Toyota.

    Toyota use to have an extensive RWD lineup back from the 60s to early 80s. But now Toyota is primarily a FWD market(US market) and I feel that if they cater to the American more and more, they’ll just lose sight of what Lexus is really is.

  37. emptystreets130

    You never know. I heard that the Toyota version is not going to make it to the US. Only the Subaru version. If Toyota has this up their sleeves for Lexus, then I think it is a well played card.

  38. am with you

    and am still guessing they ‘ll make it

    and i can bet that their are at least 4 version from Toyobaru


  39. but their are 3 engine variety
    as above

    CT300h &

    and every one have the basic and full option and the fully loaded extra option

  40. but toyota still make a good affordable RWD


    and it’s line get sporty more by generations

  41. emptystreets130

    True, but those we will never see here in the States but we current have those vehicle here in disguise.

    The GS is pretty much a reshaped Crown (not the Majesta) and the IS is pretty much a reshape of the Mark X. But in the end the GS, IS and Mark X are all Crown based.

  42. The thing about the GS facelift was that the model’s problems aren’t solvable with redesigned bumpers and light casings. I think the issue is in the driving, the weight needs to be better balanced and the default suspension completely retuned. It’s just not sporty enough.

    Speaking of facelifts, the best one so far had to be the 2004 LS refresh.

  43. So far, there’s absolutely no information out there on the 2010 ES, which makes me think there’s definitely some changes coming.

    I don’t know the extent of the LS refresh, I have a feeling it might be more about the LS Sport and less about the standard models.

  44. Definitely an photochop based off an IS image. I do like the look of it, though.

  45. Looks to be a four-door hatch, but a two-door would be nice to see. (I always thought the Yaris looked better as a two-door.)

  46. when MR. AKIO TOYODA starting as toyota president he say he wanna remake the glory of toyota 80th back

    and i see
    why not they replace

    the blotted fat ass AVALon with the MAJESTA
    and CAMRY with NG-MARKx which ‘ll deploy soon

    and make the CROWN as it’s flagship in EUROPE

    and i don’t think it ‘ll harm the lexus lineup if they priced fine

    just see the CAMRY and the ES

    the same car and with the price both sell as hot cake

    the camry biggest car by number sold and the ES most near luxury sold

  47. emptystreets130

    It would be nice if Toyota went back to the original Flagship. The Avalon was not a very good replacement for the Cressida.

    But what you are asking is just a lots of conflict with the two lineup. It would definitely take away some sales from Lexus. A Crown that has almost more features than the GS is priced a little higher than the GS itself. and the Mark X which has about the same feature as the IS is priced below the IS by a tad bit. I can see them bring the Mark series as the rightfully reborn Cressida to replace the Avalon. Toyota needs a RWD flagship again and the Mark II/Cressida was a good one to begin with. Price slightly below the 30K mark and delete some features that would conflict with the IS 250.

  48. have you heard anything about the GS refresh yet?

  49. i know that there are conflict in those 2 categories

    but just think in it

    the MAJESTA is in category between LS&GS;
    and even it’s tall

    and all sell nice in japan after that bad first year for LEXUS their

    and for MARK-X

    if they delete the CAMRY from their line up

    it ‘ll fit also because it’s tall around 4.75 m

    not short as IS and not tall as GS but smooth as ES
    with both GS&IS; Engines

    you can say a long wheel based IS with smooth drive

    and then you can delete the ES and the mark with sold as the Successor of both ES&CAMRY;

  50. the GS already got it’s mid cycle refresh

  51. I meant more of the next generation

  52. Nothing out there right now on the GS, as far as I know.

  53. The last gen RX received a ‘blink & miss facelift’ in ‘07.
    - Chrome door handles
    - Redesigned grille
    - New 18” wheel design
    - New ext colors
    The interior was untouched, I think.

  54. The LF-Ch was a hoax ? By Lexus ! It was only revealed as an image ( photochopped Yaris? ) at that motor show.

  55. You’re right, Krew. I too thought the ‘04 LS430 facelift drastically improved the front & rear of the car. The original LS430 had a very ugly front end & I couldn’t believe at the time, how anyone at Lexus could have signed off that look for production especially those horrid headlights. The facelift really rectified it.

  56. To Krew : Any idea bout the changes to the LS Sport & what badge it’ll wear ?

  57. I really like the new Toyota Crown models available in Japan. The interior has a lot of Lexus touches & looks more luxurious than the ES.

  58. that’s what am talkin about

    delete the ES & the CAMRY

    and give us the NG_MARKx that is due in the next couple months

    and also delete the AVALON and replaced it with the MAJESTA

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    f Lexus wants to go head on with the 1-series and the A3/S3 in terms of the fun factor, they need to stick with a lightweight RWD chassis, slap in the 4GR-FSE or 3GR-FSE, power either the RWD or all wheels and call it a day. We don't need another Yaris based car with the HS250 already based of a modify Yaris chassis.
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