Lexus Future Plans to Include CT 300h & Smaller SUV?


Lexus CT 300h?

Lexus Australia’s Chief Executive, Tony Cramb, has let loose with plenty of inside insight of what’s coming next for Lexus — starting with a possible CT engine variant:

Lexus is already talking of a higher-performance version of its hybrid-only CT200h, which went on sale this week.

Likely to be called the CT300h, the petrol-electric hatch would probably get a bigger petrol engine and electric motor for more spirited performance.

There’s no word yet on an even more powerful CT F version – to line up alongside the V8-powered IS F – but longer-term it would make an interesting competitor to the BMW 135i and Audi S3.

The CT 200h has had a very successful launch by all accounts, especially in Europe where Lexus sales have doubled in some countries, so it’s a natural progression to add more engine options and expand the model’s potential reach — especially when the current 1.8L hybrid powertrain has been one of the only major complaints. A CT F, on the other hand, is too fantastic to even comprehend at this point — I just don’t see it any time soon.

Moving along with the Tony Cramb article, the additional CT variants were just the tip of the iceberg — here’s what else he had to say:

“Obviously, we need a smaller SUV … that’s something that’s high on the agenda for us.”

Cramb also points to a more luxurious “family sedan” as a potential replacement for the ES300 that was once the mainstay of the Lexus brand (a new generation is built now only as a left-hand-drive model).

A seven-seat SUV to compete with the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GL and Audi Q7 is also a priority, with the Lexus RX available now with only five seats.

The RX is such a strong seller, it makes sense to build it out similar to what’s happened with the Prius — that is, adding a smaller version and a larger version to bookend the current model. One thing’s for sure, a smaller, RAV4-sized SUV with RX styling would fit perfectly into the Lexus lineup.

(As for the “more luxurious family sedan”, I have a feeling this is simply alluding to a right-hand drive version of the ES, which has not been available in Australia since its third generation.)

All in all, a more powerful CT & a smaller SUV would fulfil many of the requests I’ve seen, both on my site and on other forums. If both claims are true, it would a great move by Lexus.

[Source: The Age]

Comments


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lasse-J-Nordvik/100001045418399 Lasse J. Nordvik

    Very exciting and market-savvy prospects.

  • Pgr3boy

    Yess I’m Australian and the ES would fit perfectly in our market.. A rav4 sized RX, I hope Lexus doesn’t go too downscale like what those money hungry Germans are doing..

    Lexus in Australia has a much more luxurious brand attribution then the German 3.. Since they sell rubbish like 1 series which truly are crap

  • Pgr3boy

    Yess I’m Australian and the ES would fit perfectly in our market.. A rav4 sized RX, I hope Lexus doesn’t go too downscale like what those money hungry Germans are doing..

    Lexus in Australia has a much more luxurious brand attribution then the German 3.. Since they sell rubbish like 1 series which truly are crap

  • Phil Bouvier

    Why not a lexus with a 4 cylinder petrol engine, a larger electric motor and a
    lithium battery. May be the same configuration that ct300h. Or maybe the same engine as
    the new GS.
    Objective: reduce costs revisions of this big SUV, increase autonomy in electric power.

  • Thomas

    No Lexus for me if it has an engine with less than 6 cylinders!

    No FWD Lexus for me either; ES therefore should be scrapped. The CT is OK, should have been RWD though.

  • Jack

    Exactly I rather a Toyota if I’m going to get a 4cyl.. I say Lexus should stay as the essence of luxury, smoothness refinement and unsurpassed quality.. I.e Lexus LS460

  • FooFoo

    Get me a smaller SUV with the look of RX or more futuristic.

  • Anonymous

    I still don’t understand why Lexus bothered to trademark the name CT 400h… Was that just a marketing strategy for internet fans to get excited about? >:[

    Anyways, more models would be awesome!

  • PG

    Scrap the ES? Why should Lexus scrap one of their best-selling models? Because it has a drive train configuration that is fuel efficient, cost efficient to manufacture, and allows for space-saving packaging?

    Seriously, nobody in the market for an ES cares the least bit about drive train configurations. If you want something sportier, get an IS. Besides, even the “Ultimate Driving Machine” BMW will introduce FWD platforms for their smaller offerings, like the next gen 1er. That’s just how times change.

  • PG

    I really like the prospect of Lexus tackling the German Luxury Big Three head on with more drivetrain options and bodystyles to choose from.

    Hopefully there will be some sort of four door coupe thing, like the CLS. Now that the GS concept has a more traditional roofline instead of the fastback profile, there could be enough of a distinction between the CLS competitor and the GS.

    And Lexus needs more coupes/convertibles to boost their image. Something much larger than the IS C, more along the lines of the 6 series.

  • Btand

    All of the German line up of SUV are garbage in my opinion.. Overpriced, poor quality, cheap materials and look ugly and are not aesthetically pleasing.. In the other hand the RX is a beautifully crafted SUV, with very fine and luxurious interior and a elegant exterior.. It’s also quieter, more refined and much more comfortable then any of the mediocre German SUV’s

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503418383 Jesse James Payette-Steinberg

    If the CT300h does come out. I hope they will use a new generation IS engine or something. As for a smaller SUV, let me guess they want to go against the Q3, X3 and Cajun?

  • Erich Kerner

    Reason why Lexus doesn´t offer the GX (7-seater SUV) in Australia?

  • Boybang

    Do people in California see at least one LS460/600 a day? In Australia I’ve only seen about 5 LS460’s my entire life… And they are one sexy cars the LS

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    I’ve only been to California once, but I saw more LS 430/460/600hLs in four
    days than I have in my whole life combined.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Scrapping the ES makes absolutely no sense — it fits a very unique spot in
    the luxury market, which only Buick is competing with (quiet, roomy,
    reasonably priced sedan). That said, I probably would have agreed with you
    before the current ES 350 came out, now it really stands on its own.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Probably to keep the door open down the line — I doubt it had anything to
    do with us enthusiasts. ;-)

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Agreed — this is where Lexus should concentrate their new models after they
    release a smaller SUV. To me, a RAV4 sized Lexus would clean up that whole
    segment, just like the RX.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    I would think it has something to do with the Toyota Prado,
    which is similar in many ways to the GX.

  • Anonymous

    aha of course not… Which is sort of a good thing in this case!

  • Anonymous

    aha of course not… Which is sort of a good thing in this case!

  • Caliboy

    You see more LS460 in San Jose then Los Angeles.. Also much more LS460/600 in New York then LA.. LA is more of an S-class city..

  • bitme

    a 7 seat RX will eat GX and LX marketshare rather than compete with Mercedes GL or Audi Q7!

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    The GX, maybe, but the LX is so specialized that I can’t see anything cutting into its marketshare. Also, both of Lexus’ current 7-seaters are based on truck platforms and don’t have the car-like handling a lot of people are looking for.

    One last thing to consider — A 7-seater RX could also be offered in Europe, where the GX isn’t available.

  • Rearlboldt

    Since a main objection to the CT is its relatively low horsepower, a slightly larger engine and electric motor with lithium ion battery should sell very well.  Since the Prius not only performed better, but also increased its mpg when incorporating a somewhat larger engine (going from 1.5 to 1.8 L), we can hope the same might be true for the CT, especially since the Ct is several hundred pounds heavier than the Prius which may be making the current engine labor too hard.  Go for it, Lexus!

  • http://twitter.com/_mattwong_ Matt Wong

    Potential CT-F to be fitted with a 5.0L V8? That’s over-ambitious. A 3.5L V6 from the IS/ES/RX 350 would be nice.