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]