No Higher Powered Lexus CT Until 2017?

Lexus CT 200h

According to a GoAuto interview with Lexus International general manager Andrew Kirby, a more-powerful Lexus CT will not be offered until (at least) 2017:

“There is no potential” for a more powerful CT in the medium term, said Mr Kirby.

Asked if there was scope for a hot CT to be introduced at the model’s mid-life facelift stage, Mr Kirby said: “(in the) next 3-5 years, probably not; after that then yes”.

“The car looks the part and the suspension and driving feeling is sporty so we agree there is potential for (a hot CT) but we can’t deliver on that quite yet.”

This news comes five months after GoAuto’s interview with Lexus Australia marketing manager Peter Evans, when it was suggested that a higher-powered CT could be introduced at this year’s Paris Auto Show — here’s the quote from that article:

Another likely unveil for [the Paris Auto Show in September] is a hot hatch variant of the CT200h and Mr Evans revealed its arrival is “a matter of when rather than if – or rather when and what because there are a few alternatives”.

The idea of a CT hot-hatch is an appealing one — the hatchback is clearly capable of handling more power, and the current 1.8L hybrid engine can leave the CT feeling under-utilized in certain situations.

However, I have to think it’s a similar situation to not offering the IS hybrid in North America and even the delay introducing a compact crossover — adding a model that competes with existing vehicles is not a priority for Lexus, and a CT hot-hatch is potentially in the same league as the IS 250 in price and performance.

[Source: GoAuto via: Kaizen Factor]