Will Lexus Release a Turbocharged CT 200t?

Lexus CT 200t

Is Lexus planning to use their new 2.0L four-cylinder turbo engine in the CT? The Motor Report asked Lexus Australia general manager Sean Hanley:

“At the moment this engine is being assessed for its suitability (for) other Lexus models,” Mr Hanley said. “It’s a logical enhancement for 2.5 litre V6 models.”

But will it find it’s way into the much smaller CT hatch?

Mr Hanley would not be drawn, but his repetition of the statement that this engine “is being assessed for a number of models” would seem to indicate that consideration is underway.

“Our priority is on hybrid technology,” he said. “The adoption of turbo charging is not a move away from hybrid technology, it’s about choice for consumers.”

There’s not much here in the way of certainty, but it makes for an interesting discussion. The lack of power is the biggest knock against the CT 200h, and there’s a couple ways for Lexus to address the issue.

The CT is likely to continue with the Prius drivetrain as the base engine, but Lexus could:

  • Add the 2.0L turbo as a second engine option, or
  • Use the 2.5L hybrid engine, and release a CT 300h.

I’m sure price would figure into any decision, but the bigger question is how important it is that the CT remain a hybrid-only model.

Hybrid was a key differentiator when the CT was released in 2011, but the hybrid marketing message has become more evolved and competitors now have comparable gas mileage. For every Lexus hybrid but the CT, Lexus offers a gasoline engine as an option.

What makes the CT so different?

[Source: The Motor Report]