• Aug 24, 2009
Lexus CT concept teaser sketch – Click above to enlarge

Last week, Lexus released a teaser image for a small hatchback that's tipped to debut in concept form at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. At the time, we wondered out loud if Toyota's premium brand would see fit to offer the entry-level model here in the States since sales of small wagon-shaped premium cars like the Audi A3 and Volvo C30 have yet to set this side of the world on fire.

Citing unnamed sources at Toyota, Automotive News reports that the Lexus hatch will indeed be developed for Europe but could possibly come Stateside in 2012. If that's true, the entry Lexus would potentially go up against the aforementioned European hatchbacks along with the BMW 1 Series and upcoming small cars from Cadillac and Lincoln.

Previous rumors had indicated that the new Lexus hatchback would be based on the Toyota Auris, carry the CT designation and come equipped with a range of hybrid powerplants – possibly starting with the 1.8-liter four cylinder with Hybrid Synergy Drive from the 2010 Toyota Prius.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req'd]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love hatches but for Lexus, this would be a colossal failure. It's a sporty archetype for some (thanks to the GTI) but a econobox for others (older luxury buyers). Given Lexus' brand and typical buyer mentality (older, soft, image-oriented) this is definitely NOT the way to go.

      That said, I think every lux brand will soon need an entry level car. Economic pressures will continue for a long, long time and car buyers are not going to be able to buy the IS/3-series/A4 that they did in the last decade.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just please don't change the styling if that ends up as the only redeeming quality of this car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Audi wants to set the market on fire they need to bring the S3, or will it be to expensive?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd happily consider a less expensive, higher-mileage (hybrid option-yes!) Lexus. All the Prius folks gotta go somewhere, not just another Prius, and the Hs250hhhh Hybrid is not working for me, at least.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope Lexus does bring a small luxury hatchback with IS250 AWD system and V6 to US
      But it needs to be priced below Audi A3.

      $30K tops as I doubt US consumers will want to spend more than that on a small hatchback even if does have a Lexus badge on it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Which goes to say that people are foolish and image conscious."

        No more than you.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Which goes to say that people are foolish and image conscious.

        Hatchbacks and station wagons... BAD!

        SUVs and crossovers GOOD!... even though they're pretty well the same thing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What about the Audi A3, Golf, Skoda, Seat etc. They share major components and it hasn't harmed Audi's image.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought the new small car offering from Cadillac (ATS) was going to be a 3 series competitor, not a 1 series.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This car wont compete with the Cadillac ATS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would like this hybrid even more if it was a sport coupe in this price range, with enough room in the back for two. I'm waiting for them to duplicate the luxury feel of the old SC300/400, in the under $40k range. The IS feels too flimsy and not up to Lexus standards.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I blame GM for most of this ridiculously early car coming crap. I hereby make a vow to never read any post concerning a car with an introduction date of more than 12 months from date of posting. Seeing what I can't buy, or even in most cases like this, can't exactly plan on when to buy, takes up too much time I could be wasting more productively.

      I liked it better when the Chevy dealer covered the windows with paper in September and we had to sneak around back to see what next month's new introduction looked like.

        • 5 Years Ago
        "time I could be wasting more productively"

        Sorry, I had to laugh at that sentence.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Over priced Toyota's
      • 5 Years Ago
      Of course, we can't be sure where this little Lexus would compete until more is known about its size, but I really don't see the C30 and A3 as very competitive with each other. You can just lump them into "small premium hatches" without putting any thought into it, but the C30 is MUCH smaller and less practical than an A3. A C30 is like a tiny coupe with a hatch on the back, where an A3 is a more usefully-sized 5-door with room for adults to sit in the back (and doors to make it possible for non-gymnasts to access those rear seats.)

      It would make sense for the Lexus to be in that size range, but the IS and the A3 are already almost identical in passenger space, so if they're shooting for smaller-than-IS then it's likely to be a tiny thing. The IS is about 10" longer overall than the A3, but that really is just what's necessary to get a little luggage room with the inherently less-efficient packaging of a sedan. The IS is actually a bit narrower outside than an A3, and the passenger-compartment dimensions are very similar between the 2 cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "REPORT: Lexus hatch coming to U.S. in 2012?"

      And why not. The US car market is on its head. In order to have a hatch back or a stick shift, you have to buy a luxury car.
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