• Sep 1, 2009
Lexus LF-Ch concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

With just a few weeks left before the Frankfurt Motor Show kicks off in high gear, Lexus has decided its high time to let loose a single teaser image of its hotly anticipated hybrid hatchback concept. The C-Segment model carries the LF-Ch designation and not the recently trademarked CT nameplate as first thought, making us wonder if there's something else up the automaker's corporate sleeve in the near future.

"Think BMW 1 Series, but hybrid." That's how Lexus describes the LF-Ch, and you could easily add the Audi A3 and Volvo C30 to that list of competitors. Underhood will be some form of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive, though the Japanese automaker has yet to release any actual powertrain details beyond that. Expect a more detailed explanation of the car's finer points in the run up to Frankfurt.

Across the showroom floor in Toyota's display will be the Auris HSD concept – which Toyota says is the first application of its hybrid technology in a mainstream model... other than the Prius, we presume – along with a plug-in version of its third-generation 2010 Prius and two separate concepts based on the diminutive iQ. Click past the break for the official press release and see the whole shebang in our gallery below.




PRESS RELEASE:

Toyota at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show

- World Premiere of the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept
- New Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept, European Premiere of the new Land Cruiser
- iQ show cars (iQ for Sports and iQ Collection)

The first Toyota highlight for the Frankfurt Motor Show will be the World Premiere of the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept. This represents a milestone in Toyota's strategy: introducing Toyota's full hybrid technology to a mainstream model, and the first step in the deployment of Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) across the company's model range.

The new Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept will also make its World debut in Frankfurt.
Prius Plug-in Hybrid expands the capabilities of Toyota's full hybrid technology (HSD), enabling pure electric operation for short-range day-to-day transportation.

In early 2010, an extensive field trial in Europe will see over 150 units being leased to selected fleet customers.

Frankfurt will also stage the European Premiere of the iconic, all-new Toyota Land Cruiser, which will go on sale in the 4th quarter of 2009.

Finally, two customised iQ show cars (iQ for Sports and iQ Collection) will give a glimpse of a future 'iQ World' and demonstrate the possibility for customers to personalise their cars.

The Toyota stand is located in Hall 8 of the Frankfurt Motor Show exhibition centre, where the Toyota press conference will take place on Tuesday, 15 September at 15h30.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well looks as if copycat Toyota strikes again. The hidden door handles and side profile scream of the Alfa Romeo 147, some hints of BMW 1 series. I am just not sure about this. Rear bumper lines and flow remind me of a Toyota iQ. I am just not too sure...maybe when I can see the whole thing. I would like to see a great looking small Lexus, but we will see
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wait, Toyota copied from Toyota??
        How could they do it?!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, and they copied the whole idea of a motorcar off Daimler-Benz. The nerve!
      • 5 Years Ago
      A comment to author Jeremy Korzeniewski on the first paragraph of the article: LF-Ch is the name of the concept version ONLY, and stands for L-Finesse Compact hybrid. The production version will bear the CT 200h moniker.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The haters are out. Toyota releases images of a good looking hatch yet it doesn't appease them. Hyundai comes out with a decent looking concept and the raves pour in. Definitely biased reaction going on in here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Correction: image*

        I'd like to see more please.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Really Epsilon? I'm pretty sure that lately, most people, Including myself, have lower expectations for ANYthing coming from Toyota, than a new offering from Hyundai/Kia. I'm actually more disappointed in the newer Hyundai/Kias because their styling is SO derivative of everything else out. The last gen H/K cars were boring, but at least they were somewhat unique.

        That being said, I have hopes for this Lexus hatch. Looks interesting. Also, it better be RWD, and can they please put a proper rear door handle on it?! I hate all those sedans/hatches/SUVs that pretend to be 2-doors with random body vertical body lines and a "hidden" door handle in th C/D-pillar. You're not fooling anybody.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Patrick - how do you propose for toyota to make enough money to make the hatch relevant producing a new platform for this car? or are you aware of a compact rwd platform toyotas using we're not - additionally, are you aware of some studies which indicate there's a serious market for a rwd hatch her, especially after BMW's decided not to bring their five door 1 series over?

        I've not heard of Toyota developing too many unique lexus platforms and have a hard time reasonably believing they won't use one of their fwd platforms for this car.

        • 5 Years Ago
        To be fair, I think people have lower standards for Hyundai then they do for Toyota.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great except:

      Wheels ...bleh
      Rear left corner, wayyyy too busy

      Love the yellow iQ
      • 5 Years Ago
      Love it! :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the taillights and how the spoiler is integrated but looks a little plain on the side, I'll leave final judgement until more pics are released.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lower rear looks way too busy, simply for the sake of being busy. There really doesn't need to be so much surface play in that section.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah...if only Lexus was as ballsy with its production cars as it is with its concepts...but I guess you could say that about a lot of manufacturers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not so sure what'll improve in person. Lexus isn't know for remarkable exterior design, just look at the IS-F and compare it to the M3 or C63, nor are they know for a remarkable drive. The A3, for example, looks quite good and handles itself quite well. Now maybe there is an untapped market of people looking for something a little less crisp with an even more insulated driving experience, but the C30 sales would beg to differ.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Soooooo.......... if Lexus itself is descibing it as "1series, but hybrid" does that mean it will be rwd?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the Lincoln Concept-C at this years earlier auto shows tipped the hand that there may be a "C" size segment opportunity in the luxury ranks.

      I hope Lincoln is working hard to bring out the Concept-C in about 18 months since Ford is now bringing concept to production in 2-years (ref. Taurus.).
      • 5 Years Ago
      I actually really like the LF-Ch. Hopefully Lexus will bring it to the U.S. someday as well, and that the production version doesn't stray too far from the concept.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I really like it. Don't mess with it!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota already use both 1.4 litre and 2.0 litre variants of their superb D-4D units in the Auris - a full hybrid would best be reserved for larger models in Europe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did Toyota seriously just slap a Toyota badge on the Scion iQ concept
      and call it a new "show car"? They coundn't even spring for a can of different
      coloured paint?
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