Lexus has had a minor success on its hands with the CT200h, a funky, five-door, sport-luxury hybrid that burst onto the scene in 2011, and managed just over 17,000 US sales in 2012. Worked out to a monthly average, that's nearly 50 percent more units per month than Lexus initially targeted when the car went on sale.

Though it's done well, the CT has been left behind while designers and engineers have reworked the rest of the Lexus lineup, bringing out fully revamped versions of the GS, IS and LS over the past few years. According to a report from Down Under, though, the little CT will get some attention soon.

Speaking to Sean Hanley, boss of Lexus Australia, Aussie site The Motor Report picked up a telling quote about the execs affections for the CT, when he said, "We see the CT200h as our greatest opportunity." Hanley added that a refresh of the CT could happen early in 2014, while a clean-sheet reworking would happen around 2016.

The work needs to be done if Lexus wants to continue playing in an ever fiercer compact luxury market, with competitors from Mini on the low side and the usual suspects Germany – the new Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz CLA and BMW 2 Series – on the high end, getting ready to make life difficult for the hybrid-powered CT. It'll be interesting to see what Lexus does with the next CT. Will it stick with a hybrid powertrain while the rest of the class is gas and diesel, or will it expand beyond the current powerplant? Let us know what you think down in Comments.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 63 Comments
      clquake
      • 1 Year Ago
      Was excited when the car first came out, test drove one, one of the biggest let downs I've ever had. There should be a regulation that mandates that when you advertise a car as sporty, it must actually be sporty.
      CaddyV8
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love the mileage I get in mine, and it does get a slight boost off the line in Sport mode, but even still, it's just sloooowww. Can be a fun little car to drive but I hope you don't have to pull of any fast passing maneuvers!
      kal_elkal
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should use what they learned with that one-off Yaris Hybrid-R performance compact, and apply a similar drive-train to the CT200h. That would certainly give it a sporting character but still keep the hybrid components.
      Jeff
      • 1 Year Ago
      Finally....great concept to launch this attractive and lower priced Lexus years back, but the single, lame hybrid powertain, really limited it's appeal. Need some gasoline engines with more performance for this to be a credible alternative to an A3, CLA, and upcoming FWD 1-series.
      Greg
      • 1 Year Ago
      I looked at the CT when it came out. It's much too small. The 'performance' for what it is--a nice Prius--is not a problem. The performance for what Lexus tries to sell it to be--a 'sporty' car--is just sad.
      Bruce Lee
      • 1 Year Ago
      They really need to put a higher power hybrid powertrain in there. The powertrain from the Camry/Avalon hybrids would make the CT way more driveable for something that's supposed to be a sporty hatch. If they can keep the weight somewhat reasonably controlled and bump the power up, and maybe throw in a few Lexus tweaks to boost efficiency/power even more (direct inject the motor, use lithium ion cells, etc.) then it could be a pretty neat little hatch. Obviously all the other updates like exterior styling and an upgraded interior are going to be needed but honestly, that powertrain is the most important thing for the next model. If they can get it to hit 45mpg+ combined like the latest hybrid sedans while giving the practicality of a hatch and the luxury experience of a Lexus it's gonna be a hit.
      Spartan
      • 1 Year Ago
      We test drove one of these when they were new in 2011. What a complete rip off. For $40k, it had a manual passenger seat (Yes a slide up lever and all), a crap stereo and was so slow it couldn't get out of its own way. Lexus needs to upgrade the CT's content / interior first. Leave the drivetrain alone and make this car worth buying. As of right now, it's just a prettier Prius with a huge idiot tax.
        PTC DAWG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spartan
        Manual seats rarely break and weigh less as a bonus...win win to me.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spartan
        Luxo cars are all like the that. Base model comes with nothing and everything costs you extra. A base BMW 3 series has a manual DRIVERs seat.
      Manual Stick
      • 1 Year Ago
      hopefully one feature they'll update is making it not so retarded looking.
      askroon
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love the exterior and interior design of the CT, but I couldn't put up $35k for that underperforming powertrain. Now if they put the Mazda3 2.5L manual trans setup in the CT we could talk. Also I have far more feature content in my $20k Hyundai (which is faster as well).
        NamorF-Pro
        • 1 Year Ago
        @askroon
        It's a hybrid... What performance? It's just a luxurious and much better looking Prius.
        Seal Rchin
        • 1 Year Ago
        @askroon
        What business school did you go to? You want them to offer a manual transmission that nationally is sold in 1%-2% of cars only.....and it will make MPGs worse and add to production cost. Also what features your 20K Hyundai has that this does not...............before you open that mouth of yours and spew more diarrhea i want to tell you that i own a 2012 Sonata GLS..................so go ahead.
      Seal Rchin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Here in NYC i see more of these around than i ever expected, very popular here. I know nationally Focus probably easily outsells this car but i see these more often in NYC. Because of the brutal and constant stop and go in NYC hybrids do very well here.
      Tom
      • 1 Year Ago
      Didn't think anyone bought these. I have never seen ine on the road. Thank goodness. my eyes would never forgive me.
        Cyrus Brooks
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tom
        Unfortunately I've seen the on the road. They are just as hideous as they are in the pictures. Luckily I don't see them often.
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      This car is so ugly, fix the styling before you try to fix any of its other problems.