Lexus LF-Ch concept - click above for high-res image gallery
Lexus introduced its LF-Ch concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and it's believed to be a shoe-in for production for the European market. However, in a new Detroit Bureau interview with the brand's general manager, Mark Templin, it is confirmed that Lexus is seriously considering bringing a production version of the hatchback to the U.S. market as well. If it does come here, it would be the smallest Lexus and would compete against the likes of the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, Volvo C30 and Mini Cooper – only the latter of which has managed to sell in big numbers. The Lexus concept will be shown again at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show as well as in Detroit, where Lexus officials will be evaluating reactions to a premium priced small car.
Such cars are already well accepted in Europe and the idea of smaller premium cars may yet hold some appeal in the U.S. – especially if fuel prices rise. Lexus has no intention of decontenting the LF-Ch to keep the price down if it does come to the States. While the Detroit Bureau cautions that a production LF-Ch is likely to have a conventional powertrain as standard fitment, a hybrid will probably be needed to compete with the A3 TDI and a possible 1 Series hybrid or diesel down the line.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]