Will it come to the US?
For many years, Lexus catered its models towards more conservative, older, and wealthy buyers. That worked just fine for a time but if Lexus ever wanted to be a real threat to the likes of Audi and BMW, then it had to reinvent itself. And it did just that, much to the chagrin of some long-time buyers. But younger customers are more important. So when Lexus discontinued its CT 200h hatchback in the US back in 2017, no one shed a tear. This boring hybrid hatchback may have been a good car in general, but it lacked mass appeal in the US. Not so for Europe where it remains on sale.
But according to Autocar, a replacement is coming in 2021. Question is, will it be a crossover or remain a hatchback?
More than likely, this unnamed new model will ride on parent company Toyota’s TNGA platform, which underpins nearly all of its new models, ranging from the Corolla to the just revealed new Highlander. The CT 200h’s successor will, at the very least, be a hybrid, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it were to become the brand’s first-ever EV. If that’s the case, then there’s a pretty good change this CT 200h’s successor will be sold in North America. Lexus has been moving to a global vehicle lineup model and the TNGA platform was designed specifically for enabling that.
Another question that remains unanswered is whether this new Lexus will be a hatchback or a crossover. At the moment, Lexus’ smallest vehicle is the UX sub-compact crossover that’s available with a hybrid powertrain option.
Given the continued demand for crossovers, especially in the luxury market, we’d be willing to place our bets on the CT 200h’s successor ditching the hatchback body style. To differentiate it from the UX, we also think an all-electric powertrain will be chosen.
However, if Lexus does intend to go with full-on electrification, it’ll first need to overcome potential battery supply issues. Why build an EV (or hybrids, for that matter) if not enough batteries are available? While the CT 200h was very unloved in the US, there is potential for a successor here, and a pure electric small crossover could be the best answer.