Lexus believes the CT still has a place in its line-up alongside the UX.
The Lexus CT was given the axe in America last year, and while the hybrid hatchback is still being sold in several countries, it’s certainly starting to show its age seven years after first going on sale. It looked like the UX crossover would replace the CT as the entry-level model in the automaker’s line-up, but according to a report by Auto Express, Lexus is plotting a successor for the hybrid hatchback. Speaking to the British publication, Lexus's European boss Pascal Ruch assures the Japanese automaker isn’t abandoning the hatchback segment.
Ruch believes the CT serves an important purpose of introducing new people to the brand. “The CT has a high conquest ratio of 70 to 75 per cent,” he said. “It’s useful at bringing new people to the brand. People buy the CT for efficiency; with the UX, we’re looking for a different customer.” “I believe all the segments we are now in, it’s important to stay there,” he added. Talking about a possible replacement for the CT, Auto Express reports a new model could launch in 2020. It will reportedly be built on Toyota’s new TNGA global platform and offered both as a hybrid and pure EV to take on the Tesla Model 3.
The hybrid version is likely to adopt the same 177-horsepower 2.0-liter from the new Auris, which is the European equivalent of the US-spec Corolla Hatchback. As for the design, hatchback and crossover variants are being considered for the CT’s successor. “We might have to think about a different approach to the sector,” Ruch said. “Maybe it’s the time to find something new in the CT’s segment.” Lexus has always struggled to sell dedicated hybrids in the US, so a lot will be riding on the new CT if Lexus hopes to change that.