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First look: Lexus hatch laid bare

C this: Lexus baby hatch, the C-Premium, ready for Frankfurt birth.

First official sketch of Lexus small hatch emerges ahead of Frankfurt launch

Lexus logo17 Aug 2009

By MARTON PETTENDY

LEXUS has revealed the first image of the concept that will herald its entry into the premium compact vehicle segment.

The all-new Lexus model will make its global debut in concept guise at the Frankfurt motor show on September 15 and has been confirmed for release as the Japanese luxury brand’s volume-selling model in Australia from early 2011.

Revealed here in the first official sketch that Lexus says gives the first indication of its design direction, the new Lexus hatchback is expected to become available with conventional petrol and petrol-electric hybrid drivetrains.

However, it is unclear from the sketch, which was revealed with no technical details this week, if the new Lexus baby will feature two side doors or four.

Previewing a model that has been codenamed C-Premium, Lexus says the Frankfurt show car “will demonstrate a mix of technical innovation and ground-breaking design that promises to raise the bar in the premium compact segment”.

The Toyota luxury brand said the concept, which features an aggressive and low front-end design and a high beltline below an extremely narrow glasshouse and flat roof, will “demonstrate key Lexus strengths in a compact package”.

As we’ve reported, the front-wheel-drive compact Lexus hatch will be priced from under $50,000 in Australia, positioned below the IS250 sedan (from $58,990) to compete directly with BMW’s 1 Series and Audi’s A3 small-car ranges.

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