Make / Model Search

Future models - Lexus - CT - 240h

Lexus on the move

Improvements: The recently-introduced Lexus CT200h compact hybrid is likely to receive some changes in 2012.

CT200h to get further improvements and larger-engined sibling as Lexus rebuilds

19 Sep 2011


THE Lexus CT200h hybrid small car, already the recipient of a number of minor trim and audio changes this month even though it was only released in March this year, is expected to receive further improvements in 2012.

There is also a possibility that the compact hybrid will be joined by the larger-engined CT240h, to help inject some driver’s car credibility in the front-drive eco luxury hatch.

Lexus Australia marketing manager Peter Evans said the larger-engined hybrid was more likely than a rumoured non-hybrid petrol-engined version of the car.

He said the CT240h – which appeared at the Melbourne motor show and employs the same 2.4-litre hybrid drivetrain as the Camry Hybrid rather than the CT200h’s 1.8-litre unit – was “under study”.

“We’d love to see it (on sale here) because it will give us a performance variant,” said Mr Evans.

“The new 2.4-litre hybrid drivetrain, which is being used in a range of models, that’s over 150kW compared to 100kW, so the power-to-weight ratio would be very worthwhile for a performance brand.”

After a tumultuous few months following Japan’s deadly earthquake and tsunami in March, Lexus production was back on track from August.

31 center imageLeft: Lexus Australia marketing manager Peter Evans.

Mr Evans indicated that while the initial 2011 forecast for 8000 vehicles was no longer viable as a result of the natural disaster, a strong finish should see the company finish the year off at around 6500 vehicles.

Lexus should be boosted next year by the all-new GS sedan, which has been confirmed for a second-quarter, including the petrol-electric Hybrid version that made its debut at the Frankfurt motor show last week and will usurp the V8 as the range flagship.

Mr Evans believes the fourth-generation E-class competitor is improved in a number of important ways, including passenger and boot space, and sales should therefore improve significantly.

“The GS has never been particularly successful in its segment,” he admitted.

“It appealed to a narrow buyer audience … it lacked boot space, rear headroom and legroom and (easy) ingress and egress. But the new car addresses all of the customer feedback issues.”

The revamped GS range will kick off a busy 2012 for Lexus, as it revises or renews most of the model line-up.

Among the changes slated for next year are “big” facelifts for the three-year old RX and four-year old LX SUVs, and a complete reskin for the LS limousine.

Further down the track, Lexus will be boosted by a redesigned IS after eight years with very little change, but not before the 2013 model year at the earliest.

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram
Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here