They still sell the Lexus CT 200h in places that aren’t the U.S. (having killed it off here in 2017), though the model currently on offer hasn’t been updated much since it was first introduced in 2011. But according to Autocar, Lexus is working on what could be a replacement, likely for 2021. It’ll be smaller than the UX at least. This is for the better, since the CT 200h was never, exactly, beloved.
The CT 200h is a small hybrid, meant to compete with cars like the Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid. The problem is that not many people bought them here, though they were more popular overseas. The American market for a slightly fancier version of the Prius is pretty small, but I wonder if Lexus will go a bit bolder with this new small car.
Will it be Lexus’s first all-electric, for example? Will it be cheaper? Will the interior be more modern? Will it, I don’t know, actually be good? We don’t know for now, though Autocar speculates on a few of the details.
The new model is therefore expected to arrive in 2021 and will almost certainly be based on Toyota’s new TNGA platform, which should offer significantly better interior packaging than today’s car.
What’s not clear yet, however, is whether Lexus will retain the CT 200h’s hatchback bodystyle or move to something more crossover-shaped. We know it will be offered with some form of electrification, and it’s possible that such a car could be Lexus’s long-awaited first EV.
I’m rooting for this car, like I root for all small cars, which means I’m hoping Lexus gets this right.
Lexus’s head of Europe Pascal Ruch also told the publication that the company’s long-term goal was for fully half of its cars to be electrified in the future; right now only about one quarter of sales across the world are hybrids.
But in Europe 75 percent of Lexuses sold are hybrids, which means they will be likely be among the first to get the new small Lexus. Will it come to American shores, though?
Autocar doesn’t say. I emailed Lexus to see if I could find out, but a spokesman said, “Unfortunately, we can’t comment on speculation about future product.”
Ruch’s comments, though, give a small glimmer of hope.
“Europe has a great strategic importance for Lexus because it’s seen as a leading region for technology and design,” Ruch said. “Our hybrid sales are highest in Europe, China and Japan will electrify [internal combustion engines] and the wider US market is really now starting with hybrids.”
We are “just starting” with hybrids, indeed.