Lexus To Launch Updated CT 200h Next Year, Eventually Offer More Variants: Report
Out of Lexus’ lineup, the CT 200h is the only model yet to receive the automaker’s spindle grille treatment, with the entry-level hatch still wearing the same clothes it had on when it made its debut back in 2010. That won’t be the case for long, however, as the CT 200h is said to be receiving a facelift next year.
Faced with strong competition from the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and soon a new BMW 2-Series, Lexus’ CT 200h is in need of a revamp. Speaking with GoAuto, the head of Lexus Australia, Sean Hanley, said that revamp will come as early as next year.
Hanley didn’t reveal any details on the facelifted CT 200h but he did hint at a broader spread of CT models for the car’s next generation.
“There's a big opportunity for us [with CT 200h] in the next cycle of the car,” he said.
GoAuto reports that the next-generation CT 200h is due around 2016 and that more variants are possible. One of the most likely is a compact sedan, which should help boost sales in the important U.S. and Chinese markets. Audi and Mercedes already have compact sedans and BMW is believed to be working on a 1-Series-badged compact sedan of its own.
Is This the 2014 Lexus CT 200h Facelift or a Photoshop?
Recent reports from Australia, including one from Go Auto, hinted at the market launch of a mid-cycle facelift for Lexus' underperforming CT 200h as early as next year. Today, an allegedly official image, said to have been scanned from the 2014 CT 200h's brochure, has surfaced online.
At this point, we cannot verify its authenticity, especially since its size doesn't allow us to get a closer look at the changes made, and which seem to be limited to the full height spindle grille that sports the same zig-zag mesh pattern as the one used on the latest LS F Sport sedan.
With the Los Angeles and Tokyo auto shows coming up next month, there's a good chance that we'll see whether this image of the updated model is genuine or not.
In the U.S., year-to-date (from January through September) sales of the CT 200h are down 16.0 percent to 11,440 units, while the compact hybrid isn't doing well in other markets either, with monthly sales in Australia, for example, plummeting from 150 units last year to 54 in September.
Following reports from last week that a refreshed Lexus CT 200h would arrive in dealers for the 2014 model year, we've gotten our first glimpse of what said refresh entails, and well, at first glance, it's not much. Lexus has fitted its familial spindle-style grille and a new set of headlamps to the hybridized hatchback.
Out back, the CT 200h has gotten a set of slightly slimmer taillights, while the F-Sport model shown here sports a revised rear bumper, with what looks like a subtle diffuser and some vertical vents. All told, the exterior refinements are nice, if not subtle, additions to the five-door hatchback.
It's unclear if anything has changed inside the CT 200h, although we'd expect a similarly light refreshening in line with what's been done outside. As for the hybrid powertrain, we wouldn't expect a wholesale change in that department – at least until the next-generation CT arrives around 2016.
Take a look up top for the complete gallery of the refreshed CT 200h, then let us know what you think of the design changes in Comments.
Just a week after a Lexus of Australia executive revealed that a new CT 200h was on tap for 2014, our spy photographers have spotted the updated version of the hybrid hatchback on the set of a photo shoot.
As expected, the refreshed 2015 CT 200h – seen here in F Sport guise – will sport a new front end highlighted by Lexus' signature spindle grille. Other front-end tweaks include a revised bumper, new fog lights and sleeker headlights.
Outback the 2015 CT will wear an updated bumper that gives the hatchback a slightly more aggressive look.
Our spies weren't able to snap any shots of the CT's interior, but expect a light freshening.
The 2015 Lexus CT 200h will see some fierce competition in the luxury compact segment from the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CLA and Audi A3. To better take on those vehicles Lexus will reportedly expand the CT lineup to include a sedan and possible a gas-only version. However, those variants are at least three years out from production.
Look for the 2015 Lexus CT 200h to debut either later this year at the LA auto show or in early 2014 at the Detroit auto show.