The words 'entry-level' and 'luxury' may sound contradictory, but it's one of the ways premium automakers lure in new customers into their showrooms. Audi has the A1, BMW has the 1 Series, and Mercedes-Benz has the A-Class. Not to be outdone, Lexus is coming up with one soon.
Yes, Lexus has the CT200h but it's rather long in the tooth now. It's been around since 2011, easily making it one of the oldest cars in the Lexus range. But a new decade is coming soon, and if Lexus wants to bring in a younger clientele, the CT200h has to be redesigned.
Lexus says that an all-new 'baby' model will arrive in about two to three years. However, it's not exactly clear what it will be called, meaning the CT200h might not see a new generation. For now, the future of what the entry-level Lexus will be is up for speculation. What is certain is that it will be using Toyota's new TNGA platform, also known as the Toyota New Global Architecture.
Some reports are suggesting that the new entry-level Lexus could be Toyota's first mass-produced electric vehicle. It has also been said that it may even be yet another small crossover. However, the likelihood of the latter seems unlikely, as the role of small crossover is currently being handled by the already compact UX line. Because of that, a hatchback seems to be a more plausible option.
However, if Lexus wants an even bigger slice of the market, it would probably be worth considering making a small sedan that slots under the IS line. At the moment, Lexus does not have a small four-door sedan whereas their rivals, do. Looking at the German opposition, there's the A3 sedan, A-Class sedan and CLA, and soon, the 2 Series Gran Coupe. The A3 sedan and CLA in particular have helped Audi and Mercedes-Benz gain an even wider audience in North America.
Then there's the question of its engine. Will it be a strictly hybrid model, or will there be small displacement turbo engines as well? Lexus has yet to delve into details just yet. That said, a hybrid option appears to be a certainty as most Lexus cars and crossovers have that option. Whatever the end result may be, Toyota's luxury division is keen on making a car that's within reach for more people.
Source: Autocar UK