On the hunt for a reasonably priced gas-electric hybrid-powered compact, but want something a little nicer than the oddity that is the Toyota Prius? You probably remembered that Lexus made the CT 200h. That's made, as in the Prius platform mate was discontinued in 2017.
But word on the street is that Lexus is working on a replacement, according to Autocar in the UK. The outlet spoke to Lexus Europe's head honcho, Pascal Ruch, at the Geneva Motor Show recently, who shed some light on the matter.
According to the report, a new CT 200h is set to arrive sometime in 2021 and will be built on Toyota's latest TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) modular platform. TNGA these days underpins a majority of Toyota's current models, from the new Camry, to the new Corolla, the current Prius, and even the new RAV4 and Highlander.
But what isn't so clear is whether the CT 200h will keep its hatchback body style. A few years ago, we even heard the CT 200h could be replaced by a hybrid crossover. But nothing's confirmed.
The original CT 200h used Toyota's old "New MC Platform." When new at the time, it underpinned many models from the third-generation Toyota Prius and Prius V, to the last Scion tC, Scion xB, the outgoing Toyota Corolla, the previous Toyota RAV4, and many other JDM-specification Toyota models.
The CT 200h also pretty much utilized the same 1.8-liter 2ZR-FXE inline-four and electric motor hybrid powertrain as the Prius. It also produced the same total 134 horsepower and 153 pound-feet of torque.
Despite being discontinued in the U.S. two years ago, Lexus continued with the CT 200h in Europe, where it sold, but modestly. And despite not being too hot of a seller here stateside as well, Lexus is adamant about keeping it in the portfolio as the automaker continues to push for more fuel-efficient hybrid models. Over the long-term, Lexus plan hopes to boost its global market share of hybrids to 50%.
"Europe has a great strategic importance for Lexus because it's seen as a leading region for technology and design," Ruch told Autocar in its interview. "Our hybrid sales are highest in Europe, China and Japan will electrify [internal combustion engines] and the wider U.S. market is really now starting with hybrids."
From the previous CT 200h's recipe, it's reasonable to presume that the new model will also share many of its components with either the new Prius or the new Toyota Corolla, along with the same Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive, except rebranded to fit Lexus' portfolio.