Lexus recently unveiled the compact hybrid LF-Ch Concept earlier this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The forward thinking hatchback is a preview as to what the future of luxury will be all about, set to compete head to head with other efficient space saving luxury vehicles like the the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 when the LF-Ch makes its scheduled debut sometime in 2012.
In an official statement, Lexus General Manager Mark Templin said that "There is a group of buyers growing up now who won’t buy cars by the pound. We have already seen a structural shift to the smaller and lower-priced segments of the luxury market over the last couple years." The compact premium segment has been strong in congested urban areas for years, especially in Europe. The challenge that not only Lexus but a host of other automakers are setting for themselves is how to get the American market to warm up to the idea of paying mare and getting less. One of the steps that will most likely be taken when the LF-Ch becomes production ready is the use of a conventional power train in order to pass the savings along to the customer, but with any success you can expect Toyota to release a hybrid versions shortly after.
The Japanese luxury automaker Lexus is planning to unveil the all new LF-Ch compact hybrid hatchback at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, the LF-Ch will compete head to head with other luxury compact models like the BMW 1 Series and the Audi A3. However what sets the Lexus apart from the crowd is that the production version will be offered exclusively as a hybrid.
The Lexus LF-Ch combines stylish design cues with full hybrid technology in a practical 5 door compact package that should perfectly fulfill the needs of even the most demanding premium compact customers. The LF-Ch will feature a bolder Lexus grille that sits atop a deep, bulging front bumper complete with a trio of intakes giving it a perfect balance of both precision and power. The sharply sculpted, aerodynamic front fenders flow into the front bumper to create a wide set of arches and a deep set of brake cooling ducts that give the LF-Ch a powerful and purposeful stance.
The LF-Ch benefits from having an electric vehicle mode, a key aspect of the Lexus hybrid drive train, allowing the luxury hatch to operate as a zero emissions vehicle and allow for a virtually silent urban driving experience.
Press release after the jump. Full story
The Japanese luxury brand, has just released the first teaser image of the upcoming Lexus LF Ch compact hybrid hatchback that will compete head to head with the BMW 1 Series and other high end compacts when it makes an official debut later on this month at the Frankfurt Motor Show along with the Toyota Auris HSD concept. While we welcome the addition of the Lexus hatchback in the States, we remain skeptical as to how the car is going to perform in this part of the world, especially when you consider that hatchback cars aren’t necessarily in demand in the U.S. these days. Nevertheless, Lexus is pushing through with their plans in hopes that their new car can give the Audi A3 a run for its money.
Despite the Japanese automaker’s conviction for rear wheel drive vehicles, it appears that the Lexus LF Ch concept will be offered as a front wheel drive model and will be power by a hybrid system and will be able to run in electric only mode. However there is also talk of a hybrid powered version. It could be that the compact cruiser will be offered exclusively as a green car, powered by a 2.4 Liter four cylinder engine that, with the help of an electric motor, is set to produce a maximum output of 187 HP in the LF Ch concept.