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A Hot Lexus UX F Crossover Could Be in the Works - Here's What it Will Look Like

A Hot Lexus UX F Crossover Could Be in the Works - Here’s What it Will Look Like

It’d be a sporty hybrid and it may look a lot like this

Lexus does make some nice sporty cars, but it’s not really perceived as such because most of its sales volume consists of cushy sedans and high-riders, most of which are also electrified. Having an electric motor on board to boost performance and economy certainly doesn’t hinder sportiness, though, so don’t be surprised if Lexus starts churning out hot F-badged electrified models, the first of which could be its new UX baby crossover.

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S. Lexus Execs Aim to Bring Lexus UX Concept to Market

S. Lexus Execs Aim to Bring Lexus UX Concept to Market

If it goes according to plan, the UX would be Lexus’ entry-level model in the US

Like most automakers, Lexus is making money hand-over-fist in the U.S. with its crossover and SUV offerings. Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken even admitted that the crossovers and SUVs account for 60 percent of the company’s sales volume in the US. It’s no surprise then that when the discussion turned to a possible replacement for the departing CT200h, the Japanese automaker already has one model in mind: a production version of the UX subcompact crossover concept.

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Lexus CT200h May Not Get Successor, Hybrid Crossover Could Take Its Place

Lexus CT200h May Not Get Successor, Hybrid Crossover Could Take Its Place

No decision has been made, but it doesn’t look good for the hybrid hatchback

The Lexus CT 200h is by no means a flop of a car. It routinely sells 10,000 units a year, which is a healthy number for a car of different circumstances. Unfortunately, for the CT 200h, it belongs in the premium compact market that’s worth around 750,000 cars in Europe alone. So in that respect, the CT 200h has failed to live up to the expectations of Lexus, so much so that that Lexus Europe chief Alain Uyttenhoven admitted that there’s talk of ending the CT 200h’s production when its lifespan concludes in 2018. No immediate successor has been identified, but according to Autocar, there is some sentiment that a production version of the LF-SA Concept that was shown at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show could eventually take the spot that will presumably be vacated by the CT 200h.

For Lexus, the rationale behind this big move is simple, at least if it does end up happening. The CT 200h isn’t selling as well as Lexus hoped relative to the segment it’s in. The company could develop a successor that’s better in every way, or it could just leave the segment entirely and concentrate on a more lucrative crossover/SUV market whose growth hasn’t shown signs of slowing down anytime soon.

The numbers even back it up because of the 652,000 units that Lexus sold all over the world in 2015, the Lexus NX and RX accounted for close to half of that number with both models selling roughly 150,000 units apiece. Lexus even expects the NX and RX to add to those sales numbers in 2016 to about 170,000 and 200,000 units, respectively.

Having a hybrid crossover to slot below the NX isn’t a guarantee of booming sales, but with customers tripping over themselves to buy crossovers and SUVs, the ceiling for a new model would be significantly higher compared to a successor to the CT 200h, even if the premium compact market is healthy in its own right.

And don’t be fooled by the robust sales numbers because Lexus isn’t doing as well as it likes in Europe, where it sold only 64,000 units across the board in 2015. That’s less than 10 percent of the company’s total sales volume. Uyttenhoven even said that the rough going across the pond is largely tied to the company having only one model – the CT 200h – in the sub-€40,000 ($45,000) bracket, which he adds accounts for “50 percent of the European luxury car market.”

So the question boils down to what the Lexus CT 200h can offer compared to a new hybrid crossover. From the looks of things, Lexus appears to be leaning towards the new crossover, a move that makes sense if it really wants to take a bigger piece of the crossover/SUV pie.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2015 Lexus CT 200h - Driven

2015 Lexus CT 200h - Driven

The Lexus CT 200h is in many ways just a tarted-up Prius. It uses the same engine, transmission, batteries and electric motor that all make up the Toyota Synergy Drive. The Lexus CT 200h even has a variation on the same strange shifter that the Prius uses. But where the Prius is all about function over form, the CT 200h adds a dash of Lexus luxury, a nicer exterior and an improved suspension setup for sportier handling.

I loved the 2014 Prius V I tested a few months back, but will better styling and a much tauter suspension finally be the push I need to really recommend a Toyota company hybrid? With its aggressive styling and stiffer chassis, the Lexus CT 200h almost seems like it could be a luxury hot hatch. For the new 2015 model, Lexus also added some new extras like the F Sport wheels to lower trim models to make it look even better.

After I had so much fun flogging the Prius V, I couldn’t wait to jump into the little five-door. Sadly, things weren’t as rosy as they appeared to be on paper.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2015 Lexus CT 200h

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Lexus Considering New Crossover Placed Under the NX

Lexus Considering New Crossover Placed Under the NX

We haven’t been shy about the vehicles we admire here on Topspeed. The Lexus NX midsize SUV falls into that list. The arrival of the NX has given Lexus a model to compete against the likes of the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5. But if the company really wants to make a statement, a smaller version of the NX should be on the horizon, right?

Lexus Europe Vice President Alain Uyttenhoven spoke with Autocar about the possibility of a smaller Lexus SUV. He wasn’t totally open but he also didn’t shoot it down, leaving us hanging with nail-biting phrases like “not impossible” and “makes sense”.

The man clearly knows how to evade leading questions, even if it comes at our unfortunate expense. But if you read between the lines, there is reason to be optimistic. For one, Uyttenhoven didn’t completely deny the possibility of a smaller, NX-based SUV. We’re going to take that as a sign that Lexus could be considering such a model in the future. For now, that’s a "win" in our book

Lexus does have a real gem in the NX SUV, and If it can use that as a basis for a smaller version, there will be no shortage of competitors sweating out the model’s arrival. Models like the BMW X1, the Audi Q3, and the Mercedes-Benz GLA should all be worried if Lexus does release a competing model.

The ball, it seems, is in Lexus’ court. What it does with it could change the landscape of the luxury, compact SUV segment.

Note: Lexus NX pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about Lexus NX.

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2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport

2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport

It goes without saying that the Lexus CT 200h is about as unique a car you can find for a hybrid hatch. Lexus has done a lot of work to bring out the best of this model in the past few years, even adding the unique spindle grille styling for the 2014 model. But even that wasn’t enough for the company because lo and behold, we now have the CT 200h F Sport.

The graduation from the standard model to the one with an F Sport stamp of approval is mostly limited to aesthetic and aerodynamic changes, but the difference between the two is pretty drastic, particularly on how sportier and more aggressive the front section of the CT 200h F Sport looks. Those inserts really do a lot to bring out the hybrid’s menacing look, right?

We certainly think so, and that’s one of the reasons why we think highly of the model, other than its obvious performance and efficiency numbers.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport.

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2014 Lexus CT 200h

2014 Lexus CT 200h

Next week we’ll have two major auto shows that most of you likely already know about: one in Los Angeles and one in Tokyo, Japan. There is, however, a smaller show that is coming up in China, and that it the 2013 Guangzhou Motor Show. Despite its relatively small size, Lexus has chosen this show to debut the updated Lexus CT 200h.

With just a few days before its official debut, which occurs on November 21st, Lexus has unveiled the first details and a few images of the revised hybrid hatchback.

According to Lexus, the 2014 CT 200h will adopt the signature Lexus spindle grille, newly designed alloy wheels and a revised rear appearance with a "more horizontal structure."

Lexus didn’t give up any of the details on its powertrain, but we expect to see the same hybrid system, with the possibility of a few more horsepower and some fuel consumption improvements. This means you can expect to see a 1.8-liter gasoline-powered four-pot with a pair of electric motors that combine to put down 134 horsepower at least.

Updated 11/29/2013: Lexus announced prices for the 2014 CT 200h, which will go on sale in late January or early February 2014. Prices will start from the same $32,050 as the 2013 model, plus processing and handling fee of $910.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus CT 200h and to see a side-by-side comparison of the 2013 and 2014 models.

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2014 Lexus IS F-Sport

2014 Lexus IS F-Sport

Lexus will unveil Show the new IS sedan next week at the 2013 Detroit Auto and, as no surprise to anyone, alongside the standard sedan, we will also see the F Sport version. To wet our whistles a little, Lexus has dropped the first official images on the new generation IS and, surprisingly, they reveal the F-Sport version.

When compared to a standard version, the F-Sport variant will add a more aggressive look, featuring special grille and front bumper design, an enhanced three-dimensional mesh grille, larger cooling openings, a black grille surround and, of course, an exclusive set of wheels. The model will also be equipped with a tuned chassis, a lowered suspension and a sportier interior with sports seats made using an integrated foaming method that ensures there are no gaps between the upholstery and the filling.

Under the hood, the IS F-Sport will keep the same engines found in the standard IS, meaning a choice of 2.5-liter and 3.5-liter V-6 engines.

Full details will be unveiled during the car’s official debut in Detroit.

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Video: Jay Leno Gets an Exclusive Look at the 2013 Lexus IS

Video: Jay Leno Gets an Exclusive Look at the 2013 Lexus IS

Obtaining exclusive access to test mules is an opportunity that manufacturers grant once in a blue moon. Some would consider it for the lucky few while some would simply snare at the idea. Lexus, however, was kind enough to let celebrity car collector, Jay Leno, take a look at the unannounced 2013 Lexus IS. Looks like beat every other journalist to it...

Though the car is wrapped in camouflage, it does show some elements of the final design that were inspired by the LF-CC concept. Jay also reveals some facts like the longer wheelbase and the 8-speed automatic gearbox, which was only available on the previous gen IS-F. Nothing more can be said. So we will have to stay mum just like the engineer in the video. At least until its 2013 unveil!

The mule Jay got to drive was powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces 306 horsepower. What’s surprising is the noise it makes. For a modest V-6 engine, it sure sounds like a V-8 engine. Lexus used to be famous for completely deleting the engine noise, but now it’s the other way around. Lexus sure is going in the right direction when it comes to driver-oriented cars. Watch out BMW!

With the LF-CC concept in mind and a picture of this mule, you can render what it would look in full metal and wait to see if you’ve rendered it correctly when Lexus officially unveils it at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

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Initial thoughts: 2010 Lexus HS250h

Initial thoughts: 2010 Lexus HS250h

Lexus has just left us their brand new 2010 HS 250h compact gas/electric luxury sedan. This premium compact hybrid from across the Pacific looks like nothing else you have ever seen from a four wheeled machine, it looks as if someone took a Camry and made it look cool. The HS line is an interesting move, unveiled at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it is made up exclusively of HS 250 h model, thus becoming an alternatively powered range of vehicles.

From the sound of things, and trust us it will be quiet, Lexus has no plans of expanding to gas guzzlers. It is almost like how most crossovers have the letter X hidden away somewhere in their name, the fuel efficient Japanese automaker is striking their point home with this one. While the name, and while the car’s proper name is Harmonious Sedan we’re thinking hybrid. The heart of the beast is a very green 2.4 Liter 16 Valve DOHC four cylinder with VVT-i coupled with a Lexus Hybrid Drive electric drive motor mated to a gas sipping Electronically Controlled Variable Transmission, all together the 21st century power train puts out 147 HP and 105 lb-ft of torque which should be good for 35 MPG around town and 34 MPG on the highway.

From the looks of things our HS is short on options but comes with everything necessary to spoil it’s owner, creature comforts like a push button starter, power everything, a spacious leather wrapped interior, satellite fed hard drive based navigation complete with backup camera displayed on a neat little screen that tucks itself away when not in use. Outside you get a distinctly hybrid looking vehicle with a visually appealing aggressive edge; wearing a bold three bar grill, stylish 18 inch wheels and a sporty little rear spoiler all for well under $40,000.

Continued after the jump.

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Soon-to-be unveiled Lexus hatchback to make its way to the US in 2012

Soon-to-be unveiled Lexus hatchback to make its way to the US in 2012

Lexus has been a busy bee these days. Fresh of showing teasers of their latest premium hatchback, Toyota’s luxury brand is now announcing that the car, which is set to make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, has now been penciled in for a US release sometime in 2012.

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 US these days.

Nevertheless, Lexus is pushing through with their plans in hopes that their new car can give theAudi A3 and the BMW 1 Series a run for their money.

Apart from a few renderings loitering around the Web these days, the car is still being kept under wraps before it makes its grand entrance at the Frankfurt Motor Show. From what we’ve gathered though, the car is set to come with the same hybrid drivetrain that’s currently powering one of Lexus’ hybrid vehicles, the HS 250h. If that’s the case, expect Lexus’ new compact car to come with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with a total of 187 horsepower.

Though not yet confirmed, it seems to be in line with what a compact car’s engine should be.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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Lexus plans Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series competitor

Lexus plans Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series competitor

Tadashi Arashima, the chief of Toyota Europe, announced the company plans a compact car from Lexus that will compete with cars like BMW 1 Series and the Audi A3. He also said he wants to double the sales of hybrid cars.

Arashima said: "We will offer a car in the compact class. We need smaller and more efficient vehicles, developed to meet the new CO2 emission targets."

Toyota wants to raise the hybrid sales from the current 50,000 units to 60,000 units in 2009 and 100,000 units. In 2009 Toyota will offer the new generation Prius that will also get a family van version. A plug-in version is scheduled for 2010.

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