Here’s the 2018 Lexus CT 200h America Won’t Be Able to Buy
The Lexus hybrid hatchback goes under the knife.
Long live the Lexus CT. While the hatch will no longer be sold in the states, the entry-level model Lexus will continue to thrive in rest of the world. Thus the 7-year-old car is due for yet another nip-tuck. Making its initial debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the CT hatch was the first of its kind. While other luxury manufacturers such as Audi and Mercedes-Benz were relying on diesel, Lexus chose to utilize its parent company's successful Hybrid Synergy Drive, redubbed Lexus Hybrid Drive.
Changes to the 2018 model year are minor but noticeable. The refreshed front and rear fascias feature redesigned headlights and taillights. Also up front is an all-new spindle grille. The interior has been slightly revised the biggest change being a larger 10.3-inch infotainment display.
The 5-door will continue to be powered by the 1.8L Atkinson-cycle engine originally made for the third-generation Prius. The combustion engine and electric motor produce a combined 134 horsepower. It's a bit underwhelming considering not only does the Lexus weigh more than the Prius but also has a higher drag coefficient because it is less aerodynamic.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons US sales have dwindled down to the point where Lexus can no longer justify selling the car. Had the Japanese luxury automaker gone through with the planned CT 300h or CT 400h variants, it might have been able to save the dying model and introduce a second-generation. There were even rumors of a gasoline-only option making use of the 2.0L inline-4 turbo first introduced in the NX crossover but alas Lexus only stuck with one model.
Lexus is no stranger to one-off hybrids—lest we forget the short-lived HS 250h. Although the CT sold for much longer it ultimately suffered the same fate. The NX is now the entry-level model until the arrival of the UX crossover later this year.