Following up a fairly stylized earlier teaser image, Lexus
has released this photo of the compact hybrid
vehicle that it plans to show in Frankfurt and could well offer as a future production model, at least to customers in Europe. Nominally aimed at the likes of the BMW 1 Series
and Audi A3
, this five-door hatch -- officially dubbed LF-Ch (LF indicating its concept status and Ch short for compact hybrid) -- is based on the latest variation of the automaker's Hybrid
Synergy Drive architecture that underpins the Gen III Toyota Prius
. Like the new Lexus HS
250h just launched in the U.S., this Euro-oriented front-driver will have a gas-electric powertrain that puts a bit more of its premium emphasis on performance rather than economy. If -- but more likely when -- it does see volume build, there's a good chance some sort of turbodiesel engine might also be part of its mix. The closest Lexus will admit to predicting any sort of potential U.S. future for the LF-Ch is a very non-committal "we're studying it." While the LF-Ch would seem to be an eminently practical hybrid stablemate for the HS 250h, it all comes down to presenting a convincing business case to the powers that be, both here and in Japan.