Lexus Previews New Compact Hybrid Concept for European Market
By KBB.com Editors on November 30, 2009 10:32 AMFollowing 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.