Lexus CT Prototype Tells Us Something Better’s Afoot

The Lexus CT 200h needs some help. Despite being the brand’s most accessible model, the hybrid hatchback is one of its slowest-selling. But help appears to be on the way.

Our reader Jamie Hambling sent us in these photos he snapped of what appears to be a camouflaged CT prototype undergoing testing in the UK. It’s hard to discern much given all the swirly stuff, but for what it’s worth, those look like new wheels.

More than any details we can (or can’t) pick up from the photos, the existence of the prototype suggests there’s something afoot for Lexus’ entry-level model. Whether that’s a mild facelift or a more comprehensive replacement, only time will tell.

Lexus launched the CT in 2011, taking the place of the HS sedan as the brand’s only dedicated hybrid and entry-level model. A facelift with updated styling arrived in 2013. Despite registering trademarks for the nameplates CT 200h, CT 300h and CT 400h, it has only offered the model with the one powertrain, pairing a 1.8-liter inline-four with an electric motor and CVT to produce a paltry 134 horsepower and 153 lb-ft of torque.


  • Akira

    Difficult to believe the CT200H was only launched in 2011 as despite the facelift the interior looks so dated. That’s maybe why it didn’t sell so well.

  • Finkployd

    The back is so similar to the current one; I don’t understand why the camo

    • Trocadero

      So somebody might notice it exists?

    • Termin8r


  • Poison_Eagle

    Yeah this looks like a mid-cycle facelift. I wonder if it will stay hybrid or diversify its engine line-up.

  • chippers

    I completely forgot it even existed. I guess you don’t see many of them around.

  • Jamie Hambling

    I didn’t manage to get a picture but it looked more or less like the current car at the front as well. I think it’s a very mild facelift

  • Miknik

    Weird thing, on one hand, it looks so similar, can only be a facelift (even as an Audi this would be too close to previous. Also Lexus hinted at replacing this with a small CUV). Then again, why bother with all the camo. Also, the CT200h is already 5 years on the market, why bother with another facelift, I doubt anyone would bother buying this slow seller now over any of it’s younger rivals. Even with a much wider offer of engines, it needs a new generation to be a serious player. Yes, the CT200h is a nice car, but base prices are very expensive, and one engine option is too little, as simple as that.

  • Bob

    This is the Lexus that most reminds us that it’s a Toyota. It’s too sensible.

    • MultiKdizzle

      The ES is a Toyota. The CT gets a pass from me.

  • Able

    Why even bother facelifting it? In many parts of the world, the Corolla/Auris Hybrid is offered which is essentially the same car but much cheaper, let alone the new Prius being so much more efficient than this is. All of the CT200h’s competitors are dynamic and fun, something that the pretty much rest of the Lexus lineup are – either give us an entirely new one with turbo petrol power or kill it entirely!

  • LexusGXman

    It’s a test mule for the new compact crossover idiots

  • John Morgan

    What would be really nice if the CT200t (no H) F Sport was made that used the 2.0 liter turbo 4 instead then have the CT300H be the 2.5 liter hybrid that pumps out 200 hp as the hybrid. That way you have a really sporty entry with a peppy hybrid alternative.

  • Pickles

    Somewhere I read that the next CT would be a small, hybrid SUV. I guess not… or they’ll develop two models.