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by Tim Beissmann

The facelifted Lexus CT200h has been completely revealed in a set of shots months ahead of its early-2014 launch.

CarAdvice’s spy photographers captured Lexus’ compact premium hatchback on an official photo shoot in the US, uncovering the mid-life styling updates for the CT200h that is tipped to be revealed at January’s Detroit auto show.

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As expected, the 2014 Lexus CT200h embraces the latest form of the Japanese manufacturer’s ‘L-Finesse’ design language, which is distinguished by the signature spindle grille.

F Sport badges confirm the spied hatchback is the flagship sports variant, which is likely to feature unique styling elements such as the grey fog light surrounds, racy 10-spoke alloy wheels, and restyled rear bumper with lower outlets and diffuser.

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Lexus Australia CEO Sean Hanley revealed last week the updated CT200h – due in local showrooms in the first half of 2014 – represented a “big opportunity for the brand.

Sales of the Lexus CT200h, which starts at $39,990, have fallen 41 per cent this year to 646 units following the launch of newer and cheaper premium rivals like the $35,600 Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2328 sales) and Audi A3 (1436 sales), and the $34,990 Volvo V40 (754 sales), and the repositioning of the $35,600 BMW 1 Series (1559 sales).

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Lexus Australia is expected to at least match the pricing of its European rivals, potentially signalling price cuts of $5000 or more for its updated entry-level model.




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