Next-gen hatchback to get extreme makeover

Lexus is planning big things for its next-generation CT small car, with a new report claiming the brand will offer an electric variant to take on the likes of the Tesla Model 3.

Auto Express quotes the company's European boss, Pascal Ruch, confirming a successor to its ageing Prius-based model, adding Lexus wants to offer "something different" to differentiate the CT from the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 1 Series.

"If the question is ‘Will we replace the CT?’, let’s say so. If we look back since 2012, the brand has experienced, step by step, a strong evolution. But I believe all the segments we are now in, it’s important to stay there," he said.

"We might have to think about a different approach to the sector. Maybe it’s the time to find something new in the CT’s segment."

The British publication believes this "something different" could come in the form of multiple powertrain options – including an all-electric variant.

Lexus is expected to launch the next-generation CT in 2020, based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) as the company's sister model to the Toyota Corolla (Auris in Europe).

The hybrid version will likely get the new Corolla's uprated hybrid system featuring a new 2.0-litre petrol engine, while the EV model could be one of Toyota's "more than 10 battery-electric models" to come in the first half of the next decade.

While it remains a top-seller in its home market of Japan and a strong seller in markets like Europe, the CT has struggled to make a mark in Australia. For the month of March it only managed 62 registrations, down 39.2 per cent on the same period last year.

By comparison, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class sold nearly 10 times that figure in March, while also increasing its hold on the premium small car segment by 35.3 per cent for the same period.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest Lexus CT updates.