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Old 05-07-2009, 04:12 AM   #14
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Default Lexus Hybrid Hatchback To Debut At Frankfurt: Rumour

Lexus looks set to up the ante in its never-ending quest to upstage its German rivals, with the Japanese luxury brand rumoured to be prepping a 1 Series-fightin’ five-door hatchback for a debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
The hatch will be built on the same Prius-derived platform as the recently-released HS 250h mini-Lexus, and, like the HS, will power its front wheels via a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain.
The Lexus hatchback is intended to do battle with the dominant turbodiesel hatches in the C-premium segment, namely Audi’s A3 and BMW’s 1 Series. Unlike the Prius, the Lexus hybrid will be tuned with a greater emphasis on power rather than efficiency, however expect it to still be relatively frugal.
Styling is a mystery for now. Various renderings have been doing the rounds of late, but we’re told to expect it to share none of its sheetmetal with its HS 250h sibling (above). If the rumours are true, then we should get a better idea of what the finished product will look like at Frankfurt.
The as-yet unnamed Lexus hybrid hatch is expected to go on sale in Europe sometime in 2010, with a pricetag of around £20,000 (AU$40,000).
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