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Lexus will give the compact hatchback segment a second shot in 2017 with a brand new CT hybrid

Lexus has started developing the next generation of the compact CT, and a new report gives us a better idea of what we can expect from it when it bows.

The second-generation CT will ride on the same modular platform as the fourth-generation Toyota Prius that was introduced a couple of months ago. Switching to the new chassis — which is called Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) internally — will make the next CT much lighter than the current model (pictured), more efficient, and markedly more responsive to drive while allowing Lexus parent company Toyota to benefit from economies of scale.

The press and the public have both praised the hybrid CT for its gas mileage, which checks in at 43 mpg in the city, but they’ve criticized it for its truly lackadaisical performance. While the next-gen model will continue to use a fuel-sipping gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain, it will gain a few more horses under the hood in a bid to hush the naysayers.

The CT is one of the oldest members of the Lexus lineup, so it doesn’t quite fall in line with the company’s newest design language. The new model will consequently get a much more striking look that will borrow styling cues, such as sharp headlights underlined by boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights, and a massive rendition of the company’s spindle grille, from bigger models like the NX and the RX.

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Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports the next Lexus CT will make its official debut at a major auto show in 2017, and it will land in showrooms in time for the 2018 model year. Look for Lexus’ smallest hybrid to carry a base price in the vicinity of $30,000.

What’s next?

Designed with the needs of European motorists in mind, the second-gen CT will help Lexus finally gain a secure foothold on the Old Continent. Recent rumors indicate the hatchback will be joined by an entry-level model that will ride on the same platform as the tiny Toyota Yaris. Loosely previewed by the LF-SA concept that was shown in Geneva, the city car will be aimed squarely at the MINI Cooper, the DS 3, and the Audi A1.