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Don’t let the spindle grille confuse, 2014 Lexus CT 200h is a Prius in a tuxedo

Entry-level, luxury, and hybrid: these are the three areas in which the entire automotive industry is leaning.

There was one car, though, that beat cars like the Jetta Sport Hybrid and the Acura ILX Hybrid to the market: the Lexus CT200h. First introduced in 2010, it was the first of its kind. While it’s never been quite good, if you were in the market for a compact hybrid with a luxury badge, it was the only way to go.

Now, a refreshed CT 200h is slated to debut at the Guangzhou Motor Show in China later this month and Lexus has released a couple teaser images.

Lexus CT 200h preview2

If you’re a keen observer of all things Lexus, you’ll immediately noticed the new spindle grille has been strapped to the front of the Prius of Lexus, as have new alloy wheels and other miniscule exterior changes. Lexus hopes these mild tweaks will make the CT 200h appear more sporty and sophisticated.

Surprised I referred to the CT 200h as the “Prius of Lexus”? Don’t be. That’s exactly what it is. The CT 200h is powered by the same 98 horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder and 80 hp electric motor as the Prius. So don’t let the CT 200h and its fancy new spindle grille fool you; with a total of 134 net system horsepower, it’s not in any way sporty.

I am going to hold my breath, however, and hope that Lexus stepped up power output at least a bit for 2014, because I really love the looks of this thing. Luckily for my brain cells, I won’t have to go breathless for long, as the 2014 Lexus CT 200h will bow next week.

So, if you’re interested in the entry-level luxury hybrid, be sure to check back soon for more.