Could crossover fever kill the Lexus CT?

Lexus LF-SA concept
If you’re not convinced that crossovers are here to stay, here’s further proof. A new report finds the slow-selling Lexus CT hatchback will be axed at the end of its production run, and replaced by a compact crossover.

The yet-unnamed soft-roader will borrow more than a handful of styling cues from the LF-SA concept (pictured) that made its global debut during last year’s Geneva Auto Show. While the LF-SA was a city car, the production model will be taller, wider, and longer in order to compete in the compact crossover segment. The aggressive styling will be toned down, but it will nonetheless fall in line with Lexus’ love-it-or-hate-it design language.

The one thing the crossover will have in common with the current CT is a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain, according to British magazine Autocar. Lexus believes selling premium hybrids will ultimately allow it to significantly expand its presence in Europe, a market it has traditionally been weak in. European buyers currently prefer diesel-burning engines by a wide margin, but strict anti-diesel regulations that favor electrified drivetrains like hybrids and plug-in hybrids are expected to change the automotive landscape in the coming years.

Not all media outlets agree with Autocar, and an earlier report claims that Lexus has already started to developing a brand new, second-generation CT. It will ride on the same modular platform as the fourth-generation Toyota Prius, but it will retain the current model’s hatchback configuration. The good news is that it will be sportier to drive thanks to a more dynamic chassis and a few extra horses.

Read more: Lexus’ entry-level IS sedan gets a shot of Botox in time for the Beijing show

Lexus isn’t ready to reveal what the future holds for the CT, so only time will tell if it is to be replaced by a crossover or by another hatchback. The current CT is expected to soldier on for at least another year, meaning its replacement won’t arrive until the 2018 model year at the earliest.

Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is the pinnacle of luxury SUVs, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.