This is the first glimpse of Lexus’s answer to the Audi A3, a premium hatchback that will be coming to the UK late next year. A concept version of the car will make its debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month.
Lexus is keen to get a foothold in the C-segment premium market, which has so far been dominated by cars like the A3 and BMW 1-series.
“The C-premium segment has been growing and Lexus wants to position a car in that segment,” said the source.
Unlike Audi, which showcases new design directions on flagship cars like the forthcoming new A8, Lexus will be presenting a new styling philosophy on the compact concept.
A Lexus source told Autocar a production version has now been given the green light. Although Lexus saloons are generally rear-wheel drive, this model is likely to be front-wheel drive, like the Audi.
Lexus has previously committed to hybrids and it is highly likely the hatch would get an option of this drivetrain, as at present it would not clash with any Toyota models.