Lexus's commitment to hybrid technology will continue with its all-new five-door hatchback, which will be based on this, the LF-Ch concept car.
The production version - which will be a rival for the BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 and VW Golf - is expected to change little from the car that will make its debut at the Frankfurt motor show next week. At 430cm long, it's just a fraction longer than the BMW 1 Series and it's exactly the same height, at 140cm.
Lexus says the LF-Ch concept car is a full hybrid, capable of running for short distances on electric power only, but it hasn't provided any more technical details.
The production version is expected to be available only as a hybrid, however, because Lexus has recently dropped all of its non-hybrid cars apart from the diesel IS and high-performance IS-F models.
The LF-Ch uses the latest example of what Lexus calls its L-finesse' design philosophy. At the front there's a more dramatic version of the current Lexus grille, while the complex bumper shape is likely to be simplified for the production car.
The concept car also has rear door handles integrated into the window trim, but it's unclear whether this is a feature that will make it through to production. The trailing edge of the roof overhangs the rear window to create in integrated rear spoiler, while the rear bumper is shaped to smooth airflow from beneath the car and direct air to the rear brakes.
The LF-Ch's minimalist cabin creates a visual harmony between the interior and exterior design', according to Lexus. There's an asymmetric dashboard layout and switches are kept to a minimum thanks to a multi-information display on top of the dashboard that controls a number of different functions.
The production version of the LF-Ch is expected to go on sale in late 2011. It's likely to be well equipped and we estimate prices will start at around 20,000.