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 |  Jan 16 2012, 7:30 AM

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Looking to reclaim its spot as America’s number one luxury automaker by sales, Lexus is planning an extensive product rollout in 2012 that will include nine new or updated models, plus three F-Sport cars. On the list are the new GS350 and GS450h, while later in the year we’ll see updated versions of the ES350, IS250 and IS350, as well as the LS460 and LS600h. In addition, an updated LX model arrived in 2012.

Lexus is forecasting a 21 percent sales increase for the year with Lexus GS Mark Templin telling Automotive News, “We will grow more than any other luxury brand this year.”

Beyond refreshing or introducing new versions of current models Lexus will look to add more cars and more versions of existing cars, likely starting with the CT200h hybrid hatchback – of which a higher performance version has long been rumored.

In addition, Lexus is still reportedly planning a new seven-seat crossover as the brand looks to phase out its body-on-frame SUVs with Templin commenting that he expects the brand to have moved almost entirely to car-based platforms for its “trucks” by 2025.

And finally there’s the coupe segment, which Lexus gave an impressive preview of at last week’s Detroit Auto Show, with the LF-LC Concept. A production version of that car could arrive in the medium-term with Lexus Japan’s global product boss Karl Schlicht telling Auto News that if it were to make it to dealerships, expect a price point between $100,000 and $130,000. (See AutGuide’s First Look Video of the LF-LC here).

But the design shown in the LF-LC may foreshadow more coupes than just one, with Templin commenting that he’d like an SC430 replacement, priced around the $70,000 mark. In addition, several rumors have suggested Lexus is also planning a GS Coupe to compete with rival Mercedes and its E-Class two-door.

Amidst all the product add-ons there will likely be one model removed from the Lexus lineup, the slow-selling HS. With sales dropping 73 percent last year to just 2,864 units its not surprising that Toyota Motor Sales USA president Jim Lentz commented that, “It’s a car that doesn’t necessarily fit the long-term needs of the brand in the U.S.”

GALLERY: Lexus LF-LC Concept

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[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Sep 28 2010, 5:56 AM

Lexus is taking a close look at even more efficient versions of its new CT200h premium compact hybrid, while hinting that a high-performance version of the car is in the works.

During a product presentation of the CT200h at the car’s global launch just outside Paris, France, Lexus College manager Paul Williamsen went out of his way to point out that the current battery pack located in the rear of the CT doesn’t take up all of the space. The larger area, “could ‘theoretically’ be used to put a larger battery pack with increased capacity,” he said.

This news coincides with previous reports that Lexus has also filed for patents on the CT300h and CT400h names.

Currently the CT uses a hybrid powertrain similar to that found in the Prius, making 134-hp and delivering a 0-60 mph time of 9.8 seconds.

In addition, Osamu Sadakata, Chief engineer for Lexus hybrid vehicles told media present that both a plug-in hybrid version of the CT200h as well as a version using a more efficient and compact lithium-ion battery pack are possible. Sadakata said the shift to lithium-ion battery technology is, “the way of the future”  and that a Li-On CT is “technically possible,” but stopped short of confirming a CT using the more advanced technology.

As for a plug-in CT, following after the plug-in Prius, Sadakata said that it would depend on market demand, both for the system and for the CT in general. “If we have the demand, as Chief engineer, I could like to bring it to market as soon as possible.”

Get more CT200h news and info at CT200hForums.com