Citing unofficial sources at Lexus, a Malaysian publication is saying that a hybrid based on the Toyota Prius c and possibly a diesel variant are being considered in Europe.
The car would be smaller than the CT200h, and the publication, Paultan, has gone so far as to tentatively assign a name to it – without the customary “h” in the alphanumeric designation – AS150, and create a photoshopped rendition of what a Lexus-badged Prius C could look like.
The other possibility for this same chassis would be a 1.2-liter diesel engined version, says Paultan.
Since the Prius c has Toyota’s best fuel economy average, it could make sense to use its 1.5-liter hybrid synergy drive in a more upscale version. Among reviewers, Consumer Reports has found fault with low grade materials in the littlest Prius and recommends a used regular Prius over a new c, so maybe this could be what the doctor ordered for some buyers.
At this point, these are but rumors until official word from Lexus confirms or denies these reportings “through the grapevine” that the company is preparing competition for cars such as the Audi A1, MINI Cooper, Alfa Romeo MiTo and Citroen DS3.
We’ll let you know when we learn more.