Cars Lexus Lexus CT 200h

Lexus CT 200h

2015 Lexus CT 200h - Driven

2015 Lexus CT 200h - Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 615500
Cristian Moe spent a week with the Lexus CT 200h, check out his review at TopSpeed.com.
  • Lexus CT 200h - Driven
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    CVT
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    134
  • MPG(Cty):
    43
  • MPG(Hwy):
    40
  • Torque @ RPM:
    153
  • Displacement:
    1.6 L
  • 0-60 time:
    10.0 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    113 mph
  • Price:
    32050
  • car segment:
  • body style:

The Lexus CT 200h is in many ways just a tarted-up Prius. It uses the same engine, transmission, batteries and electric motor that all make up the Toyota Synergy Drive. The Lexus CT 200h even has a variation on the same strange shifter that the Prius uses. But where the Prius is all about function over form, the CT 200h adds a dash of Lexus luxury, a nicer exterior and an improved suspension setup for sportier handling.

I loved the 2014 Prius V I tested a few months back, but will better styling and a much tauter suspension finally be the push I need to really recommend a Toyota company hybrid? With its aggressive styling and stiffer chassis, the Lexus CT 200h almost seems like it could be a luxury hot hatch. For the new 2015 model, Lexus also added some new extras like the F Sport wheels to lower trim models to make it look even better.

After I had so much fun flogging the Prius V, I couldn’t wait to jump into the little five-door. Sadly, things weren’t as rosy as they appeared to be on paper.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2015 Lexus CT 200h

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Latest Lexus CT_200h news and reviews:

Lexus CT200h May Not Get Successor, Hybrid Crossover Could Take Its Place

Lexus CT200h May Not Get Successor, Hybrid Crossover Could Take Its Place

No decision has been made, but it doesn’t look good for the hybrid hatchback

The Lexus CT 200h is by no means a flop of a car. It routinely sells 10,000 units a year, which is a healthy number for a car of different circumstances. Unfortunately, for the CT 200h, it belongs in the premium compact market that’s worth around 750,000 cars in Europe alone. So in that respect, the CT 200h has failed to live up to the expectations of Lexus, so much so that that Lexus Europe chief Alain Uyttenhoven admitted that there’s talk of ending the CT 200h’s production when its lifespan concludes in 2018. No immediate successor has been identified, but according to Autocar, there is some sentiment that a production version of the LF-SA Concept that was shown at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show could eventually take the spot that will presumably be vacated by the CT 200h.

For Lexus, the rationale behind this big move is simple, at least if it does end up happening. The CT 200h isn’t selling as well as Lexus hoped relative to the segment it’s in. The company could develop a successor that’s better in every way, or it could just leave the segment entirely and concentrate on a more lucrative crossover/SUV market whose growth hasn’t shown signs of slowing down anytime soon.

The numbers even back it up because of the 652,000 units that Lexus sold all over the world in 2015, the Lexus NX and RX accounted for close to half of that number with both models selling roughly 150,000 units apiece. Lexus even expects the NX and RX to add to those sales numbers in 2016 to about 170,000 and 200,000 units, respectively.

Having a hybrid crossover to slot below the NX isn’t a guarantee of booming sales, but with customers tripping over themselves to buy crossovers and SUVs, the ceiling for a new model would be significantly higher compared to a successor to the CT 200h, even if the premium compact market is healthy in its own right.

And don’t be fooled by the robust sales numbers because Lexus isn’t doing as well as it likes in Europe, where it sold only 64,000 units across the board in 2015. That’s less than 10 percent of the company’s total sales volume. Uyttenhoven even said that the rough going across the pond is largely tied to the company having only one model – the CT 200h – in the sub-€40,000 ($45,000) bracket, which he adds accounts for “50 percent of the European luxury car market.”

So the question boils down to what the Lexus CT 200h can offer compared to a new hybrid crossover. From the looks of things, Lexus appears to be leaning towards the new crossover, a move that makes sense if it really wants to take a bigger piece of the crossover/SUV pie.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2015 Lexus CT 200h - Driven

2015 Lexus CT 200h - Driven

The Lexus CT 200h is in many ways just a tarted-up Prius. It uses the same engine, transmission, batteries and electric motor that all make up the Toyota Synergy Drive. The Lexus CT 200h even has a variation on the same strange shifter that the Prius uses. But where the Prius is all about function over form, the CT 200h adds a dash of Lexus luxury, a nicer exterior and an improved suspension setup for sportier handling.

I loved the 2014 Prius V I tested a few months back, but will better styling and a much tauter suspension finally be the push I need to really recommend a Toyota company hybrid? With its aggressive styling and stiffer chassis, the Lexus CT 200h almost seems like it could be a luxury hot hatch. For the new 2015 model, Lexus also added some new extras like the F Sport wheels to lower trim models to make it look even better.

After I had so much fun flogging the Prius V, I couldn’t wait to jump into the little five-door. Sadly, things weren’t as rosy as they appeared to be on paper.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2015 Lexus CT 200h

Read more
2014 Lexus CT BG Concept

2014 Lexus CT BG Concept

One of the less talked about but no less exciting cars of the Beijing Motor Show is this Lexus of China-built CT BG 200h. Customized with a “more personalized design language,” the concept looks the part of a racer with its carbon-fiber exterior bits and bespoke paint job.

The concept is based on the 2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport, though this finished product drastically builds off the stock car. The large spindle grille has new mesh, while the front chin splitter is much larger and includes little winglets on corners. The added aero work continues around the side with finned rocker panels and finned rear bumper edges.

Out back, the carbon-fiber rear fascia is much more aggressive in looks and functionality. Topping the car is a carbon-fiber wing mounted atop the rear hatch for additional downforce. The unique black and white paint scheme accented with gold stripes and black thin-spoke wheels, give a whole new look to the otherwise average CT 200h.

The décor inside the concept is of a similar motif, sporting carbon-fiber pieces and continuing the exterior color combination.

Unfortunately, Lexus hasn’t mentioned anything about matching the exterior’s racy theme with more horsepower or a retuned suspension. Looks like the concept — which it will likely stay — must make do with the ho-hum 134 horsepower from the 1.8-liter I-4 and the hybrid drive system. That means 0-60 times will still take 9.8 seconds and its top speed will be limited to 113 mph.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus CT BG Concept.

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2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport

2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport

It goes without saying that the Lexus CT 200h is about as unique a car you can find for a hybrid hatch. Lexus has done a lot of work to bring out the best of this model in the past few years, even adding the unique spindle grille styling for the 2014 model. But even that wasn’t enough for the company because lo and behold, we now have the CT 200h F Sport.

The graduation from the standard model to the one with an F Sport stamp of approval is mostly limited to aesthetic and aerodynamic changes, but the difference between the two is pretty drastic, particularly on how sportier and more aggressive the front section of the CT 200h F Sport looks. Those inserts really do a lot to bring out the hybrid’s menacing look, right?

We certainly think so, and that’s one of the reasons why we think highly of the model, other than its obvious performance and efficiency numbers.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport.

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2014 Lexus CT 200h

2014 Lexus CT 200h

Next week we’ll have two major auto shows that most of you likely already know about: one in Los Angeles and one in Tokyo, Japan. There is, however, a smaller show that is coming up in China, and that it the 2013 Guangzhou Motor Show. Despite its relatively small size, Lexus has chosen this show to debut the updated Lexus CT 200h.

With just a few days before its official debut, which occurs on November 21st, Lexus has unveiled the first details and a few images of the revised hybrid hatchback.

According to Lexus, the 2014 CT 200h will adopt the signature Lexus spindle grille, newly designed alloy wheels and a revised rear appearance with a "more horizontal structure."

Lexus didn’t give up any of the details on its powertrain, but we expect to see the same hybrid system, with the possibility of a few more horsepower and some fuel consumption improvements. This means you can expect to see a 1.8-liter gasoline-powered four-pot with a pair of electric motors that combine to put down 134 horsepower at least.

Updated 11/29/2013: Lexus announced prices for the 2014 CT 200h, which will go on sale in late January or early February 2014. Prices will start from the same $32,050 as the 2013 model, plus processing and handling fee of $910.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus CT 200h and to see a side-by-side comparison of the 2013 and 2014 models.

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Playboy's Cars of the Year 2012

Playboy’s Cars of the Year 2012

We don’t usually associate Playboy with cars, unless scantily clad women were somehow involved, but the American men’s magazine has just unveiled the top 11 hottest models people should buy in 2012. Now guys can really say they are picking up Playboy’s latest issue for the articles!

The top spot for this honorable list goes to none other than the fastest production Jaguar ever built - the XKR-S! But next to this remarkable sports car is the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, the Fiat 500, the Range Rover Evoque, the Lexus CT 200h, the BMW 1-Series M Coupe, the Bentley Continental GTC, the Ford Mustang Boss 302, the Audi A7, the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG, and the Hyundai Veloster.

There are certainly many fabulous vehicles to choose from on this list - and some not so fabulous vehicles - so do you agree with the top spot? Let us know in the comments section below!

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2011 SEMA Auto Show: The Hatchbacks

2011 SEMA Auto Show: The Hatchbacks

Hatchbacks may not offer the same kind of thrill as sports cars and muscle cars. They also don’t have the utility of SUVs and pick-ups. Heck, they’re not so much for luxury, either. But at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show, hatchbacks will have their turn in the spotlight as a host of custom-modded hatches will be making their way to Las Vegas.

This list comprises most of the vehicles you’ll see. There are Scions iQs, Ford Fiestas, Ford Focus, and even a Lexus CT200h. Not only are these vehicles modded to the brim, but they also give us an idea on all the possibilities that come with aftermarket works being done on hatches.

The people who think that hatches aren’t cool enough should take a good look at this list and if they don’t change their minds, then they really need to check themselves before they wreck themselves.

But for those like us that enjoy modded hatchbacks, this list will tell us all the vehicles we need to look out for at the SEMA Auto Show.

Check out the 2011 SEMA Auto Show: Hatchbacks after the jump.

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2012 Lexus CT 200h by Meguiars

2012 Lexus CT 200h by Meguiars

The Lexus CT200h talks a big game about being an environmentally friendly sports hatchback that defies the typically bland designs of other hybrids on the markets.

The car’s attendance at the SEMA Auto Show certainly adds more credence to the car’s tuning worthiness and Meguiars’, known for being one of the best auto surface care companies in the world, has decided to bring their own iteration of the Lexus sports hybrid hatchback.

The look of the render suggests that the Meguiar’s CT200h will be decked in a two-tone paint color featuring a vibrant yellow body paint with a gloss black paint on the bonnet, roof, and pillars of the hatchback. According to Meguiars, the color scheme was inspired by Meguiars Ultimate Wash and Wax product line. In building the car, Meguiars enlisted the help and assistance of some of the aftermarket industry’s heavyweights, including Glasurit Paint Systems, Rotiform, Falken Tires, CKS Suspension, Street Concepts, and Shoreline Motoring.

The powertrain of the CT200h appears to be the same - a 1.8-liter VVT-i petrol engine with a powerful electric motor that produces 134 horsepower - but even if there doesn’t seem to have any performance modifications, the true essence of the CT200h sports hybrid hatch is uncompromising and efficient performance with drop-dead good looks.

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2012 Lexus CT 200h by Five Axis

2012 Lexus CT 200h by Five Axis

The Lexus CT 200h was developed as a means to get greater fuel efficiency without too much thought put into the sportiness of the vehicle. That’s the typical thought process involved in producing a hybrid, but Five Axis has a different way of thinking. They have developed a new tuning package for the hybrid hatchback just in time for one of the greatest tuning events in the world: the 2011 SEMA Auto Show. Their package shows that even hybrids can look great combining an aggressive exterior look with a sporty interior and that same tremendous fuel economy of the CT 200h.

The look begins with a custom widebody conversion and a mysterious JDSU "Dark Passage" paint combined with custom black accents. The interior gets a touch more spunk with bright orange accents, uniquely appointed seats with laser etched Ultrasuede EcoDesign inserts, custom illuminated headliner with Ultrasuede EcoDesign Upholstery, and upholstery by Turinmodel, Inc., and 3M Crystalline window film by The Tint Factory. The technological factor was also boosted with a custom Touchscreen Interface center console. A set of 19" forged wheels complete the vehicle’s overall look, while a new Stop Tech high performance big brake kit and a TEIN Flex Coilover suspension system provide a better stability.

The engine for the Lexus CT 200h remains the same, but the 134 hp 1.8 liter VVT-i petrol engine, powerful electric motor, generator, high performance battery, power control unit, and power split device is enough of a setup to leave alone for now. After all, a responsible and environmentally friendly vehicle with a touch of sport and fun? Sign us up!

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2012 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Special Edition

2012 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Special Edition

Shortly after releasing details on the 2012 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Package, Lexus has unveiled the CT 200h F-Sport Special Edition exclusively for the US market. Only 900 units of this model will be built, and they are scheduled to arrive in dealerships in November 2011 with a price tag of $37,995.

The new Lexus CT200h F-Sport Special Edition will be offered in the new Nebula Gray Pearl color, as well as Starfire Pearl and Tungsten Pearl. Each model will come with a new set of F-Sport 17" alloy wheels in a Liquid Silver finish. The exterior will be further distinguished by a unique front mesh grille, a larger rear spoiler, and an F-Sport exterior badge.

The interior of the F-Sport Special Edition also gets a number of additions including Ocean Blue NuLuxe trimmed seats, black F-Sport floor mats with blue contrast stitching, metal front scuff plates, and aluminum sport pedals. Metallic trim was then added to the dash panel, highlighting the black headliner. The interior is completed with a perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel with F-Sport logo and a leather-trimmed shift knob.

The Lexus CT 200h F Sport Special Edition will still be offered with the F-Sport suspension with anti-sway bar and springs, but Lexus is also throwing in a Navigation Package and a Premium Audio Package as standard (these are optional in the standard F-Sport Package).

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2012 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Package

2012 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Package

When we were introduced to the 2011 Lexus CT 200h last year, it offered a very interesting conundrum that led us to think of the untapped potential this car could have if it wasn’t a hybrid. Make no mistake, Lexus has continued to dominate the luxury hybrid market so there really was no reason for them to veer off course with the 2012 model. Heck, they even brought back the F-Sport Package to underline the fact that they’re front and center when it comes to luxury hybrids.

All that’s great and Toyota’s luxury brand should be jumping through hoops with the 2012 model. However, we still feel a little lost while looking at the car for the simple reason that we think it’s really a hot hatch that’s been trapped with a hybrid system. Just imagine the possibilities of a CT 200 with a real noise-maker of an engine.

But getting back on track, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with how the 2012 CT 200h was conceived, especially with the growing trend of hybrids and electric cars these days. After all, Lexus still has to cover their bases in the right market.

Find out more about the 2012 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Package after the jump.

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2011 Lexus CT 200h Race Car by Gazoo Racing

2011 Lexus CT 200h Race Car by Gazoo Racing

Just when you thought the Lexus CT200h wasn’t going to get another race-inspired version, the people over at Gazoo Racing have unveiled their own racing version of the compact sports hybrid. Seems appropriate considering that Gazoo Racing isn’t a stranger to Lexus race cars, counting the LF-A supercar as one of the racers in its stable.

As for the CT200h, Gazoo Racing will be entering it into the SP4 Class of the Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy - a six-hour endurance race at the Nurburgring that will be attended by around 200 other cars. Piloting the Gazoo Racing CT during the endurance race will be the three-man team of Kumi Sato, Masahiko Kageyama, and Minoru Takaki.

To give the CT200h the proper race specs, Gazoo Racing went to work on the car’s performance attributes, opting against using the 1.8 liter VVT-I petrol engine that comes with the standard version of the CT200h and instead using a much larger 2.4-liter version with an electric motor, a generator, a high performance battery, a power control unit, and a power split device. During start-ups and braking, the CT200h will only use its electric motor, saving all the energy expended by the VVT-I engine for higher speeds. Even more impressive about the car is that it will require less fuel and will emit less carbon dioxide and NOx gases compared to all other race cars of its class.

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2011 Lexus CT 200h by Fox Marketing

2011 Lexus CT 200h by Fox Marketing

Dressed in a burnt orange paint finish and looking shiny and smug, Fox Marketing’s take on the Lexus CT 200h is what we call a smoking hot hatch ready to rumble with the best of ‘em.

The car was introduced at the New York Auto Show where Fox Marketing showed off the reworked Japanese hot hybrid hatch with a new Eaton supercharger and a Climax Racing intake manifold. When added to the CT 200h’s 1.8-liter VVT-i petrol engine, these elements can turn the hot hatch into a 300-horsepower piece of hybrid awesomeness. Since it’s a hybrid, Fox also gave the car’s batteries a good upgrade, although details of that remain unknown - at least for now.

With the added ponies under the hood, Fox also gave the CT 200h a new and customized suspension system with 13” Baer brakes to go with a set of 20” wheels wrapped in 225/30-series tires. And just to give it more aesthetic spunk, Fox also dressed up the car with some new duds. On top of the metallic burnt orange paint, the aftermarket company gave the CT 200h a wide body kit with three-inch fender flares, a set of Yonaka racing seats, and LED Lexus logos on the door panels.

Save for a few, we don’t have a whole big fascination for hatchbacks, but if this is what a reworked Lexus CT 200h is going to look like, then sign us up!

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2011 Lexus Project CT by Five Axis

2011 Lexus Project CT by Five Axis

The steam is running out on the launch of Lexus’ CT 200h, so what better way to keep up the pace than to bring out a special Lexus CT200h hybrid concept designed by Five Axis? This particular tuner knows a thing or two about tuning Lexus models simply because they are well known for the partnership they have with Toyota and Lexus. So far, we only have a sketch of the concept revealed by Five Axis, but it allows us to get an idea of the special vehicle that is scheduled to be revealed at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show in just a few days!

The Lexus CT 200h by Five Axis will be showcasing some serious custom aerodynamics, a Tein suspension, 19-inch wheels, Stoptech brakes, and a custom touch-screen interface. All of the updates are purely aesthetic - no engine work here - because the tuner wants to focus on improving the car’s look to attract younger buyers.

The CT 200h’s full hybrid system combines a 1.8 liter VVT-i petrol engine, a powerful electric motor, a generator, a high performance battery, a power control unit, and a power split device. Not sure how this 134hp engine setup will go over with the younger crowd, but thinking "green" is such a fad nowadays that aesthetics improvements just may be enough to win them over.

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2011 Lexus CT 200h F Sport by Modellista

2011 Lexus CT 200h F Sport by Modellista

The 2011 Tokyo Motor Show gathers all kinds of tuned-up vehicles, be they sports cars, hybrids, or the more regular models. In this display of tuner heaven, companies can lay it all out on the table, and Modellista’s Lexus CT 200h F Sport is the perfect example of that. The Japanese tuner is now offering a pretty impressive tuning kit for the sports hybrid that includes some nice exterior updates.

Okay, so maybe the exterior updates are the only things Modellista added to the CT 200h, but they still transform the vehicle quite nicely. All the car needed was a front bumper add-on element, a set of side skirts, a modified rear apron and a new exhaust layout to get it looking like a brand new machine. A new set of 18" wheels, LED fog lights, and some chrome elements top off the package and complete the look.

Since no other updates were made, the Lexus CT200h F-Sport is still powered by the same 1.8 liter VVT-i petrol engine combined to a powerful electric motor, a generator, a high performance battery, a power control unit, and a power split device. We’re really not all that surprised that the engine setup was changed because it seems pretty well-stocked already. The total output delivered by the hybrid system is 134 HP.

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2011 Lexus CT 200h

2011 Lexus CT 200h

After we saw the Lexus LF-Ch concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, a model that would compete head to head with other luxury compacts like the BMW 1 Series and the Audi A3 being offered exclusively as a hybrid.

The Lexus LF-Ch concept combined stylish design cues with full hybrid drive train in a practical 5 door compact package that would fulfill the needs of even the most demanding of premium compact customers with its bolder Lexus grill sitting atop a deep, bulging front bumper complete with a trio of intakes giving it a perfect balance of both precision and power. While the sharply sculpted, aerodynamic front fenders flow into the front bumper to create a wide set of arches and a deep set of brake cooling ducts that give the LF-Ch a powerful and purposeful stance.

The CT 200h’s full hybrid system combines a 134 HP 1.8 liter VVT-i petrol engine, a powerful electric motor, a generator, a high performance battery, a power control unit, and a power split device which employs a planetary gear set to combine and re-allocate power from the engine, electric motor and generator according to operational requirements.

The car will make its world debut next week at the Geneva Motor Show and will enter production at the end of 2010.

PRICING UPDATE 12/15/10:Lexus has finally released the US pricing for the 2011 CT 200h. The base price for the CT 200h will be $29,120 and, depending on what optional features you want, could go all the way up to $30,900. Optional packages are also available depending on what options you get. The Premium Audio Package has a price of $1,125; the same package with the addition of a backup camera will cost you $1,475. The leather interior package will cost $1,330, while the satellite navigation package will cost $2,445. Finally, Lexus is also offering a package consisting of a Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Cruise Control for $1,215.

UPDATE 12/18/2010: Lexus continues its Pursuit of Perfection with a new video for the CT 200h. Check it out by clicking on the picture above!

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Concept

2010 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Concept

We may have seen the Lexus CT 200h F-Sport make its global debut at the 2010 Australian International Motor Show a couple of weeks ago, but the U.S. will only be seeing the concept version of the electric hatchback when the SEMA show opens its doors this week. In a crowd of five customized hybrid models, each an attempt by Lexus to prove that hybrids can also be fun to drive, the CT 200h F-Sport is the best example of this mission. Ironically, the best example of this idea is also only going to be a concept, according to Lexus, as they say they have no plans on producing the F-Sport. Something tells us they’re fibbing and we are actually seeing the preview version of the future F-Sport version of the CT200h model.

The customization program for this F-Sport Concept includes an F Sport performance adjustable suspension, adjustable dampening shocks, and an F Sport high performance Big Brake Kit – Front with 12.9 x 1.1-inch cross-drilled rotor. The whole package is finished by F Sport 18x8.0-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli PZero Nero 225/40R/18 front and rear. Add to that the cool white exterior paint and the fact that it can get 42mpg, and you’re looking at something that would definitely be fun to drive.

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2011 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport

2011 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport

Lexus’ main attraction at the 2010 Australian International Motor Show may be the recently launched CT 200h, but there’s another model that is is sure to please the sportier side of the green goers. That model is the CT 200h F Sport which is basically the same hybrid hatchback, but with a few more enhancements to help it look more like a sports car. However, it’s all show and no go because while they took the time to add this sporty look, they completed ignored the engine leaving it with no boost for its electrical power.

Performance and exterior enhancements include a unique suspension, front and rear styling, alloy wheels, and badging. Like all the other F-Sport models, the CT 200h comes painted in Lexus’ unique Flame Blue exterior color.

Inside, the F Sport model CT 200h will receive an optional unique interior trim, an F Sport steering wheel, sports pedals, scuff plates, instrument panel, and privacy glass.

The hybrid system under the hood remains unchanged: a 1.8 liter VVT-i petrol engine combined to a powerful electric motor, a generator, a high performance battery, a power control unit, and a power split device. The total output delivered by the hybrid system is 134 HP. *Yawn*

The F-Sport package will be available in the first half of 2011.

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Consumers get a "Dark Ride" in the Lexus CT 200h Hybrid

Consumers get a "Dark Ride" in the Lexus CT 200h Hybrid

Lexus is talking their marketing to a whole new level with the continued launch of the Lexus CT 200h Hybrid. Their latest effort is a 12 minute and 30 second action film that has just been released today. The film features actor Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints franchise) behind the wheel of the CT 200h while you, the consumer, call every automotive shot imaginable. Yes, Lexus has given the consumer the wheel. Dave Nordstrom describes the online experience:

"With ’Dark Ride’ we are creating a unique virtual test drive opportunity so consumers can experience this hybrid, that is like no other, months before it is available at dealerships in early 2011," said Dave Nordstrom, Lexus vice president of marketing. "In it, consumers play a co-starring role as the fun-to-driveLexus CT 200h is put through its paces. By guiding the driver and the CT through a series of adventures, customers will be exposed to ’The Darker Side of Green,’ which is completely different than the way hybrids are usually portrayed."

Not only will the consumer be calling the shots, they also get to insert themselves into the film with the use of a webcam or photo. Consumers can also record their own dialogue lines, control the camera movement and POV, and make decisions that alter the path of the Lexus CT 200h Hybrid.

Hit the jump to see the trailer for "Dark Ride" and the official press release.

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Future Lexus hybrid compact will be called CT 200h

Future Lexus hybrid compact will be called CT 200h

A few days ago Top Speed reported that the Japanese automaker Lexus is preparing a new compact model to compete with the BMW 1-Series. Well now it officially has a name: the car will be called CT, where C stands for compact and T for tourer, and will be offered in three different trims: CT 200h, CT 300h and the top of the line CT 400h. The car’s official auto show debut will be made in October at the Tokyo Auto Show.

The future compact Lexus will be a gas-electric model offered exclusively as a hybrid powered by a 2.4 Liter four cylinder engine that, with the help of an electric motor, is set to produce a maximum output of 187 HP, not too shabby for a hybrid.

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