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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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Lexus hits it big; Prince Albert II of Monaco will be riding in a Lexus LS600h

Lexus hits it big; Prince Albert II of Monaco will be riding in a Lexus LS600h

BMW may have been joking when they came out with their M3 Royal Edition, but this next car, sadly, is no joke at all. Among the many cars used during the royal ceremony taking place between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, Prince Albert II of Monaco and his future wife, Miss Charlene Wittstock, will be riding along in a Lexus LS600h. This event will probably top any and all of Lexus’ marketing efforts for the hybrid sedan, so top execs over there are probably giggling like school girls with excitement.

This specially prepared LS600h will feature integrated flashing lights, a royal insignia, and an "MC 01" license plate. Under the hood there will be the standard 5.0-liter V8 petrol engine combined with an electric motor for a total output of 439 HP.

"His Serene Highness takes a keen interest in encouraging innovative solutions for environmental protection and sustainable development around the world, founding the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation in 2006. His Foundation supports more than 150 projects monitoring environmental evolution and protecting species endangered by climate change. It also provides assistance in water management in developing regions. With its pioneering state-of-the-art full hybrid technology delivering class-leading CO2 efficiency and environmental performances, Lexus is pleased to contribute to the objectives defined by His Serene Highness and to help the Principality of Monaco to become an international reference in terms of sustainable mobility."

Now all Lexus has to do is sit back and watch sales numbers peak.

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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 LS600h "Sports Line Black Bison Edition" by Wald International

2011 Lexus LS600h "Sports Line Black Bison Edition" by Wald International

Aftermarket extraordinaire, Wald International, is pulling out all the stops with the release of another styling package to go along with their masterful work on the Rolls Royce Phantom Extend Wheelbase. Though it’s not as luxurious as the Phantom, the Lexus LS600h and the LS600hL are shiny pieces of rides in their own right. And that’s before Wald International does its magic.

Once the tuning company adds their new “Sports Line Black Bison” package, then you end up with a sparkling sedan that’s as beautiful as it is imposing. Among the additions that make up the Wald International package, the LS600h was given a new front bumper spoiler, new side steps, sports fender ducts, LED daytime running lights, a new rear bumper spoiler, a roof spoiler, a trunk spoiler (Version 2), a new exhaust system, and a new set of black rims that complements the stealthy black exterior paint finish.

As a hybrid vehicle, Wald International spared any changes done on the powertrain, which means that the car retains the same 5.0-liter V8 gas engine and 165kW electric motor as the standard model. This powertrain, in turn, produces an output of 439 horsepower and 520Nm of torque with a top speed of 130 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds.

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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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Review: 2010 Lexus RX450h

Review: 2010 Lexus RX450h

Trying to multitask might seem like a good idea at first, but although you might get things done, you might not get them done well. Watching your favorite football team or Formula One race, while studying for an exam, and typing a paper might work for a while, but you won’t know what happened in the race, you’ll fail the test, and your paper will be poor at best.

The 2010 Lexus RX450h attempts it’s own multi-tasking effort. The hybrid SUV tries to be luxurious, fuel efficient, and practical all at the same time. It manages to accomplish everything it set out to do, albeit with varying degrees of success.

The fifth-generation RX is the newest version of the best selling model in the Lexus line, but only one in five sell with a hybrid motor under the hood. So Lexus is banking on the RX450h being good at everything it attempts to do. So, how does it fair?

Hit the jump to find out.

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Review: 2010 Lexus HS 250h

Review: 2010 Lexus HS 250h

Lexus is to the hybrid world as Germany is to the Formula One racing driver scene. Toyota’s luxury brand has been in the hybrid game for some time now and they have quite the selection to choose from. Most have been successful, but nobody would dare argue that these models are the best of the hybrid world. In order to take the hybrid title, Lexus has decided to build a hybrid from the ground out, sort of Lexus’s Michael Schumacher.

Being that Lexus is directly related to Toyota, who currently produces the benchmark hybrid in the Prius, Lexus has a wealth of knowledge at its disposal, but at the same time has one tough act to follow with the new third-generation Prius. With all that in mind, one would hope that thisHS 250h would be the pinnacle of what a hybrid vehicle should be.

Lexus’s attempt to create a Schumacher-type vehicle seemed within reach, but the Japanese automaker wound up with a Sebastian Vettel, which isn’t that bad if we’re honest. What Lexus has done was create a luxury Prius, something that is nearly a mirror image of the best selling hybrid and that just isn’t a benchmark in our eyes. After spending a week in the HS 250h, our minds haven’t changed.

Hit the jump to keep reading.

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2010 Lexus HS 250h by VIP Auto Salon

2010 Lexus HS 250h by VIP Auto Salon

Lexus is rolling out a whole bunch of hybrids for this year’s SEMA Auto Show and their first luxury hybrid sedan is in the mix with a tuning kit presented by VIP Auto Salon. The Lexus HS 250h
gets a Branew aero styling package, a Huper Optik ceramic-based window film, and Lexus OEM Japan-market window visors.

Other goodies fitted into this luxury hybrid include a Work Gnosis GS4 machined center disk, gloss bronze anodized outer barrel, 20x8.5-inch ET30 A disk front and 20x9.5-inch, ET 35 A disk rear, and a Branew axle back system. As with the LS 600h by VIP, this sedan will also get a custom interior by Vip Auto Salon and Top Stitch, but it will also get exterior and interior premium light packages provided by VLEDS.

Nothing was changed under the hood which shouldn’t be too surprising considering the hybrid engine sitting there, but 187hp should be plenty for the greenies of the world.

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2010 Lexus LS 600h L by VIP Auto Salon

2010 Lexus LS 600h L by VIP Auto Salon

The Lexus LS 600h from Fox Marketing won’t be the only version of the luxury sedan attending the SEMA show this year. VIP Auto Salon will also be bringing their version of the 600h, as well as a couple of other models, to wow the hybrid world with their classy tuning.

The LS 600h by VIP may not be the most eye catching of all hybrids, but VIP was able to jazz it up a bit with the use of machined black polish wheels, 21x9-inch ET 33 front and 21x10-inch ET 40 rear, and a Performance Tube Systems Joe Z Series axle back exhaust system. Other modifications include a custom air suspension, WALD Mahora M11c, and Brembo high performance front brake kit with 15-inch disk and 6-piston monoblock calipers. The interior was customized by Vip Auto Salon and Top Stitch, but no real details were given as to what was done.

No changes were made to boost the power of this luxury hybrid sedan, but if Lexus’ goal was to prove this automobile was already fun to drive then these modifications wouldn’t be necessary. But they could have chosen a different exterior paint job. That custom PPG Hue of Macadamia doesn’t exactly scream thrilling and fun. It was probably a good idea to have two versions of this hybrid on display because we’d take Fox Marketing’s black and red version of the LS 600h before we’d even glance at this one.

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2010 Lexus GS 450h by 0-60 Magazine

2010 Lexus GS 450h by 0-60 Magazine

As part of Lexus’ attempt to prove to the world that hybrids can be cool and fun to drive, they have brought out the second model scheduled to be on display at the 2010 SEMA Show. This model is a customized GS 450h coming to us from 0-60 Magazine.

The stock GS 450h hybrid luxury sport sedan isn’t exactly the most exciting hybrid sedan on the market, but 0-60 Magazine have made significant changes to the exterior and inner workings of the vehicle to allow it to transcend above the boring, environmentally responsible family car. The first step to that is evident in the Custom Carbon 5-piece body kit. This kit includes a new front spoiler, a huge rear wing, side skirts, and plenty of 0-60 logos all over the car’s rear. Inside, the car has been given racing sports seats and a roll cage to complete the look.

The more technical additions given to the car include Brembo Gran Turismo high performance brakes, TEIN USA Super Racing coilovers, and a GReddy Performance custom Titanium Race exhaust system.

So, for those of you who didn’t believe hybrid cars could be cool, take one look at some of the hybrids Lexus is offering, and you might just change your mind.

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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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