Print 21 comment(s) - last by ksherman.. on Apr 9 at 12:18 AM

Lexus CT 200h
Lexus buyers will now have a smaller, cheaper vehicle to choose from

When Toyota debuted the production version of its Lexus CT 200h compact hybrid late last month, it was almost certainly destined to be a European-only vehicle. European buyers love smaller vehicles and hatchbacks in general, and the vehicle didn't seem likely to appeal to the buying tastes of traditional U.S. Lexus buyers.

However, that doesn't appear to be the case now. Following the success of its midsize Lexus HS 250h hybrid which slots in below ES 350, Toyota has confirmed that the compact CT 200h will come to the U.S. in 2011. According to Edmunds Inside Line, Lexus officials in the U.S. practically had to beg the execs in Japan to get the sporty vehicle to appeal to a younger clientele.

BMW has the 1-Series, Audi has the A3, and the U.S. officials too wanted a vehicle in the same mold. With the exception of the IS range and the ultra-exotic LFA, Lexus doesn't have anything in its lineup that would exactly raise the pulse of many younger buyers.

The CT 200h features the same powertrain as the popular Toyota Prius -- a 1.8-liter inline-4 engine paired with the Synergy hybrid system and continuously variable transmission (CVT). The vehicle offers an electric-only mode (good for only 1.2 miles) along with ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT driving modes. The CT 200h also incorporates LED daytime running lights up front and an 8" multifunction display inside. Other interior features include a two-tier dash -- which Lexus labels the Display Zone (upper dash) and Operation Zone (lower dash) -- and the Lexus Remote Touch multi-function controller first seen in the Lexus RX 350 and HS 250h.

Given that we're still a bit early in the game with production details for the U.S. version of the CT 200h, pricing is obviously not available yet. However, the MSRP should be quite a bit less than the $34,650 price of the HS 250h.

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What a great idea...
By SublimeSimplicity on 3/11/2010 9:23:28 AM , Rating: 2
A luxury Prius, who didn't realize this would be a good idea 10 years ago? I mean besides Toyota.

RE: What a great idea...
By ksherman on 3/11/2010 9:57:29 AM , Rating: 4
Especially with an MSRP likely under $30k, I could see these selling very well. Choice between a Prius for $25k or a Lexus for only a few grand more? Lexus please!

RE: What a great idea...
By brybir on 3/11/2010 10:08:10 AM , Rating: 3
If the Prius looked like this in the first place I would actually consider buying one.

I dont care what people say, I think the Prius is unattractive. Then again, I am the same guy that will probably be in line to buy one of the new 2011 Ford Mustangs when they come out.

RE: What a great idea...
By Samus on 3/11/2010 11:51:08 AM , Rating: 3
IF anyone thinks this Lexus "Matrix" is going to scratch the surface of the Prius in fuel economy, think again. The Matrix's platform is the same as a Corolla, so the ride quality is likely to be worse than the Prius as well, with marginally better handling. The Prius is also a bigger car and can hold more batteries.

But don't get me wrong, I haven't liked Toyota since they discontinued the Celica, and frankly the company's lineup bores me to death.

RE: What a great idea...
By The0ne on 3/11/2010 12:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
Which model Celica are you referring to? O.o For me it's the rally models...99 and below :) If only I could find one in good condition I'll most likely buy it hahah

RE: What a great idea...
By Keeir on 3/11/2010 5:06:54 PM , Rating: 2
... under 30K?


The HS starts at ~35. (And if you throw in Navigation/etc can quickly push 40-45)

I doubt this machine will start at much less than 35, a bare bones 29,950 I guess is a possibility. Seems to be similar sized car as the HS, uses similar type powertrain, and contains alot of the same bells and whistles.

If we skip over to the Audi Brand and look at the similarly sized A3, it typically sells under 10K (~6K) unit a year in the US.

I expect sales of the Hybrid Hatchback from Lexus to be less than 10K a year based on likely "high" compared to HS sedan price and sales of other similar models with broader appeal (A3 has covers a broader market segment that Hybrid Hatchback)

RE: What a great idea...
By ksherman on 4/9/2010 12:18:16 AM , Rating: 2
Given that we're still a bit early in the game with production details for the U.S. version of the CT 200h, pricing is obviously not available yet. However, the MSRP should be quite a bit less than the $34,650 price of the HS 250h.

RE: What a great idea...
By smegz on 3/11/2010 1:41:31 PM , Rating: 2
...and now you can look good when you're accelerating out of control down the freeway.

Hope Toyota gets on top of its recent problems. 2 reports of Prius' accelerating wildly this week alone. Has Toyota lost its mojo?

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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