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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 rubbish...
By KingConker on 3/11/2010 10:31:08 AM , Rating: 3
"European buyers love smaller vehicles and hatchbacks in general."

Err, no. We drive vehicles such as you describe for three reasons:

1. Our roads are narrow, twisty and faster. Remember our roads date back to Roman times - we don't have the luxury of straight 12 or more lane highways.

2. Parking bays smaller.

3. Our fuel is massively taxed.

We'd love to drive big vehicles - but unless you want to crash into oncoming cars because your car strays across the centre line or manage to park but not actually be able to exit the vehicle - we're kinda stuck.

Trust me - us Europeans (I'm a Brit, so I use that word cautiously) would dearly ove to be hob-knobbing about in 7.2L V8 SUVS - so we would :)




RE: What rubbish...
By AssBall on 3/11/2010 11:13:00 AM , Rating: 2
I feel you, Conker.

When our friends from Germany came to visit I let them drive my 07 Tundra up in the mountains for a camping trip. They were really astonished at how bloody massive it was. I think they have an Opel Astra at home. They enjoyed it, but conceded it would be useless where they live.


RE: What rubbish...
By theapparition on 3/11/2010 11:44:07 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you as a voice of European reason.

Too often the contributers here complain about American manufacturers "forcing" American consumers to buy big cars. The truth of the matter is just as you said, the car mfrs offered big cars because that's exactly what sold. No more, no less.

Europe is not the USA, and vice versa. Not that either one bad; just that they are different. What works in Europe may not work here. That goes for many things like mass transit, broadband, health care and so on. People need to understand the differences rather than outright criticizing why things are done the way they are.


RE: What rubbish...
By The0ne on 3/11/2010 12:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
Jason Mick is go going to all over his EU ass for grammar and spelling, regardless of his own! DT is for US members!

/sarcasm off


RE: What rubbish...
By Calin on 3/15/2010 6:28:13 AM , Rating: 2
The car with the best selling history in recent years in the USA was the Ford F-series "truck" (with many versions, 2 or 4 seats cabins, and so on). That forces car manufacturers to build big cars too, like the Toyota Tundra mentioned before - I've seen one, and compared to any 4WD big car commonly seen in Europe (Rovers, Mitsubishi Pajero, even BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg)it's fricking huge. Hell, it's huge compared to the vans commonly used for merchandise deliveries or for commercial transportation.


RE: What rubbish...
By Keeir on 3/11/2010 4:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1. Our roads are narrow, twisty and faster. Remember our roads date back to Roman times - we don't have the luxury of straight 12 or more lane highways.


Sigh... this really needs to be put to rest

Narrower, yes
Twisty, (I assume more twisty is what you meant) probably

But Faster?! Overall?!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_by_count...

Sorry, no.

Most European Countries seem to have posted speed limits of 50-80 MPH maz.

Surely the Germany/Polish Autobahn system is great and allows much faster than US travel. But large sections look like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Autobahn_Overhea...

Erm... and Bus/Trucks are regulated to much slower speeds.

Across much of the US, you can witness 80,000 lbs (~38,000 kg) tractor trailers driving 70-80 MPH (or faster but not legally)

On the Germany Autobahn, these trucks would be limited to 80 KPH.

The truth is that in terms of general speed and average speed for the traffic, US and European roadways are relatively similar.

BTW, I think European buyers are much smarter than American's when it comes to Hatchbacks and Wagons. US consumers in the greater degree have been totally scared by poor Wagons of the 1980s...


RE: What rubbish...
By mechwarrior1989 on 3/11/2010 5:11:02 PM , Rating: 2
you might want to read his post again. He never said anything about faster.


RE: What rubbish...
By mechwarrior1989 on 3/11/2010 5:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
nevermind, fail on my part. =(


RE: What rubbish...
By Solandri on 3/11/2010 7:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Surely the Germany/Polish Autobahn system is great and allows much faster than US travel. But large sections look like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Autobahn_Overhea...

Erm... and Bus/Trucks are regulated to much slower speeds.

Across much of the US, you can witness 80,000 lbs (~38,000 kg) tractor trailers driving 70-80 MPH (or faster but not legally)

On the Germany Autobahn, these trucks would be limited to 80 KPH.

The one big advantage the Autobahn has is that German law requires cars to pull over to the right when a faster vehicle approaches from the rear. So yeah there are big, slow, lumbering trucks on the Autobahn. But they stay out of your way if you're driving fast, because they can be pulled over and ticketed if they don't.

In the U.S. OTOH, you get slow drivers in the fast lane. And in 2-lane highways you get slow trucks spending 5 minutes in the fast lane to pass ever so slightly slower trucks.

quote:
The truth is that in terms of general speed and average speed for the traffic, US and European roadways are relatively similar.

Having driven in both the U.S. and Europe, I'd tend to side with the OP. European drivers tend to be more... frantic. They rev up in anticipation of a red light turning green. The twisty roads and smaller cars leads to a lot of darting here and there between cars and lanes. I wouldn't exactly describe it as "faster", but it's definitely more frenetic.

But overall I'd say there's a bigger difference between how people in urban and rural areas of the U.S. drive, than between how people in the U.S. and Europe drive.


RE: What rubbish...
By Keeir on 3/11/2010 7:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But overall I'd say there's a bigger difference between how people in urban and rural areas of the U.S. drive, than between how people in the U.S. and Europe drive.


Never driven in Europe outside of Vacation (and then only UK and France). Since I was relaxed, I didn't drive frantic, so overall the experience was pretty laid back.

However, having lived in multiple parts of the US, I would agree with you. Geographical variety also plays a big part. Where I live now, people are very laid back and polite to the point of... sappiness.

I think though some of the behaviour you describe, such as revving at a red light, is due to

#1. Much higher percentage of manual transmission car.
#2. Much lower power cars overall. (Which means to really get up and go, you need a higher rev level)

But I really think you missed the point about the Trucks. On the Autobahn, apparently they are limited to ~50 MPH (~80 KMH).

Also, I take you what the governments consider worthwhile driving tests

http://www.dieselnet.com/standards/cycles/

Consider that most USer's consider the EPA cycles not agressive enough... and that EPA cycles are significantly greater average speed than European cycles... and you reach the conclusion that Europeans speed a great deal of time going 20 (MPH) to 60 (MPH) and rarely get to go much faster. US people on the other hand outside Urban areas, get to travel 55+ MPH constantly for long periods of time.

::Shrug::

Many European on this board claim to exceed US tested EPA by wide margins. This can only occur if they on average use less energy to cover the same distances. Since the car masses are nearly identical... we are left with the US either having inferior roads (a good possibility) or traveling faster on average (increasing aerodynamic losses)


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