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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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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.

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