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

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.

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
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

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.


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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