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RE: Lexus CT200h Unveiled

Tuesday 2nd March 2010

Geneva Update: Lexus CT200h Unveiled

Hybrid hatch is new Lexus standard bearer in the battle with BMW/Audi



The covers have come off the brand new Lexus CT200h at the Geneva motor show.

Lexus made us wait a whole six months to reveal what it was doing with the older LF-Ch concept, and it turns out they've created this: A 1-series-sized hybrid with occasionally challenging styling details and that looks like a Toyota Auris crossed with the LF-Ch concept car. Inside it has taken cues from the LF-Ch car as well as the latest iteration of the RX SUV - the asymmetrical dash particularly stands out.

"It's not overtly a hybrid," says Takeshi Tanabe, the chief designer for the CT200h. "we wanted it to be a premium vehicle first and foremost."


This inevitably brings comparison with the BMW 1-series, but Tanabe is keen to point out that Lexus isn't playing copy-cat with the design. "In my previous job at Toyota, we focused on rivals as benchmarks," he says. "At Lexus, the benchmark is ourselves."

But dynamically the CT200h owes a great deal more to its premium-compact rivals, particularly the BMW 1-series, as Chief engineer, Osamu Sadakata, explains: "We wanted to conquer the dynamic weaknesses of the front-wheel drive package and to make the car handle like a front-engined, rear-drive hatch. We believe we have succeeded."


The CT200h is equipped with second-generation Lexus Hybrid Drive tech, and will use a four-cylinder 1.8-litre engine twinned with a small electric motor. For the first time there is an option to use it in full electric mode. The battery will only last for 1.2 miles though, but it's a possible hint as to what they may do next.

There are three driving modes to choose from: Eco, Normal and Sport. Both Eco and Normal mode are focused on keeping emissions down, and comfort. In these two modes the two large dials in the instrument binnacle are for the hybrid indicator and the speedo. When you flick over to Sport mode the hybrid indicator functions as a rev counter instead. Sport mode also changes the ambient lighting in the dash from 'polar bear-pleasing' blue to 'clubbed-seal, let's get out of here' red.


Lexus sees the CT200h as a gateway model to the Lexus brand. You'll just have to miss out the IS200h and jump straight to the GS, or maybe the RX.

The CT200h will hit showrooms later this year. No official prices have been revealed as yet, but expect the CT200h to cost around £21k. Oh, and it looks better in the metal than it does in these pics. Honest, guv...

Author
Discussion

Dagnut

Original Poster:

3,487 posts

99 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
A big fat corrolla

Stu R

21,370 posts

121 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
The waistline is far too high, and there's something about the side profile I'm not sure of. It's almost like they stretched a 3 door (that sounded like a far better explanation in my head) as opposed to a proper 5 door. I think it's because the rear door cuts so close to the rear wheel. I know what I mean at least hehe

Quite a good looking car otherwise.

Edited by Stu R on Tuesday 2nd March 08:50

appletonn

669 posts

166 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
Dagnut said:
A big fat corrolla
Couldn't have put it better myself.

edb49

1,652 posts

111 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
I quite like that.

I can't see myself (or anyone sane) getting a hybrid until diesel-electric ones start becoming more common.

MarJay

1,928 posts

81 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
Erm... the important information doesn't seem to be there. Is it rear wheel drive?
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saaby93

17,119 posts

84 months

saaby93

17,119 posts

84 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
As said there it looks to have the same drive train as the Prius FWD, 1.8litre, battery, so is a reshelling/badging exercise - not a bad one though.
Same colour too smile

Stig

11,014 posts

190 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
As I said on the other thread, the pics are pretty unflattering. Its one of those cars that just doesn't photograph well.

Looks much more balanced/cohesive in the metal. For what it's trying to be (C Premium) I think its on the money. Will be interesting to see it in another colour though - white doesn't flatter the car either.

Twincam16

27,646 posts

164 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
That has to be the least interesting concept car ever.

saaby93

17,119 posts

84 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
I dont understand the current fashion trait to have such large (1.5inches?) flat surfaces around the wheel cutouts. What was wrong with a nice lip or blending of a curved surface?

pSyCoSiS

2,137 posts

111 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
Boring cr4p

off_again

9,147 posts

140 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
Is it me or is this a bit deja vu?

sprinter1050

11,389 posts

133 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
Thought I was looking at an Astra -then I realised I was wrong.

Clearly you're nearer the mark though.

Dagnut said:
A big fat corrolla (actually Corolla ?)

Twincam16

27,646 posts

164 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
saaby93 said:
I dont understand the current fashion trait to have such large (1.5inches?) flat surfaces around the wheel cutouts. What was wrong with a nice lip or blending of a curved surface?
I don't get that either - makes everything look like a rough-hewn '80s kit car.

Podie

43,350 posts

181 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
Dagnut said:
A big fat corrolla
rofl Spot on.

soad

26,765 posts

82 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
Doesn't appeal to me, very bland.

wab172uk

908 posts

133 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
Looks crap. Poor boring styling.

Twilight1

168 posts

84 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
So it is a FWD?

Skylinecrazy

13,564 posts

100 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
This is a pathetic effort from Lexus, in fact one which has pissed me off! The concept car looked amazing, very sleek and futuristic looking.

This looks like a Corolla combined with horse st.

I hope they learn from this mistake.


saaby93

17,119 posts

84 months

Tuesday 2nd March 2010
quotequote all
Twilight1 said:
So it is a FWD?
Of course it is - and it's not 6 cylinder either

Why isnt it a Corolla /Auris??