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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...

A1GOY
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Dagnut

Original Poster:

3,281 posts

76 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd March 2010 quote quote all
A big fat corrolla

Stu R

20,644 posts

98 months

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Tuesday 2nd March 2010 quote quote 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

499 posts

143 months

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

edb49

1,646 posts

88 months

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Tuesday 2nd March 2010 quote quote 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

1,858 posts

58 months

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

12,816 posts

61 months

saaby93

12,816 posts

61 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd March 2010 quote quote 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

10,269 posts

167 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd March 2010 quote quote 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

141 months

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

saaby93

12,816 posts

61 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd March 2010 quote quote 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

1,827 posts

88 months

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Tuesday 2nd March 2010 quote quote all
Boring cr4p

off_again

9,092 posts

117 months

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

sprinter1050

11,241 posts

110 months

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Tuesday 2nd March 2010 quote quote 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

141 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd March 2010 quote quote 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

41,210 posts

158 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd March 2010 quote quote all
Dagnut said:
A big fat corrolla
rofl Spot on.

soad

18,306 posts

59 months

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

wab172uk

900 posts

110 months

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

Twilight1

168 posts

61 months

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

Skylinecrazy

13,075 posts

77 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd March 2010 quote quote 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

12,816 posts

61 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd March 2010 quote quote 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??
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