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 |  May 14 2010, 8:23 PM

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It’s truly amazing what the Internet has enabled companies to do in terms of marketing their products. The advent of Adobe Flash technology and truly interactive experiences allows users to immerse themselves and forget that they’re actually being sold a product.

Lexus has taken one of these approaches with their new CT 200h viral marketing idea, which comes down as a choose your own adventure game. You assist Tony, the driver, in trying to keep the CT200h out of the criminal’s hands who wish to steal the hybrid technology. Why they just don’t go and buy their own, we’re not sure. But hey, the game is set in a nice thriller movie-like atmosphere and the overall production is impressive. It’s clear that Lexus spent quite a few dollars in producing it and hopefully it’ll be a success for them.

Check it out at the source if you have the time to spare, there’s no way to pause the experience. Be patient while it loads, like all Flash-based websites, it’s decent size. Now too bad Apple isn’t a Flash lover, Lexus is missing out on all the possible iPhone, iPad consumers that are environmentally-conscious.

Get more Lexus CT200h info at CT200hForums.com

[Source: Lexus Dark Ride]

 |  Mar 22 2010, 12:04 PM

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After its debut at the Geneva Auto Show just a few weeks ago, Lexus has now officially announced it will sell the CT200h hybrid hatchback in the United States. The CT200h will be the first full hybrid offered in the premium compact class.

Power comes from a version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system using a 1.8-liter VVT-i 4-cylinder, however, Toyota has yet to announce any engine output numbers. A similar setup used in the Prius makes just 134-hp, but we’re hoping for something closer to the HS250’s 187-hp. Lexus claims a fully electric range of 1.2 miles in EV mode at speeds up to 28 mph, while driver’s can also select Normal or Sport driving modes. The CT200h is a front-wheel drive model and runs 17-inch wheels.

The interior is certainly of a reasonably premium level, with some typical Toyota hybrid touches like the small gear shifter and push button ignition. The dash is divided into two “zones” with a Display Zone for vehicle information (which includes an 8-inch LCD screen) and an Operation Zone, which includes the Lexus Remote Touch mouse control. As a hatchback, Lexus rates the car’s storage capacity at roughly 12 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a total of 25 cubic feet with those seats folded flat.

Notable safety features include traction and stability control, eight standard airbags and an optional Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

The CT200h will go on sale in the U.S. in early 2011 expanding the dedicated Lexus range of hybrids to two models (the HS250h) being the other, and expanding the total number of Lexus hybrid models to five.

AutoGuide will bring you full coverage of the car’s debut at the NY Auto Show starting March 31st. Follow the link below to see our live coverage starting on the 31st.

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

GALLERY: Lexus CT200h

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Official release after the jump and find more info at CT200hForum.com:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 08 2010, 11:36 AM

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Lexus will debut its latest model, the CT200h, in front of a North American audience for the first time at the New York Auto Show at the end of the month. Officially unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show last week, the CT200h is not only a luxury hatchback, but the first hybrid in the compact premium class.

Power comes from a version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system using a 1.8-liter VVT-i 4-cylinder, however, Toyota has yet to announce any engine output numbers. A similar setup used in the Prius makes just 134-hp, but we’re hoping for something closer to the HS250’s 187-hp. Lexus claims a fully electric range of 1.2 miles in EV mode at speeds up to 28 mph, while driver’s can also select Normal or Sport driving modes. The CT200h is a front-wheel drive model and runs 17-inch wheels.

The interior is certainly of a reasonably premium level, with some typical Toyota hybrid touches like the small gear shifter and push button ignition. The dash is divided into two “zones” with a Display Zone for vehicle information (which includes an 8-inch LCD screen) and an Operation Zone, which includes the Lexus Remote Touch mouse control. As a hatchback, Lexus rates the car’s storage capacity at roughly 12 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a total of 25 cubic feet with those seats folded flat.

Originally designed for Europe, Lexus has announced this new model will be offered world-wide, with sales expected to start late this year.

GALLERY: Lexus CT200h Debut in Geneva

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 |  Feb 12 2010, 3:41 PM

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Lexus will unveil the first full-hybrid premium compact car at the Geneva Auto Show in March. Called the CT200h, it is inspired by the LF-Ch concept that the automaker debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show last year.

Interestingly, the teaser image that Lexus has sent us looks more like a sedan than the LF-Ch hatchback we’ve been seeing, but that’s probably to keep people guessing. Lexus is eager to get into the premium hatchback market in Europe, competing against models like the Audi A3 and Volvo C3, as well as against vehicles like the BMW 1 Series.

Under the hood we’re likely to find either the same hybrid setup as found in the Prius or the Lexus HS250h. We’re certainly hoping it’s the latter, which still only delivers a modest 187-hp. And if the HS250 is any estimate, then it should get close to 35 mpg (combined).

Lexus initially said the CT200h would not be offered in North America, but it has since been showing it at several different venues (including the LA Auto Show) in order to gauge interest on this side of the Atlantic.

We’ll be sure to bring you more on the CT200h, with live coverage of the Geneva Auto Show starting March 1st.

Click here for AutoGuide’s live 2010 Geneva Auto Show coverage starting Monday, March 1st.

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 07 2009, 10:33 AM

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Lexus has announced that along with the world premiere of a new two seater supercar concept, it will show the LF-Ch hybrid hatchback concept for the first time in Japan. Unveiled last month at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the LF-Ch is expected to lead to a production model, in Europe, by 2011.

Lexus sees the premium compact segment as an important one in Europe and wants to build the LF-Ch hatchback to compete directly with cars like the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Volvo C30.

Recently Lexus also posted a survey on it’s U.S. website, polling consumers on if the LF-Ch would be a viable vehicle for the North American market. With this debut in Japan, one has to think Toyota’s luxury arm is also thinking about a road-going LF-Ch for its home market as well.

Lexus has been typically tight-lipped about the LF-Ch concept, but it has registered the CT200h name in North America, suggesting that is what the car will eventually be called. We should also expect a hybrid powerplant aimed at giving higher performance with increased fuel economy.

GALLERY: Lexus LF-Ch Concept

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Report: Lexus Reveals LF-Ch Hybrid Hatchback Concept

New enty-level model to debut at Frankfurt Auto Show next week

 |  Sep 08 2009, 9:37 AM

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Last week Lexus teased us with a back shot of its upcoming hybrid hatchback and now we finally get a glimpse of what this new model will look like from the front. Called the LF-Ch Concept for now it is expected to be called the CT200h when it finally makes its way to production in 2010.

Originally designed specifically for the European market, which will not get the Hs250h, recent rumors have suggested it may also makes its way to the U.S.

The LF-Ch is a premium-level hatchback designed to take on vehicles like the BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 and Volvo C30.

There is no confirmed word on engines or pricing, but with the CT200h name we suspect the luxury hatch will use a similar setup to the Prius, with an electric motor mated to Toyota’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder, making roughly 200hp. Pricing is expected to be around the $30,000 mark.

Lexus will officially reveal the LF-Ch concept next week at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

GALLERY: Lexus LF-Ch

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[Source: Autoblog]

 |  Aug 25 2009, 9:02 AM

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Lexus is set to debut a new hatchback model for the European market at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month and now word comes that the U.S. may also get this luxurious hot-hatch. Initially it was believed that the baby Lexus would not be offered in North America as it would be too close to the HS250h hybrid, which will not offered in Europe.

Rumored to be called the CT, Lexus has filed for patents on the names CT200h, CT300h and CT400h.

Thought to be sold exclusively as a hybrid, Automotive News is reporting that several engine options would be available, including two diesels. The diesels, however, would not be offered in North America.

Lexus is planning this new model to take on cars like the BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 and Volvo C30, in the premium compact market.

There is no confirmed word on engine’s or pricing, but with the CT200h name we suspect the luxury hatch will use a similar setup to the Prius, with an electric motor mated to Toyota’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder, making roughly 200hp. Pricing is expected to be around the $30,000 mark.

[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]