AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
10. Lexus CT
Car thefts have dropped an average 13 percent each year since 2006 according to the latest data from the government safety regulators.
With that in mind, this is the list of the 10 car least likely to disappear from the driveway while you’re busy playing Rip Van Winkle.
Kicking off the list is the Lexus CT, an entry-level hybrid that began sales in the U.S. in March 2011. The CT 200h is powered by a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine with 98 hp and 105 lb-ft of torque paired with an electric motor for a combined system output of 134 hp and 153 lb-ft of torque. NHTSA reports 0.2 thefts in 2011 per 1,000 vehicles produced.
Fuel efficiency is at the forefront of every new car-buyer’s mind. No one wants to spend $30,000 and find themselves throwing money away at the gas pump, so we’ve compiled a list of the cheapest vehicles that get 40 miles per gallon (combined) in order from most expensive to least expensive.
10. (TIE) 3-Series Hybrid, Mercedes E400 Hybrid, Infiniti M35h, Buick LaCrosse/Regal eAssist: 29 mpg
Who is to say that luxury car buyers aren’t affected by high gas prices? If you want to drive in comfort, style, and have the latest high tech goodies in a car, you shouldn’t have to pay more at the pump for it. Here are our picks for the top 10 most fuel friendly luxury cars, ranked in order of their combined city/highway mpg numbers.
Quite a few luxury cars hit the 29 mpg mark combined. The most impressive of the bunch is the Buick LaCrosse, which manage to get solid fuel economy, despite its bigger size. The Infiniti, Mercedes and BMW vehicles make do with a high-power pairing of a six-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which gives the end result of over 300-hp.
The Buicks use a mild hybrid system called eAssist which pairs a 2.4L four-cylinder engine with a conventional automatic, and a compact lithium ion battery to get its impressive fuel economy numbers.
The Lexus CT200h has been a success for the company, drawing in younger buyers as well opening up a new low-price point to enter into the luxury segment, and now the car may spawn some new models.
The “possibility to build other vehicles off that(CT200h) platform” is likely, said Mark Templin, Lexus U.S. group vice president and general manager in an interview with WardsAuto. The sales of the CT200h will likely grow 25% in 2012, a great gain, but still not as much as the company would like. “We’ll probably end up in the 18,000-unit range this year, just based on the supply that we can get,” mentioned Templin.
The average age of the CT200h buyer is 53, six years younger than the average age of regular Lexus buyers. New customers to the brand are also likely to get into a CT as their first Lexus.
Oddly enough, the company recently discontinued the HS 250h due to lack of sales. The style, price and options on the car made it much less accessible than the CT, and thus was discontinued.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
10. 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE: 43/39 MPG
The Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient cars have been named for 2012 by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA (those guys that come up with the official ratings for cars) has compiled the list, which is dominated by Japanese automakers. Those remaining two are domestic vehicles, although with one being a commercial van, it almost should count. On the list are electric and hybrid vehicles only, with no diesels or pure gasoline engines.
In 10th spot is the first of three Toyota models and the first of four if you count the larger Toyota company and Lexus. The Toyota Camry Hybrid LE is officially rated at 43 mpg city and 39 mpg highway. With a combined rating of 41-mpg, it’s the only true mid-size sedan to achieve an average of 40-mpg or better. And these numbers don’t come at the expense of performance either, with 200-hp on tap. Of note, XLE models, which have more content and are heavier, are rated at 40 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.
Meguiar’s will be heading to SEMA this year with this custom two-tone Lexus CT 200h. While it’s not exactly the crazy project one would expect from a SEMA display car, the 2012 CT 200h serves a purpose as a proper marketing tool for Meguiar’s.
The yellow and black two-tone scheme is inspired by Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash and Wax product line, giving the CT 200h clearly defined body lines. The glossy paint comes courtesy of Glasurit Paint Systems while the Rotiform BLQ wheels with Falken Tires are also done in a nice black finish, providing a nice black/yellow/black theme to the project. Handling suspension duties is a set of coilovers from CKS, while the interior got a proper suede treatment with contrasting yellow stitching.
Autoguide will be sure to stop by the Meguiar’s booth to take a look at this hybrid project in person next week.
[Source: Jon Sibal]
GALLERY: Meguiar’s Lexus CT 200h
When a car meets its expected sales target it’s not normally worth reporting, but considering the flop that was the HS250h (not to mention slumping brand sales in general), Lexus seems on track to meet and even exceed its goal with the new CT200h.
According to the latest figures the CT200h was the third best selling hybrid in the month of July, beating out cars like the Honda Insight, Fusion Hybrid, Escape Hybrid and even the Lexus RX450h. Total sales for the year are listed at 5,321, which puts the car well on track to reach its target of 10,000 units, according to Lexus VP Mark Templin.
It also puts Lexus ahead of rivals BMW an Audi in the compact luxury segment. In the month of July, Audi A3 sales tallied just 436 units for a year-to-date total of 3,803, while sales of the BMW 1 Series fell just short of Lexus with 5,257 units moved after selling 664 models last month.
The numbers don’t tell the whole story, however, as sales of the CT only began in March, with Lexus moving 2,200 of them in that month, “way above our plan” says Lexus PR rep Ming-Jou Chen. According to Chen, sales were also hampered significantly until quite recently due to the production stoppage in Japan as the result of the earthquake and tsunami.
If Lexus is able to keep up its current pace the CT is poised to become one of the best selling hybrids in America. Starting from $29,120 the CT200h is rated at 42-mpg average.
GALLERY: Lexus CT200h
And discuss this story at CT200hForum.com
Lexus has announced its plans for the 2012 CT 200h model, adding a new car and the F Sport Package as an option to buyers. The F Sport Package originally debuted last year at the Australian International Auto Show (seen above) and will feature F Sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels in a high-gloss finish, mesh front grille, metal front scuff plates, perforated leather steering wheel, leather shift knob, aluminum sport pedals, and metallic trim on the dash panel. Options for seats include black NuLuxe trimmed seats or perforated black leather-trimmed seats.
Unfortunately Lexus didn’t release any photos of the F Sport package available for the 2012 CT 200h, but most of its parts are featured in the photos released last year. Also for the 2012 model, Lexus has integrated its Vehicle Proximity Notification System to warn pedestrians of its existence. New to 2012 is the color Nebula Gray Pearl, which replaces the Smoky Granite Mica from 2012.
No pricing details were released on the 42-mpg hybrid luxury sedan, but it’s nice to see the F Sport package will be readily available to enthusiasts wanting a little more fun from their hybrid.
GALLERY: Lexus CT 200h F Sport (from 2010 Australian International Auto Show)
Lexus of Australia is using the Australian International Motor Show to gauge interest in a sportier CT200h packed with aerodynamic and performance enhancements to the hybrid hathback. The CT200h Concept was inspired by the Gazoo Racing Nürburgring CT race car, and could feature elements that Lexus may introduce into the local Australian market.
The CT200h Concept includes a quad exhaust, full body kit with rear diffuser, 18-inch wheels and a modified suspension that lowers the CT200h by 0.8-inches. Under the hood is the 2.4L engine that was used in the Nürburgring CT race car, (and is also shared with the HS250h where it makes 187-hp compared to the CT’s 134-hp). This is the strongest hint yet that there’s a more powerful CT200h on the horizon. After all, Lexus has already trademarked the CT300h badge.
GALLERY: Nürburgring Inspired Lexus CT 200h Concept
[Source: Lexus Enthusiast]
Looking to show off the sportier side of the CT200h, Lexus will be competing at this weekends VLN3 race at the Nurburgring over the weekend.
Entered in the SP4 Class, the car will be fielded by Lexus motorsports partner Gazoo Racing, which also field several LFA race cars.
While it’s no clear indication, Lexus may be using this weekend’s event as a serious test session in the lead-up to the Nurburgring 24 Hour race later this summer.
GALLERY: Lexus LFA Race Car
Discuss this story at CT200hForum.com
With a recent warning from its dealers about stale products, Lexus is poised to roll out a list of all-new model as it looks to re-assert itself in the luxury sphere. The news comes from Lexus of Australia where top exec Tony Cramb has indicated new models will be a big part of the Lexus push over the next few years. In addition, Lexus intends to offer a greater diversity of options to customers, from everything from interior trim, to engines, to body styles.
One of the first of the new models set to arrive is a more potent version of the CT200h hybrid hatchback. Rumored to be called the CT300h it could get a larger engine or lithium-ion battery pack and stand as a flagship model in that range, helping build a fanbase for the car in Europe.
In addition to this car, Lexus is reportedly planning a new compact crossover below the RX, a new affordable luxury sedan, and finally a new 7-set SUV or large crossover.
Currently Lexus has just 11 unique products in its lineup, roughly half the number of models offered by its German rivals.
[Source: The Age]
Nearly 5 months in to the calendar year, Lexus has admitted that it will not be able to sustain its lead in the luxury car sales race, due to tight supplies of vehicles and parts from Japan.
With dealers down to a 30 day supply of cars (compared to a usual 60 or 90 day supply), the situation is so drastic that regional marketing campaigns are being ended due to a dearth of new vehicles to sell. Lexus is offering to extend the leases of current customer’s vehicles, and is discouraging dealers from attempting to inflate prices of the limited supply of cars, with Lexus general manager Mark Templin stating “…that’s not the way we do business.”
Many vehicles, such as the newly introduced CT200h hybrid are nearly sold out, while the Japanese factories that build the majority of Lexus vehicles are not expected to reach full capacity until November.
[Source: Automotive News]
Owning a hybrid doesn’t have to be all boring as Fox Marketing demonstrates by teaming up with Lexus and building this wickedly clean widebody Lexus CT200h. Set to debut at this year’s New York International Auto Show, we were teased with some buildup photos and now we’ve finally got some snaps of the finished product.
Fox Marketing has built several Lexus projects in the past, including their convertible IS and a widebody IS-F that was shown off at previous SEMA shows. This year, Fox shows off that tuning and customizing hybrids will be on the rise by decking out Lexus’ CT200h with a very clean widebody and a set of 20-inch iForged Insite wheels featuring a killer concave setup.
The exterior of the CT200h was blasted with coats of BASF’s R-M Carizzma Cinnamon Quarts Pearl paint job to go along with the widebody conversion. Suspension modifications were done to the sedan giving the CT200h the stance it needs to sit snug on a staggered set of Insite wheels – 20×9.5-inch in the front, 20×10.5-inch in the rear. Our only real complaint on the entire build is the rear diffuser. The block-style design just doesn’t flow well with the rest of the project.
The well-executed build will also be shown off on Discovery HD Network in an episode of MotorWeek.
GALLERY: Fox Marketing Widebody Lexus CT200h
[Source: Addicted to Mods]
Read AutoGuide’s 2011 Lexus CT200h review here
As a part of a strategy to grow its presence with a younger demographic, Lexus will continue to showcase wildly modified versions of its CT200h hybrid hatchback, debuting the latest tuner creation at the New York Auto Show.
Build by the team at Fox Marketing, the car promises a widebody kit and some sort of forced induction setup that’s sure to deliver far more than the factory 134-hp Prius powerplant.
In February Lexus showcased a custom Five Axis tuned version of the CT200h. In a dark shade of black, we’re expecting something shockingly bright from Fox Marketing.
Look for full details and live photos from AutoGuide’s 2011 New York Auto Show coverage starting April 20th.
GALLERY: Five Axis Project CT
Read AutoGuide’s 2011 Lexus CT200h Review here
While a niche-market vehicle in North America, designed more to help rebrand the stale luxury marque than to create revenue, the CT200h is the car Lexus is counting on in Europe.
At the vehicle’s launch at the Paris auto show, execs commented that they were expecting this one model to double the brand’s sales in Europe. While a seemingly astronomical feat, one must remember that most Lexus vehicles are large and expensive, meaning they either aren’t great for European roads, or they’re expensive enough that the target demographic isn’t likely to budge from their German buying habits. The CT, however, is ideally packaged and priced to appeal to a younger European buyer.
Better yet, thanks to its low emissions, buyers will be able to skip-out on most of the taxes levied on the car’s competitors.
Sales of the car haven’t hit full swing, but if the orders being placed by local importers are any indication, then the CT might just be the hit Lexus was hoping for. According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Lexus Netherlands has ordered 1,000 of the vehicles. While shy of the 1,500 Lexus hopes to move in the country this year, it’s a huge increase considering the total sale of all Lexus models in that country last year totaled just 700 units.
Get more CT200h news and info at CT200hForum.com
Lexus is a brand desperate to grow its appeal among younger buyers and while the new CT200h hybrid hatchback might be more of a European-targeted vehicle, apart from the IS series, it’s easily the most attractive car to the Gen-X and Gen-Y crowd from the Toyota luxury brand here in North America.
To help convey that message and to draw attention to the fact that Lexus does offer something to suit the interests, lifestyle and budget of younger buyers, the Lexus commissioned tuner and design studio Five Axis to build what is being called the Five Axis Project CT. Unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show the car gets a custom widebody with an aggressive rear end complete with a massive diffuser. The ‘Dark Passage’ paint helps convey the car’s ‘Darker Side of Green’ marketing slogan, while under the hood the factory powerplant remains untouched, delivering 42-mpg average.
Inside there’s everything from custom seat inserts to an impressive looking touch-screen interface that looks perfectly suited to the CT and could easily be passed off as factory equipment.
GALLERY: Five Axis Project CT
Get more CT200h news and info at CT200hForum.com
In a bid to capitalize on the publicity surrounding this year’s Australia Grand Prix Formula 1 event, Lexus will hold the world’s first hybrid only race.
The field will be made up exclusively of CT200h models, just as Lexus introduces the car to the Aussie market. Aiming to change the perception that hybrids are only for the ultra-granolas, Lexus Australia exec Peter Evans hopes to send a message that the company’s latest hybrid can also deliver fun behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, while companies like Porsche are pushing forward with real hybrid race technology in cars like the 918 RSR, this Lexus race is really just a publicity stunt and the field of drivers will be made up of celebrities. There will, however, be some sports open to regular folks, with every customer who purchases a CT200h entered into a draw to compete
Get more Lexus CT200h news and info at CT200hForum.com
One wouldn’t normally think of the Lexus hybrid compacts as “tuner cars”, but if there’s one thing that SEMA proves, it’s that you can make anything a “modified vehicle” by throwing wheels and other bolt-on modifications onto a car.
We highlighted the Lexus SEMA lineup earlier, but since we all know how much you love hybrids, we sought out some pictures of our own. The CT200h is actually previewing an F-Sport suite of aftermarket parts, including wheels, tires, a big brake kit and suspension pieces.
The HS250h was tuned by VIP Auto Salon, and comes with a baller-ific WALD aerokit, 20″ Work wheels, a custom exhaust system and Lexus Japan OEM-spec window visors. We can hardly contain our excitement at that bit of JDM trivia.
Gallery: Lexus HS250h and CT200h
Lexus has just officially debuted the production version of the CT200h hybrid hatchback at the Paris Auto Show. And while Lexus does hope to significantly expand the premium compact segment in the United States, it expects huge growth in Europe with the CT projected to double the Toyota luxury brand’s sales.
The CT is the first “sport oriented” Lexus hybrid, with a focus on dynamic handling rather than outright acceleration. In fact, using a version of the Toyota Prius’s Hybrid Synergy Drive engine, it makes 134-hp and accelerates to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds. What it can also do, however, is get a combined average of 42-mpg. For the record, that’s 8-mpg better than its closest competitor here in North America.
Along with a functional hatchback design, the CT features a more youthful appeal with more exciting design cues. Inside, it’s pure Lexus luxury.
To put the focus on driving dynamics, the car features a four-mode control system that allows the driver to switch from modes labeled: EV, Normal, Eco and Sport. In sport mode, the car not only gets a more sensitive throttle and more powerful from the electric motor, but it also features tighter steering to help aid in the driving experience.
Look for AutoGuide’s First Drive of the CT200h on October 12th.