Report: Lexus Teases European Market CT Hatchback

Lexus has just released a quick teaser image of a new model the luxury automaker will unveil at the Frankfurt auto Show this September. The car is a hatchback and is designed specifically for the European market. It is also expected to be a hybrid as Europe will not get the HS250h hybrid model.

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Gallery: The Concept Lawn at Pebble Beach

While the real stars of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance are the vintage autos, the Concept Lawn is a special place where future show-stoppers are put on display. While some of the models are actually concepts, many are rare coachbuilt models and a few are full-production cars.

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Report: BMW Unveils ActiveHybrid 7 Series

Just moments after releasing details on the company’s new X6 hybrid, BMW has now unveiled a new ActiveHybrid version of the 7 Series.

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Report: Toyota Forced to Slow Prius Production as Battery Supplier Can't Keep Up With Demand

The 2010 Prius has been a popular car for Toyota since it first went on sale several months ago, but the pace of sales will slow considerably over the next few months. The reason for the lull is that the Prius’s battery supplier, Panasonic EV, can’t keep up with the demand.

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Report: European Entry-Level Lexus Hybird to Get CT200h Badge

A post on one of TopGear’s blogs last week had everyone chatting about a new Lexus hybrid designed to take on the BMW 1-Series and Audi A3 in Europe. Now word comes from Lexus enthusiast site My.IS that the rumored Lexus C-Premium concept, which will debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show this fall, will arrive as the CT200h at the Geneva Auto Show in early 2010.

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Report: Toyota Not Planning Hybrid Yaris After All

In a strange turn of events, a source inside Toyota has told the U.K.’s AutoCar that the Japanese automaker isn’t looking to build a hybrid version of the Yaris. The source says the car won’t be built in France, Japan or anywhere; not yet anyway.

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Report: BMW to Debut Green Sports Car Concept at Frankfurt Auto Show

What’s the best way to get people to stop talking about how much of a failure you were in Formula One? Why, announce that you’re building an environmentally responsible sports car, of course!

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Toyota Planning Yaris-Based Hybrid for Sale in Japan, Europe

Just a few weeks after Toyota officially announced that it would build a hybrid version of the Corolla-based Auris in the U.K., new reports suggest a similar (but smaller) model is being prepared for Japan and Europe. The car would be built in Japan for the Japanese market and Toyota has plans to build a European version in France.

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Report: Honda Fast-Tracking List of Updates to Improve Insight

According to the U.K.’s Autocar, Honda is fast-tracking a list of updates for the Insight originally scheduled for a mid-cycle makeover that’s still several years off. The focus of the changes will be to further improve fuel-economy, which while impressive at 40/43 mpg (city/highway), lags significantly behind the 2010 Prius and its 51/48 mpg rating.

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Report: Acura NSX to Return as All-Wheel Drive Hybrid

The latest bit of Acura NSX gossip points to a return of the luxury Japanese automaker’s flagship sports car, but as an all-wheel drive hybrid. 7Tune is reporting from their sources that when the next generation NSX (known as the Advanced Sports Car Concept) was canned, it was actually more of a temporary matter as the automaker did some soul searching.

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Chevy Volt Will Be Sportier Than Japanese Hybrids Says Chief Engineer

The upcoming Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid will be a sporty alternative to Japanese hybrids says the car’s chief engineer. Andrew Farah let this juicy bit of info slip on a recent chat session on GM’s official FasLane blog.

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Consumer Reports Trash Talks Honda's Insight

In the latest issue Consumer Reports tests 22 small cars and hatchbacks and Honda’s new Insight only rates a “Good.” That might not sound all that bad, but CR usually gives all Hondas an “Excellent” or “Recommended” or “Top Pick” rating.

Out of 22 cars, the Insight is just 21st. The only car to rate lower is the Dodge Caliber… ouch!

“The Insight is the most disappointing Honda Consumer Reports has tested in a long time,” said David Champion, senior director of CR’s Auto Test Center. “The Insight is a noisy, stiff-riding car with clumsy handling that is nothing like the Fit on which it is based. Also, Electronic Stability Control is only available on the highline EX version.”

Still CR did highlight the Insight’s fuel-economy at a tested 38 mpg. Honda officially claims 40/43 mpg (city/highway). The car’s braking was also cited as a high-point.

The car did not, however, live up to Honda’s handling standards, which we suspect has a lot to do with the only semi-independent rear end.

As a result of this the Insight will not receive the Consumer Reports “Recommended” stamp of approval, which is based on test data, predicted reliability and crash testing.

Read AutoGuide ‘s review of the 2010 Honda Insight at the link below:

Official release after the jump:

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Toyota Prepping Supra-Successor

According to its sources, 7Tune is reporting that Toyota is in fact preparing a successor to the Supra. This top-level sports car has taken a back seat to the economy-minded 086A – the code name for the yet unnamed joint Toyota/Subaru project. It’s also likely that development of a Supra-successor has been slowed due to the current economic conditions.

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First Chevy Volt Pre-Production Model Hits the Road

General Motors may still be in bankruptcy protection but that doesn’t mean work at America’s largest automaker has stopped. In fact, engineers have been hard at it, especially those working on the upcoming Chevrolet Volt.

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Land Rover Green-Lights LRX Hybrid

Land Rover recently secured a $38 million grant from the U.K government to investigate building an environmentally responsible vehicle, likely to be based on the LRX Concept that debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2008. And according to a recent report in the U.K.’s AutoExpress, Land Rover has given the project the green light.

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