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Geneva Motor Show

New Lexus CT 200h

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Lexus CT 200h front side view

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After teasing us for weeks, Lexus has finally revealed its CT 200h hybrid sports hatachback, and quite frangly, it’s not a looker. The Lexus CT 200h is powered by a 1.8L VVTi engine mated to an electric motor. It is capable of driving in EV mode for up to 1.2 miles at speeds up to 28 mph. To enhance functionality, divers can select from three driving modes — Eco, Normal and Sport. Performance details will be released at a later date.

The CT 200h will make its first debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show and, according to Lexus, will launch worldwide later this year. But we can’t confirm whether North America is included in this launch date. More details can be found in the press release below.

[expand title=”PRESS RELEASE”]

INTRODUCING THE LEXUS CT 200h

KEY POINTS

*Lexus’s first premium compact model
*Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain with 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine and powerful but compact electric motor
*Full hybrid system with selectable EV mode for emissions-free electric running
*Further selectable ECO, NORMAL and SPORT driving modes
*ECVT intelligent electronic continuously variable transmission
*Expected to deliver class-leading CO2 emissions
*Significantly lower NOx emissions than equivalent diesel engines and almost no particulates
*Long, 2,600mm wheelbase ensures excellent accommodation for everyone on board
*Debut at Geneva motor show prior to worldwide sales launch in late 2010

The new Lexus CT 200h is the first full hybrid vehicle to be launched in the premium compact segment. Entering production in late 2010 and set for sale worldwide, the full hybrid model will provide a new gateway to the Lexus range and attract new, younger customers to the brand.

The CT 200h was designed and developed with the European market in mind. Lexus’s first five-door compact car, its size, packaging, full hybrid technology and low emissions fully address the requirements of discerning, environment-conscious customers in a key market sector. At the same time, it does not compromise the quality, refinement and driving pleasure that are the hallmarks of every Lexus.

Exterior and interior design

The production-ready CT 200h retains strong visual links to the LF-Ch concept Lexus unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show. Its styling marks a powerful evolution of Lexus’s L-finesse design philosophy with a distinctive, sharp-edged look that sets it apart from its premium compact rivals.

The exterior is styled for maximum aerodynamic efficiency and minimum wind noise. The strong front grille, directly referencing the LF-Ch concept sits over a full-width bumper and air dam. The headlamp units, positioned higher than the grille (a signature feature of L-finesse design), incorporate LED daytime running lights.

In profile, the steeply raked windscreen, long, flowing roofline and Lexus slingshot window graphic combine to create an elegant and distinctive silhouette. The front and rear corners have been pulled in tight and the wings are styled to improve airflow down the sides of the vehicle.

At the rear, the trailing edge of the roof overhangs a wide, wraparound rear window to create a seamless, integrated spoiler. A pronounced step in the tailgate section flows from the shoulders of the rear wheelarches and is anchored by a tail lamp design that displays the L-shaped motif that Lexus first introduced on the current LS model.

The interior combines superior ergonomics with extensive use of metallic finishes and dark, soft-touch surfaces.

Lexus has retained the asymmetrical dashboard design seen in the LF-Ch show car. Based on the Future Lexus Interior concept, the dashboard is split into an upper Display Zone, with an eight-inch LCD multi-display screen; and a lower Operation Zone, with the shift lever and other controls such as Lexus’s Remote Touch multi-function controller.

In keeping with the car’s performance, the driving position is set low, with a highly supportive driver’s seat. The instrument binnacle houses large, twin dials; in SPORT mode, the hybrid indicator in the binnacle functions as a tachometer and the ambient lighting turns from blue to red. The two-mode switch ring and a spotlight in the centre cluster also light up in red, changing the whole atmosphere of the cabin.

In spite of its compact, efficient design, the CT 200h offers a roomy interior. The 2,600mm wheelbase allows for front and rear passenger accommodation that is among the most spacious in the segment. Luggage capacity is 345 litres, increasing to 700 litres with the rear seats lowered.

Lexus Hybrid Drive

The Lexus Hybrid Drive system in the CT 200h combines a 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine with a powerful electric motor. Drivers have the choice of four selectable drive modes: ECO and NORMAL place the emphasis on efficiency and comfort, while SPORT focuses on dynamic performance.

Unlike mild hybrid systems used by other manufacturers, the CT 200h also has an EV (electric vehicle) mode that allows for ultra-quiet running on the electric motor alone, resulting in zero fuel consumption and CO2, NOx and particulate emissions. The car is capable of running in EV mode for up to 1.2 miles at speeds up to 28mph.

Chassis and suspension

The CT 200h is built on a new platform with a dedicated double wishbone and trailing arm rear suspension system. It has been developed specifically to combine the ride comfort expected of a Lexus with superior driving involvement and handling agility.

Several elements in the MacPherson strut design have been exclusively developed for the mode, including the coil springs and shock absorbers, and a new front anti-roll bar has been designed to deliver improved roll rigidity.

The double wishbone rear suspension is exclusive to the CT 200h and incorporates a lightweight trailing arm. The springs and shocks are positioned separately to minimise intrusion into the loadspace floor.

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Geneva Motor Show

Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster Is One Exclusive Convertible

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Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster

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Production of this drop-top German will be limited to just 750 units.

Just four months after the four-door Mercedes-AMG GT made its debut, the Mercedes-AMG GT family has grown yet again with the addition of the GT R Roadster.

Arriving just in time for summer, the limited-edition convertible features a three-layer fabric soft top with lightweight aluminum and magnesium construction and an acoustic mat that helps absorb wind noise.

Power is provided by AMG’s 4.0-liter V8 Bitrubo engine, producing 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) is complete in 3.5 seconds and top speed is reached at 197 mph (317 km/h).

Like the GT R coupe, the GT R Roadster boasts a long list of exterior upgrades that include a wider stance, a larger rear wing, exclusive 20-inch wheels in the rear and 19-inch rims up front, and an adjustable coil-over suspension with active rear axle steering

A number of active aerodynamic components have been implemented to manage airflow around the engine and underneath the car, reducing lift and maximizing efficiency and downforce.

Notable interior touches include AMG black carbon fiber trim elements, AMG Performance seats wrapped in Nappa leather, and an AMG Performance steering wheel.

Mercedes plans to build just 750 examples of the GT R Roadster, so act fast if you want one.

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Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV Concept Previews Alfa’s First Electrified Vehicle

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Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV Concept, live

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The Italian automaker is getting ready to enter the electric vehicle segment.

Alfa Romeo used the 2019 Geneva Motor show to debut the Tonale Concept, previewing its first plug-in hybrid.

Sharing a design language with the larger Stelvio, the sleek compact crossover stands out with a large lower grille flanked by LED-array headlights that are thinner than those on the Stelvio and retro design elements like Alfa Romeo’s characteristic phone-dial wheel, which as borrowed from the 33 Stradale of the 1960s.

Highlights of the interior include a 12.3-inch full digital instrument cluster, a large 10.25-inch touchscreen for the central head unit, and premium materials ranging from aluminum to Alcantara and leather.

Technical details or a launch window for the production Tonale were not revealed, but the model was envisioned with a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Alfa Romeo plans to launch a total of six PHEVs by the end of 2022, and the Tonale will certainly be one of them.

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Geneva Motor Show

Polestar 2 Electric Car Charges Up To Battle Tesla Model 3

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Polestar 2 EV, front quarter

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Sweden delivers yet another promising electrified vehicle.

The Polestar 2 has arrived, and it’s ready to do battle with the Tesla Model 3 and other premium compact electric cars.

As Polestar’s first fully-electric vehicle, the Polestar 2 draws heavy inspiration from the Volvo 40.2 concept that debuted in 2016, featuring a relatively high ride height for a sedan and a five-door fastback design that makes it more versatile.

In fact, the Polestar 2 is based on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture platform and is powered by a drivetrain consisting of two electric motors and a 78 kWh battery that deliver a combined 408 horsepower and 487 lb-ft. of torque, enough power to accelerate it from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in under five seconds.

The 27-module battery pack also integrated into the floor to improve the rigidity of the chassis and improve noise, vibration and harshness levels. It provides the Swedish electric car with a driving range of around 275 miles (443 km) on a single charge.

For those interested in a sportier driving experience, the Polestar 2 will be available with a Performance Pack that adds Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes and unique 20-inch forged wheels. It also adds gold seat belts, brake calipers and valve caps.

Highlights of the interior include an 11-inch touchscreen that runs an Android-based infotainment system, granting owners access to Google Assistant, Google Maps and a number of other vehicle-based apps.

Production of the Polestar 2 kicks off in China in early 2020, with pricing starting at 39,900 Euros in Europe and at $55,000 in the United States.

Like the Polestar 1, it will be available exclusively via an online ordering system, and there will also eventually be a subscription program to broaden its reach.

Polestar will also introduce a less expensive version of the Polestar 2 down the road.

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