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The Mercury Cars Guide : March 20th 2010
6--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, March 20, 2010 Lexus lobs one at Beemer The gold standard in compact luxury cars, the BMW 3 Series, is about to come under heavy fire from Lexus. Neil McDonald reports from Geneva AFTER starting at the top end of the car business with its LS flagship and cascading down through the various categories, Lexus is finally ready with the most important car in its history. The CT200h was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show as a new-age compact hybrid but the bottom line is much more important --- this is the Lexus rival to the Three. It will also go up against the baby 1 Series and the Audi A3, but the CT is intended to win significant sales and do the job that Lexus has not been able to do with the IS. The CT is expected to be a major sales success in Australia. ''More importantly, it's the type of car that will bring new customers to Lexus,'' said the chief executive of Lexus Australia, Tony Cramb, speaking in Geneva. ''I think the CT, with its performance and equipment, is more closely a competitor to the high-end 1 Series or A3s. It is not designed or engineered as a low-end car.'' But he admits the right prices are essential, with Lexus Australia aiming for something in the $55-$60,000 range. ''We need to get it at the right price and that's something we're currently working on,'' Cramb says. The CT200h is part of the expanding Prius family, using a 1.8-litre petrol engine liked with a compact electric motor through a continuously-variable transmission. There are three driving modes --- includ- ing Sport --- but the car can only run for two kilometres on battery electric power. It sits on a new mechanical package --- with a 2600mm wheelbase and basic luggage capacity of 345 litres --- with MacPherson strut front suspension and a dedicated double-wishbone rear suspension which is much more advanced than the layout on the Prius. Inside, the CT uses the same asymmetrical dashboard seen in the show car. The dashboard is split into an upper display zone with a large LCD multi-display screen and a lower zone with the gearshift lever and a remote touch multi-function controller. CT production starts in December but Cramb is reluctant to discuss an arrival date in Australia. Lexus high-alert THE head of Lexus says they are paying more attention to customers after the Toyota recall crisis. The company's chief engineer of hybrid drive, Sam Sadakata, admits that the crisis has created a company-wide assessment of engineering, quality and build processes. In the case of Lexus, it has already extended final prototype testing and is now asking all engineers to comment on quality across the various models rather than just their own area. It was the case where air conditioning engineers would just worry about air conditioning,'' Sadakata says. No we want them to look at other aspects of the cars to make them right.'' TILFORD PTY LTD 6234 0200 †Limited offers available on new vehicles at Tilford. Private and ABN buyers only. Tilford and Ford Australia reserve the right to change or extend these offers. *Figures obtained from controlled tests using ADR81/02. Actual fuel consumption will depend on many factors including driving habits, prevailing conditions and your vehicle s equipment, condition and use. Focus LX manual 7.1L/100km. #Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG Inc., and is used under licence. Some phones not compatible. ~iPod is a trademark of Apple Inc. Connection cable sold separately. DTA395_HM FOCUS LX AUTO $23,990 DRIVEAWAY† Price includes prestige colours speed utom tic it e uenti l ports i t Economic l . L engine, . L/1 km* Du l ront nd side curt in irb gs Dyn mic t bility Control MP3/iPod connectivity~ FIESTA LX 5 DOOR $19,490 DRIVEAWAY† Price includes prestige colours uel e cient 1.6L engine, 6.1L/1 km it m nu l tr nsmission* Driver nd ront p ssenger irb gs MP3/iPod connectivity~ luetoot it Voice Control# MONDEO ETEC HATCH PETROL $35,990 DRIVEAWAY† Price includes prestige colours uel econ. 9.5L/1 km* 6 speed utom tic it e uenti l ports i t luetoot it Voice Control# Dyn mic t bility Control TERRITORY TX RWD $39,490 DRIVEAWAY† Price includes prestige colours uel econ. 11.6L/1 km* Du l ront nd side curt in irb gs Cruise control Dyn mic t bility Control 2010 PLATE MODELS ONLY
March 13th 2010
March 27th 2010