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Spy Shots: Possible production version of Lexus LF-Ch

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Old 01-20-10, 08:12 AM   #61
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Disagree. There were some rather pointed questions in that survey about what your favorite styling elements were, and I remember voting for the tail lights.
That was still one question compared to the 5 or so that were about the hatchback design. Even one of the final questions asked what bodystyle car do you currently drive.

Looking at the questions, Lexus was FAR more concerned about the reception of the hatchback design. The question you quoted likely had little weight in Lexus's final decisions for the car.

But like you said:

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Misleading? Maybe. Get your hopes up? Yes. Realistic that the car would have made it to the dealership looking THAT good? No.
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Old 01-20-10, 08:19 AM   #62
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I guess I wonder about price. The HS is no cheap vehicle, starting at 34k and ending at 45k. The IS 250 starts at what 31k.

Even as a hybrid, hatches are a struggle here. I seriously hope this starts at no more than 30k and it would be great maybe to get under 30k somehow.
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Old 01-20-10, 08:50 AM   #63
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I agree mike. I think this thing would need to be $28-$35K to really hit a sweet spot in the market. No matter how people try to cut it, hatches are really seen as "cheap" and "economy" here in America so I think they will struggle selling this against the IS and HS if it is not considerably cheaper.

That said, I think Lexus can make a strong statement based on what we have seen so far. If the production car even looks 90% like the concept I think they will really sweep the segment and make inroads to the hatchback market in America. The A3 is a bland and rather boring luxury version of the Golf while the Merc C hatches have all been ugly (IMO). For Lexus to come out of the box with something as dynamic and attractive as the LF-Ch and price it very competitively, I think the car will be a huge success.

Consider though...Lexus will have a very interesting entry level strategy if/when the CT goes into production:

IS
HS
ES
CT
RX (?)

I think the HS and CT will really be close competitors, so Lexus will have to work out a clever way to position the CT. They should have just stuck the HS powertrain in the IS and scrapped the Corolla-clone all together (sorry, I had to).

Also, I raised the point a few months ago about an IS-ified Venza type car- maybe something along a Lexus IS version of the Audi Allroad, to slot under the RX. Depending on how Lexus positions the CT and what the final product is, they could really two birds with one stone: 1) New entry level product to combat the 1 series/A3 2) Something with the utility and space of a sub-RX type of vehicle that many people have talked about for a while.

I'm excited to see what the final product is...
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Old 01-20-10, 09:19 AM   #64
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^ Stretch the IS with LF-Ch/venza design cues, new IS Sportcross. Hmmmmm. I like.
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Old 01-20-10, 09:23 AM   #65
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You can get a new 4-door Golf (TDi) with 41MPG, rear side airbags, HIDs, and a 300W premium touchscreen audio system for $26K MSRP.

Lexus is obviously shooting for similar "packaging" (4-door hatch) and features with the CH. Considering Lexus is a premium brand, they will be able to command a few thousand more for the CH based on badge alone, but not much more. Trust me, the Golf is a premium small car in Europe. Forget the A3. This thing will be cross-shopped with the Golf in Europe, where a loaded diesel version goes for the equivalent of $50K USD.

Oddly, and somewhat humorously (to me at least), Lexus is selling the HS250 for well over $35K or $40K in some cases simply because THEY CAN. It's just a huge profit cow. Personally, I think it's grossly overpriced.

The Mazda3 and Volvo C30 will be other competition, even though Mazda and Volvo aren't in the same "realm" in terms of "brand." They, do, however, offer many luxury features (leather, NAV, HIDs) for under $30K. I doubt the CH will have acceleration performance on par with the Mazdaspeed3 or C30, but hopefully handling will be up there.

If you start actually looking into it, this is a really competitive segment and Lexus needs to be more careful than usual about features and pricing.

In terms of value proposition, the the Golf and Mazda3 are leaders in that area, but if you start reaching higher you run into the 1 Series. Lexus could easily find themselves in a damned-if-you-damned-if-you-don't scenario.

I'd think it's safe to assume that the type of people who buy hatches in the US are a little more savvy than your typical car-buying sheep.

Lexus almost HAS to shoot for the following formula in order to be relevant in this segment: leather, HIDs, good stereo, 30+ MPG, and handling on par with the 1 Series/Golf/Mazda3 for, say, $30,995. Otherwise, people will either step down to the VW/Mazda/Volvo or step up to the 1 Series or even the IS.

This is actually one of the most important and interesting Lexus products in many years. I will be curious to see how this plays out in this crowded and very competitive segment. I have no doubt that the car itself will be great in and of itself, but the real test will be in the sales numbers...Lexus have their work cut out for them, that's for sure (if US sales of the C30 and A3 are anything to go by...both good products, but not setting the charts on fire by any means).
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Old 01-20-10, 09:27 AM   #66
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Great post Adrian
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Old 01-20-10, 10:08 AM   #67
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I think the HS and CT will really be close competitors, so Lexus will have to work out a clever way to position the CT. They should have just stuck the HS powertrain in the IS and scrapped the Corolla-clone all together (sorry, I had to).
+100 million billion trillion and 2

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Originally Posted by MPLexus301 View Post
Also, I raised the point a few months ago about an IS-ified Venza type car- maybe something along a Lexus IS version of the Audi Allroad, to slot under the RX. Depending on how Lexus positions the CT and what the final product is, they could really two birds with one stone: 1) New entry level product to combat the 1 series/A3 2) Something with the utility and space of a sub-RX type of vehicle that many people have talked about for a while.

I'm excited to see what the final product is...
An Allroad type IS would be perfect for Lexus Europe. I honestly hope that rumors about a new small CUV are wrong. An IS "allroad" or CT allroad type vehicle would fill that slot nicely.

Photos of the new Audi A4 Allroad and BMW X1 were posted here a few weeks ago, and the Audi A4 Allroad is the same size as the new BMW X1. So I think an IS version would fit the bill nicely as well.

As for the CT, I think it only makes sense in the lineup sans the HS. Europe doesn't have the HS or the ES so the entry level CT is perfect. I'm not sure about here in the US though.... Lexus really shot themselves in the foot by making the lackluster Coro.. I mean HS .

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Old 01-20-10, 10:26 AM   #68
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Great post Adrian
Thanks!



Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.


It's pretty clear Toyota drew inspiration from the 1st-gen Mazdaspeed3, even down to the rims. But I'm not one bit mad at them for it, I'm actually GLAD they did, because the 1st-gen Speed3 was one of the best-looking hatches EVER made. Very sport, classy, and understated at the same time.

If all Toyota did was look at the last Mazda3 and said, "Hey, let's just make a Lexus version of it", I wouldn't fault them one bit. The style and dynamics of the Mazda3 combined with the quality and luxury of a Lexus = win in my book, especially if they're smart and realistic about pricing. Hope they can deliver!
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Old 01-20-10, 10:42 AM   #69
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Thanks!



Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.


It's pretty clear Toyota drew inspiration from the 1st-gen Mazdaspeed3, even down to the rims. But I'm not one bit mad at them for it, I'm actually GLAD they did, because the 1st-gen Speed3 was one of the best-looking hatches EVER made. Very sport, classy, and understated at the same time.

If all Toyota did was look at the last Mazda3 and said, "Hey, let's just make a Lexus version of it", I wouldn't fault them one bit. The style and dynamics of the Mazda3 combined with the quality and luxury of a Lexus = win in my book, especially if they're smart and realistic about pricing. Hope they can deliver!
Not many people are going to be happy with that comparison!

But price-wise, if this uses the Prius's drivetrain it's pricing will probably be close to the Prius. A Prius with leather and 17in wheels, cost $27K so this won't be too much more than that (maybe $29K or $30K).

Looking at this, I really am still wondering why Lexus decided to come out with the HS . This car fits the dedicated luxury hybrid bill much better! It'll get good gas mileage (45mpg at least) and offer relatively sporty handling with a nice luxury interior.
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Old 01-20-10, 11:04 AM   #70
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The only reason people would be unhappy with that comparison is because they don't have an understanding or appreciation of the "premium hatch" segment, which this will occupy. EVERYTHING in that segment will be cross-shopped because the features, specs, and pricing are so similar and competitive...that means VW, Mazda, Volvo, this Lexus, the 1-Series...even the impressive new Focus!

I personally don't "get" the HS250 either. It really does not excel in any particular area. But Lexus is making a ton of money off of them, so more power to them! I guess they're for people who want a Prius, but want it to be more conventional-looking and luxurious. I think it's basically a Prius for people who are "too good" for a Prius.
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Old 01-20-10, 02:59 PM   #71
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I hope that Lexus does build it
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Old 01-20-10, 06:01 PM   #72
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Couldn't they build a small V6. Didn't Lexus build the V10 engine for the LFA and its somehow smaller than their 3.5L yet its 5.0L or did I read it wrong and it weighs less?

Small compact and lightweight V6 would be awesome. Guess would cost to much.
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Old 01-21-10, 01:10 PM   #73
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I'm surprised no one has mention how similiar it looks to the wrx sti... or is it just me?
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