My love of most things automotive has been with me for nearly all of my life. Since the first time my dad took me to the Minneapolis Auto Show back when I was a kid , I don't think I have missed it more than a few times. This year was no exception, I went opening day, and again during the week when it was not as busy. I wasn't expecting to find anything new or exciting, but its always fun to see the latest crop of cars and get your fill of that new car smell.
This year a unlikely brand caught my attention, and that was LEXUS. I have never considered Toyota's luxury range anything other than boring large cars and SUV. The redesign of the CT was the stand out that brought me over to the LEXUS section. I personally LOVE hatchbacks and wagons, so this sharp lined sporty 4-door hatch with a black roof called out to me! The interior of this the smallest LEXUS is covered in leather and high tech looking bits. The seats are comfortable up front, for both my six foot wife and my own 6'2 inch frame. My son loved the back seats, and they should be comfortable for adults on shorter drives. The drivers position is sporty and brings a bit of touring car feel that most smaller cars can't achieve. I was pleasantly surprised when i opened the hatch to see I could fit a few camera bags even with the seats up. Lowering the rear seats opens up a area large enough to pack gear for most location shoots. Just don't expect to get your MUA's gear in there as well.
The bold new front that includes a unique version for the F SPORT includes a mesh styled grill, The head lights have been shaped to tuck into the very angular creases in the grill, and come outfitted with LED daytime running lights that look amazing when on. There are 2 special colors earmarked only for the F SPORT, A ultra something blue, and my favorite Ultra White. Paired with the all black roof and the unique rear spoiler that includes some fancy ducting it's a tasty car all around. The F SPORT includes unique wheels and high performance tires congaing a warning that they man not last longer than 20,000 miles! Awe yeah!
Now the crazy part is that this car is a GASP Hybrid! It's a 1.8 Atkinson-cycle / Electric setup touting 134 system HP. It has 4 drive modes including Electric, Eco, Normal, and Sport. I have never had any interest in a Hybrid before, and here LEXUS had done a great job of packaging that Hybrid tech into a appealing car. My concern is can that 134 system HP deliver the performance the cars looks and F SPORT tuned suspension deserve, and will driving it like a performance car kill the amazing 42MPG combined rating? Only some seat time can tell. Overall this car easily ranks in my top 5 this year!
Be sure to check out Episode2 of the Podcast if you want to learn my top 5!