UPDATE 3: With CT200h, Lexus Takes Cheap Shot At BMW i3 – Video


BMW i3 Charging

BMW i3 Charging

*UPDATE: The original Video was been pulled (removed from VIMEO) after the airing of it by several media outlets (including ourselves). We sense Lexus was feeling the heat and decided it was wise to get the video removed for now.  We are working to reacquire and air via YouTube

**UPDATE 2:  Best two out of three – video back on line via YouTube (our thanks to François V!)

***UPDATE  3: As a commenter (Martin B.) pointed out, the i3 in this video is actually an i3 REx. “All the way up to 4:23, they photoshopped out the gas filling door, making it look like all-electric. If you pause at 4:23, you can see the door behind the guy back, they forgot to photoshop it out.”

Here’s proof that it’s an i3 REx.  Notice the fuel filler door in the bottom right of the image? (Hat tip to Shaun Wooten and Martin B. for alerting us to the photoshop use in the video).

****UPDATE 4: Yet another video of this Lexus commercial has been pulled, so we scoured YouTube and found another uploader of the video.  We’re back in action…again.  And for good measure, we added a second version of the same video as a backup.

Forgot To Photoshop That One Out - Fuel Door Clearly Seen In Bottom Right Of Image

Forgot To Photoshop That One Out – Fuel Door Clearly Seen In Bottom Right Of Image – Screen Grab and Hat Tip To Shaun Wooten!

It’s evident to us that Lexus is feeling considerable pressure from growing sales of plug-in vehicles, combined with flat sales of Lexus’ own hybrids.

This couldn’t be more clear than in Lexus’ continuing attacks on electric vehicles.  First it was that viral anti-EV advertisement from Lexus that lived on and on and on, despite Lexus promising to pull the ad.

Now, Lexus is at it once again, this team by teaming up with Funny or Die! in a satirical hit piece.

The Japanese automaker (owned by Toyota) sees fit to pit its miserable (awarded 2-stars out of 5 by Car & Driver) CT200h against the 4.5-star BMW i3.

The gist of the video (which has received tons of negative reviews) is that choosing the BMW i3 is a decision you’ll eventually regret, due mainly to the time it takes to charge.  Whereas with the Lexus CT200h, you’ll never be burdened by long charging times.

Problem is, with the CT200h, you’ll always be driving the inferior vehicle, something you’ll have to live with every time you get in the driver’s seat.

Oh yeah, we think Lexus forgot that the BMW i3 REx operates just like the CT200h, in that you just swing into a gas station to fuel it up on long journeys.

Oh Lexus….when will you learn.  We know you’re jealous of the plug-in vehicles and that your jealousy is compounded by the fact that you don’t yet have a plug-in to offer the leagues of buyers who are eager to ditch the pump in favor of the plug, but someday you too will do a plug-in and when that day comes, we’ll still remember these anti-EV videos.

Hat tip to Chuck Vossler!!!

Source: Auto Guide

Categories: BMW, Videos

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90 Comments on "UPDATE 3: With CT200h, Lexus Takes Cheap Shot At BMW i3 – Video"

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Boy that Lexus is ugly!

So is the i3, for that matter.

I think Lexus’s current trademark theme with that weird ‘hourglass’ grille reeks of desperation. As if they know their image is fading, so they’ve come up with this in an attempt to give the brand some visual potency.

The i3 is almost cute somehow. That Lexus is soul-less.

“Hey, check out my “almost cute” car, er…mini minivan,…errr…my SUV-ish, 4 seater. LOL

When you called i3 “almost cute” – I was on the floor! 🙂

The Lexus hybrid is an overpriced Prius that gets less MPG, true – but they have a point in long-distance travel. For premium dollars, i3 underperforms.

I agree with everything you just posted.

Funny how the beauty is such a subjective thing. The i3 looks are actually the only thing which makes me not to go for it. I think it looks really ugly, more like 2 cars welded together. And I happen to really like the CT200h look (I own one).
Other than the looks, the i3 is a great car (based on my test drive and the specs).

It does seem to be a good car overall and I am an anti BMW person.

The exterior color can make a HUGE difference to how the i3 looks due to the two-tone color scheme. The Laurel gray has the least of this two-tone nature and probably explains why most of the i3’s we’ve seen in the wild are this color.

The white i3 Lexus chose for this video kind of jumps the shark with the two-tone theme (my wife refers to them as “skunks”) and while some people do like them, the salesman who leased us our andesite silver i3 joked that we could only get a substantial discount if the car was white.

I thought it was terminally ugly from the pictures but, after seeing a few in person, it’s better in 3D than in 2D. If you haven’t seen on in the flesh you might want to do that.

Then again I didn’t think the Pontiac Aztek was so bad.

Wow, I was never the biggest fan of the I3 looks, however, after comparing to the Lexus the I3 looks gorgeous. If they just made the windows line up in the back with the front, the I3 would look flawless. Lexus are a bunch of a-holes for making these ads.

Kind of a funny video assuming that people are that stupid..?? I’ve not met any of these people but am sure they exist.

Unfortunately they do exist… my own mother thought that she couldn’t drive my prius with out special training. She said the same thing about the volt. My step father is dead set against an electric car because “Our electric bill would shoot up $200 a month” direct quote. My family saddens me, and I promptly sat them down and tried to set them straight. Alas my mom is still afraid to drive a hybrid/electric and my step dad is still stubborn about the electric bill. Even with their own son providing proof otherwise. I love my family, but people can be REALLY REALLY stupid sometimes.

Yeah, I’ve gotten a bit of pushback from certain entities on the amount of electricity my Leaf uses too. Places like my strata council.

People are just set in their ways when they estimate the cost of fuelling a car. Anything less than hundreds of dollars a month gets the “That’s not true! That’s IMPOSSIBLE!” kind of reaction.

Informing them that the Leaf’s “tank” is 24kwh, and even if you were to fill it up from empty every single day (which you don’t, and technically, you can’t) wouldn’t yield an electricity bill even close to $100 is usually pretty convincing.

The parody of America’s “Horse With No Name” song was hilarious! 😀

“Because we’re going through the desert in a car with no fuel.
If feels good to get back on the charge.
In the desert, they don’t care about no fuel.
’cause everyone will charge when you’re likely to charge.
Ah wooooo, ah wooooo.”

America – Horse With No Name


Yup, what a stupid ad this is.

I actually own a 2012 model of the CT200h and it’s a very good car. However I decided a while ago that this will be my last ICE car; only EV’s going forward. So long Lexus, hello Nissan/ Tesla/ BMW (most likely in that order).

Same drive train as in the current Prius- for the Lexus CT200h! Of course – even if the BMW had fast charging, it uses the SAE CCS, system, which is not yet installed by BMW, or GM, or Ford – its proponents, for an LA – Vegas Trip, unlike the Lexus next competitor – the coming Tesla Model 3, Which will have fewer and quicker stops at Tesla’s FREE Superchargers! They did not mention the operating cost or fuel bill of the BMW or the Lexus, either!

This ad is to take your mind off the value of the Model 3 from Tesla, by thinking of it like the BMW i3! All psychological conditioning by Lexus/Toyota to distract you while the ready their FCV!

Hey Robert – until the Model 3 appears in actual 3D form, if it ever does, it remains vaporware.

true but lots of people doubted the Model S but look there’s one right outside.

I hope they show a concept Model 3 at the NAIAS, but not gonna hold my breath. A while back, the Tesla lead designer said that’s when it would be shown.. but again, NGHMB.

Model 3 still at least 3 years away (based on Elon’s interview from 5th November with AutoBild.de)… hope the Nisan Leaf v2 will be here sooner than that.

“This ad is to take your mind off the value of the Model 3 from Tesla”

..and Musk couldn’t be happier, if it did.

Funny you should mention fuel cell vehicles. Toyota’s FCV is going to have an even worse problem than the EV’s they’re mocking.

Namely the car is going to cost as much as a luxury brand, and has even more limited fueling areas available, so you probably can’t even leave too far away from California with one.

At least with the EV you can charge it almost anywhere, especially with more charging stations popping up. And some cars have range-extenders, so I wonder what would’ve happened if they took a Volt instead.

This video is wrong on so many levels. First of all, and most importantly, if they had used the BMW i3 Rex instead of the BEV, this entire video would be pointless.

Second of all, the BMW looks SO MUCH COOLER than that boring Lexus.

Third, if the BMW had used DC fast charge, things would have been very different as well. Sure, the gas car would have still made it first, but not by nearly as much.

Oh, and 4th… let’s do another video and compare the two cars for what they are made for, daily commuting. Let’s see which one wins there.

“Third, if the BMW had used DC fast charge, things would have been very different as well.” No, they would have been driving their i3 around the desert looking for non-existent Combo SAE fast chargers, and never finding one. They would end up charging on a L2 charger three times and waiting a couple of hours each time. “. . . if they had used the BMW i3 Rex instead of the BEV, this entire video would be pointless.” Not really. The i3 would have to stop six or seven times to fuel up. Also, the i3 would use slightly more gas (15.3 gal) than the CT 200h (15 gal) if the i3 couldn’t charge at the hotel, and slightly less gas (13.14 gal) if it was able to charge at the hotel. But the i3 Rex with it’s puny gas tank would make the road trip a lot more inconvenient. The first stop to charge the i3 is 224 miles away from Vegas, so assuming an 80 mile AER, it’s about 300 miles each way for a 600 mile round trip. The BMW i3 Rex would have had to stop three times each way to fill up with gas… Read more »

OK so on a concept basis there are more holes in this story than most science fiction. We have 6 guys probably married so 12 cars, and only one can come up with his own vehicle, the other borrows a bev from brother-in-law to go to vegas. Boom! That seems like a long way to go to for lexus to set up a staw man.

Say it was a i3-rex lent by said brother in law. start out with a 2.5 gallon gas can in the car, pull over when about to run out at 150 miles, fill with gas can, refill car and gas can at 70 more miles. Make it to vegas, easy.

They are going on a dadchelor party, one of the stupidest concepts on earth. Why would you worry about an extra 3 or 4 gallons of gas for a driver of a car with more luxury than the ct200.

“start out with a 2.5 gallon gas can in the car, pull over when about to run out at 150 miles, fill with gas can, refill car and gas can at 70 more miles.”

That gas can becomes a 2.5 gallon projectile in a crash at highway speeds that will likely rupture the gas can and ignite an inferno inside the i3. Carrying a unsecured gas can inside the frunk of the i3 on long road trips is a bad and dangerous idea. I don’t know of any car makers that put a gas tank in a ICE car’s front crumple zone. Jeeps and 4wd off-road trucks carry their gas cans on the outside of the vehicle (roof or tailgate) for a reason: safety. Do you really want to be a Darwin Award recipient?

Such is the stupidity of the BEVx regulations, but seriously do you think you couldn’t secure gasoline or a spare tire in the cargo area of a i3?

Of course you can. Now can you show my that brother-in law that is going to loan his expensive new electric bmw for a road trip to vegas? crickets. The top is obvious if you are road tripping in the car, the loaning of the car, well I would say the transformers plot was more believable.

Don’t underestimate the G-forces in a crash or rollover at 75 MPH. Besides, even if the plastic gas can is secured, it can be easily punctured by other objects and debris in a crash.

Putting the gas can in the rear cargo area rather than the frunk is an even worse idea. The rear cargo area is also a crumple zone, and a ruptured gas can would either soak the passengers in gasoline or the fire/explosion would instantly engulf the passenger compartment. Don’t you remember a couple of months ago when the Tesla Model S rear-ended a Toyota Corolla on the highway, destroying the rear of the Corolla and killing the rear seat passengers?


If you insist on carrying a gas can in an i3 Rex during long road trips, it’s recommended that you use a metal gasoline Safety Can. They are manufactured to a much higher standard than a cheap plastic jug, and are designed to be carried on board motor vehicles and survive a crash.


I figure the odds of a roll over crash at 75 mph of a low cg phev with electronic nannies, and a driver going in the right lane of the higway for fewer fill ups isn’t high, but sure if metal gas cans are safer, why not a metal can. I’ve only carried the cans in the middle of nowhere west texas, just in case the gas station isn’t open. In the Rex I’m sure it would only be on long trips, but really CARB and BMW, a 1.9 gallon tank is just a stupid regulatory thing, not anything that helps the environment.

From the article:

“Oh yeah, we think Lexus forgot that the BMW i3 REx operates just like the CT200h, in that you just swing into a gas station to fuel it up on long journeys.”

David, you two are incorrect. Sven points out the i3 ReX’s shortcomings. It’s not a long-haul car in any way. It’s not much less limited than a LEAF. The tiny gas tank gets you home in an emergency, not down the highway like an ICE or a Volt. It’s why I speak negatively about i3 – it’s a vastly overpriced city EV.

And I don’t care who you are and what tastes someone may have, the black, tall, narrow backside of the i3, the skinny tires and mini minivan profile are geeky at best.

Sorry, you are wrong. I did the 3 day test drive of an i3 Rex. I drove it a good long distance on the highway at 70 mph using the Rex. It was no problem. It handled it just fine. Had to stop for gas more than usual in a regular ICE car, but otherwise the Rex is very functional. It is far more than an emergency use feature.

Don’t go up an incline over a mile long at 70mph… The i3 will not be up to the task with its Rex.

On a flat road, the REx will do 80 MPH after the battery runs out:

The very steepest of highways will slow it down to 55 mph, but for most roads, 70 mph will be easily attained.

So….Because i3’ll hit 70 on a flat road with no headwind…THAT makes it practical?! Let’s go back and re-do that video with an REx version of i3 – What with all the gas stops to fill i3’s tiny tank – the BMW crew would’ve only missed the golf, pinball museum and the hot chicks at the pool, but they may have caught the comped casino meal deal and been able to hit the slots?!

I can’t believe you’re gullible enough to fall for this advertising tripe.

Two extra stops costs you maybe 10 minutes (less than 1 min pump time). Meanwhile, daily charging saves you 30+ gas station trips a year.

I hate Toyota and Lexus for there Anti EV. Love my Leaf and i will never buy gasoline…

. . . and never take a 600 mile road trip.

I do just few weeks ago 700 miles trip . From the saved fuel money i borrowed a Tesla Model S a weekend, amazing with Supercharger, in your FACE Lexus!


That was brilliant! In Europe gasoline costs about 10 dollars per gallon, so this is quite splendid strategy. Especially when Tesla Model 3 85D enters to markets.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Mahatma Gandhi

I can’t wait until Lexus makes a second add like this comparing the $136,000 BMW i8 to the $375,000 Lexus LFA. 🙂

“. . . combined with flat sales of Lexus’ own hybrids.”

For the record, the Lexus CT’s sales year-to-date for 2104 are up 20%.


Also, Lexus just introduced a smaller-than-an-RX hybrid CUV called the NX 300h with best-in-class EPA fuel economy. For the AWD model it’s 32 MPG combined, 33 MPG city, and 30 MPG highway. This new model should bump up Lexus’ hybrid sales for 2015.


IMO, all that shows is that the relatively nice interior can win, regardless of what drives it. At some point maybe we ask if the style detours are helping?

Well well so Toyota is being aggressive
I don’t think they really are targeting the BMW I3 everybody knows you can get it with a range extender
They are targeting the pure electric car specially the Tesla
Lexus is build for the high end marked, and they are bleeding in marked-share to Tesla

For fun I looked at the Lexus website in DK, to check some prices
Site looks like something from 1990!

LOL! yes it does.

A politician’s last straw is to attack.

Looks like Lexus/Toyota is at their last straw.

I really couldn’t stand to watch this all the way through. The idiocy of the guy that drove this car is about as much as the idiocy of the friend who gave it to him knowing(i would think) that he was taking it to Vegas. The “friend” should have known what it would take to get that car to Vegas, and not let that guy borrow it.

It wasn’t his friend, it was his brother-in-law. The brother-in-law probably lent it to him to spite the knucklehead. I’d probably do the same thing to my brother-in-law. 😉

That would be hilarious, but its the wrong guy. The dad that asked his pregnant wife actually rode in the Lexus. This is a different guy. Although, same situation applies still. He also left his wife for the weekend for this party.

Yeah, but the guy driving the i3 borrowed it from his brother-in-law.

I skipped half way and it’s already putting me in a slight tempor.

I’ve never been so ashamed of even owning a Prius! Toyota/Lexus keeps on reminding me the bloody shame everytime they have one of these stupid ads.

Top Gear looks a bit balanced compared to this.

I don’t think it’s a very good idea for Toyota to imply that being able to make a trip to Las Vegas quickly is an important criteria for a car. Toyota’s fuel cell vehicles won’t be able to drive from LA to Vegas and back even after all the planned hydrogen refueling stations are built (http://www.cafcp.org/stationmap)

Its hate these mock scenarios. Why do people constantly try to compare apples ot oranges. You can go all electric 95 percent of the time with most BEVs and 100 percent of the time with a Tesla S in our current environment. Rent a car for the road trip and use no gas over 90 percent of the time – my God

wow – lots of typos – sorry folks – can’t figure out how to edit my post

Lexus have no shame.

Toyota continues to troll EVs. They are going to regret that eventually. I think there is a lot of hydrogen groupthink going on in Toyota Japan. Either that, or they just want to eak out as much in profit as they can from their dominant hybrid line-up before EVs catch on.

spec9 says: “Toyota continues to troll EVs. They are going to regret that eventually. I think there is a lot of hydrogen groupthink going on in Toyota Japan. Either that, or they just want to eak out as much in profit as they can from their dominant hybrid line-up before EVs catch on” I agree with spec9. If you look at it objectively, hybrids have been around for 15 years plus but have only been able to capture about 3% of the overall car market. In fact, it was 2012 before Toyota ever sold a million hybrids in one year. In 2012, Toyota sold 1,219,000 and then in 2013 1,279,000. Before that, Toyota’s best year was 2010 with 690,000 global sales. Obviously, hybrids have just started to click and sell well in the last 2-3 years. Toyota, of course, wants that to go for forever (and ever). Electric cars would undoubtedly cannibalize Toyota hybrid sales. Besides, the Chairman of the Board at Toyota is the same guy that was behind the Prius hybrid development program. Pretty easy to figure out how this guy votes and influences votes at Toyota Board Meetings. Plug in hybrids and pure electric cars give you… Read more »

Yep . . . the own the hybrid sector. So would would they want to eat their own profitable child by introducing an unprofitable replacement?

They don’t want to replace it. So they’ll drag their feet for as long possible and then jump into plug-ins saying that they are experts in electrified cars because they were doing before anyone else with their hybrids.


Toyota also knows it’s gonna be a very long time before fuel cell vehicles could even dream of being profitable, if they are ever workable at all.

In the meantime Toyota keeps pushing the fuel cell mirage for the 9 points worth of ZEV credits, three times what EVs get.

“Oh, what a feeling Toyota !!!”

Lexsux living up to its name

With all the money Toyota is saving on R & D they could buy a lot of advertising. I can’t cut them down. While I would never buy one of their cars, they do seem to be keeping many of my favorite shows on the air.

Apparently not only are people not knocking on Toyota’s door to ask them build EVs, but they’re knocking on Lexus’ door to ask them to be ignorant douchebags.

BMW could answer this ad with Mad Max looking to fuel his CT200h, as the i3 goes by.

Or, um, this:

Lexus is the story of what to do to go from the top to the bottom.
We just wonder why they CHOOSE to do that.
They could put a Lexus with an i3 type system on the road almost overnight and yet they don’t.

The video apparently does not exist anymore. Looks like they may have taken it down due to backlash.

Yes, mabey insideevs comments is used like
pH indicators!, before they public further
Mabey we will see an edited version tomorrow!

Yes, the video has been pulled, we are trying to reacquire and pull off YouTube. Sometimes social media works I guess, (;

As the happy former owner of two Toyotas, a Tacoma and a Prius, I’m rather ashamed to have given this company my money.

Toyota sure is doing a good job of convincing me to never buy one of their cars ever again.

Since we’re into story telling, our commercial should be that with the savings from not having to buy gas the i3 owner rented a plane and flew everyone to Las Vegas. Hey, it’s a story!

Love the Volt Zombie commercial. No doubt GM is too clueless to run it. Surprised it made it.

Looks like I found it?


You’re the man!

François is the man. Funny, that is exactly what I told him as well when he emailed us the video, lol.

/story is updated…with hat tip to François of course, (;

I haven’t been able to see the video since it was pulled… but why is the article linking to the “Funny Or Die” Facebook site, a comedy website? A lot of the comments there seem to think it’s a bad attempt at a humour piece, and not a real advertisement. Is that possibly the case? (again, haven’t seen it!)

Okay… seen it now. Definitely looks like a real advert, and a collaborative effort with Funny or Die. Nothing funny about it though. When will Lexus learn?

Sorry about the video being down for awhile CMG, we probably should have had a mirror on it. Lexus and Funny or Die! did team up on this piece.

np Jay! 🙂

Ok guys, they cheated!!
Ok we all know they forced the actors to look like idiots that didn’t plan their trip BUT this i3 was equipped with the ReX (Range Extender) gasoline engine, which would have made the trip a lot faster and more enjoyable.

All the way up to 4:23, they photoshopped out the gas filling door, making it look like all-electric. If you pause at 4:23, you can see the door behind the guy back, they forgot to photoshop it out.

Wow, you’re right! Caught red handed!

Nice catch! Perhaps that explains why they never showed the real instrument cluster.

Why compare Hybrids with EVs. Should Compare Hybrids with Hybrids….and EVs with EVs.
It will be the same thing if BMW does a track performance comparison between the M3 with the CT200h. Pointless!!!
Also the commercial just shows people are just dumb, taking a car not meant for long trips on a long trip.
Thank you Lexus for showing your ignorance!!!

What is the point of a car that is not meant for longer trips? You could as well use public transport or bicycle.

They should take a military driving trough a wall in an M1 Abrams tank and then another military in a Lexus trying to drive trough the same wall just near it and totaling his car. That would be the same illustration of missing the right tool for a determined job.

when you already know that EV is inevitable but you hate change, come back to Lexus, we got your anti-EV colors Now at nice discounts!

This was very good! Previously I have felt little bit sorry for Toyota, but this makes a good point with reasonable good sense of humor.

This perfectly underlines how silly that compliance BMW electric car actually is. Without subsidies it could never make a convincing business case.

It would have been not a significant problem for Tesla Model S85D to get into Las Vegas with single charge. If there was a lunch break allocated in the mid point, then it could also have been possible to cruise about 100 mph with Tesla. So less arduous driving on Desert.

So you’re such a Tesla fanboy, you’d rather support anti-EV propaganda (and toss in a few lies of your own), than any other companies plug-ins. Wow. Just wow.

Back to this cringe-worthy ad, just to point out the obvious: with the money saved every year on gas (i3 vs any Lexus) or the car (vs any Tesla), those guys could have simply flown there, with some nice gambling money to spare…

There is no point of flying to Vegas, because first of all it costs about 100 times more and secondly it is no way cheaper or convenient because formalities on airport are rather silly.

They should construct decent autobahn to Vegas that allows 100 mph autopiloted cruising with an electric car.

I have trouble believing someone would loan his brother-in-law a $35K after tax credits bmw i3-rex (that is what they are driving, no matter how they tried to change it in post production) for a vegas trip. Now loaning out a $100K tesla, no that isn’t going to happen. Why not take his own or his wife’s car. That is where the business case lexus is pushing fails. People will buy the rex or have anouther car available for these trips. Even in this dramitization, there were probably 10 other gas cars they could have driven to vegas. Bad job Lexus.

it was pretty obvious that that bmw i3 was his brother-in-law’s cheap shopping cart rather than his car so it was not a problem to borrow it.

Rex is in practice even worse, because it does not allow decent highway cruising speed. After all it is a scooter engine.

I just do not get it why BMW bothered to publish such a car to the niche of niche markets. I guess that it was that they wanted to be absolutely sure that it will not cannibalize the sales of their more profitable ICE cars.

Too bad it’s been pulled, again. Toyota must want it off the net. Too bad that’s impossible. It can be found indirectly, on other car sites.