In one of the more ambitious Web-based marketing campaigns, Lexus launches its new CT 200h hybrid model with an interactive video. Dark Ride puts Lexus' new hybrid into a car chase/thriller movie, where you get to help a driver named Tony keep the car out of the hands of bad guys trying to steal the hybrid technology.
The whole thing is kind of goofy, but the production values are top-notch. You also need a Facebook account to access the interactive feature, and a bit of patience, as the whole thing takes a while to load. Also be aware that there's no pause button, so you either have to play it through or shut it down.
During the movie, you get to make a few choices about what Tony should do. The first decision comes when the car approaches an intersection. We tried to make Tony head off toward Las Vegas, but he wouldn't do it.
The CT 200h, launched in the U.S. at the 2010 New York auto show, is a smart-looking little hatchback that uses the same hybrid powertrain as the Toyota Prius, a 1.8-liter four cylinder engine and an electric motor, either of which can power the car. That powertrain should give the CT 200h fuel economy in the 40s.
As a Lexus, we expect the CT 200h to have similar cabin tech to the HS 250h, which means a hard drive-based navigation system with traffic, a Mark Levinson audio system, and natural language voice commands.
You can join Tony in the CT 200h at Lexus Dark Ride.