Something I whipped up quick:
Now that I've had the chance to see this car in high res, a few things from the eyes of a pseudo car-design enthusiast:
-The grill is kind of awesome. An evolution of the IS grille and it's just really cool how the chrome strip is used here, not even as a grille surround any more but more like a hat accent or something. Very stylized. I like it.
-The front air dam, especially around the fog lamps, is strange, and cuts a very strange shape into the white, white press car. I imagine in dark colors the front will look pretty darn sinister but in bright white the weird "B" shape foglamp cut out is just strange.
-The A-pillar. Why? It made sense in the concept; the windshield made an arc, simultaneously giving the front windshield a one-piece wraparound look and letting the A-pillar look thin and tapered. Here though it looks as though the A pillar starts thin and gets progressively thicker, just like the concept, but then just cuts off. Why not just make it the same thickness all the way like the IS, or finish off the windshield shape like the concept? It just makes it look half-assed.
-The door handles and wing mirrors are both far too large. They did a good job masking the wing mirror side with the black paint, but the door handles look too large for the car. Imagine how gorgeous and instantly Alfa Romeo-esque this car would look with integrated rear door handles, like the concept!
-From the side view, the proportions are actually not bad except for one thing: the C-pillar. I appreciate what the wrap around back-glass is trying to do, but why not make the side greenhouse glass stretch further back? The side glass actually cuts a gorgeous shape into the side but stretching it further back would have allowed the entire car, proportion wise, to a) look more hunkered back and b) allow what has to be one of the ugliest rear door cut lines I've seen wrap further around the wheel well, adding to that hunkered down look. This car isn't RWD but with these two small changes they could have at least given it the stance of one. Plus, from the front view the rear window looks like its about half the size of the front window... This would help it not look so strange from the front 3/4 view.
-The rear is not bad, if not a little derivative. It's not the dynamic, frankly awesome, clean, modern and smooth rear end from the CT concept, but it's decent. Lexus has been designing some flat, boxy rear ends; the CT concept had a nice curve and swell to it but the production CT goes back to the normal, box rear end which is disappointing. What's with the weird tail in the rear bumper? And if you're gonna give this car diffuser flaps, why not make them more prominent? They are SPORTY!
-Interior: looks positively BMW, doesn't it? I don't like how Lexus is going away from their usual warm wood-filled interiors. I mean I understand this is a sporty compact hatch but the only break from bleak black plastic and leather is the thin, thin strip of silver plastic on the dash. That being said, love the LF-A direction they are going with the interiors and as far as entry level hatch interiors go, this is pretty darn good.
-Oh, and wheel fitment. My chops make the car look about 30x better I believe, with just a drop and good wheel fitment. In the survey Lexus put out for this car they had "wheel fitment" as one of the main things consumers would like to see in the production CT and that got me excited: is Lexus actually going to pay attention to their stock wheel fitment like BMW does now? Clearly not, and the design suffers dearly.
Overall, I don't hate the CT as much as I thought it would. It's definitely a step up from the frankly depressing HS but just a few tweaks here could have made this really something special.