Lexus CT 200h Premium Compact Hybrid

4 Mar 2010 | 2,367 views | No Comment
Remember that cool little Lexus hybrid compact you heard about at the North American International Auto Show? Well, it’s going into production. Lexus introduced its production version of the five door hybrid compact, to be called the Lexus CT 200h premium compact hybrid, at the Geneva Auto Show media days event.  And best of all, it is almost identical to the beautiful compact seen at the Detroit show. This car will provide a number of advantages to Lexus. First, it adds luster to the brand for younger, affluent, sport minded buyers who may have otherwise passed over Lexus except for the IS-F. Secondly, it’s the only  fully hybrid compact car aimed at the sports compact crowd in this country. If you want to see it, head straight to the 2010 New York International Auto Show March 31 through April 11. When this car hits Lexus showrooms, it will be Lexus’ second dedicated hybrid and fifth hybrid vehicle in the line-up in the U.S. “When the all-new Lexus CT 200h enters the market it will be the only hybrid vehicle in the emerging premium compact segment,” said Mark Templin, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager. “The CT 200h combines luxury features, eye-catching styling, and driving excitement that we know will attract a whole new buyer to the Lexus brand.” The Lexus CT 200h traces its roots to  the LF-Ch concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and was styled “with optimum aerodynamic efficiency,” Lexus says. “ Its size, packaging and hybrid technology meet the requirements of the discerning, environmentally-conscientious consumer in the emerging premium compact market. It offers no compromise on the quality, refinement and driving pleasure which hallmark the progressive luxury inherent in every Lexus.“ Power will come from Lexus’ tried and true Lexus Hybrid Drive  system. The CT 200h features a 1.8-liter gas engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), a high performance battery, power control unit, transmission with an electric motor generator, a power split device to re-allocate power from the engine and electric motor generator according to operational requirements. Four drive modes enhance the capabilities of the CT 200h’s Lexus Hybrid Drive technology and change the rate of throttle opening for a given throttle-pedal angle. EV mode allows for ultra-quiet running on electric motor power alone. Normal mode has an essentially linear throttle response while Eco mode reduces throttle response relative to the pedal angle and adjusts air conditioning settings to emphasize fuel economy. The news release says, “The new CT 200h has been specifically developed to combine superior handling agility and a sporty driving experience with the ride comfort expected of any Lexus. The Sport mode provides a more responsive throttle and modifies the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) settings to give a faster response to driver inputs.” As you might expect, fuel economy and efficiency were paramount in designing this car, Lexus says, so “ particular attention has been paid to the aerodynamic efficiency of every aspect of the CT 200h’s design. The front and rear corners have been pulled in tight to improve the flow of air down the sides of the vehicle and minimize wind turbulence within the wheel arches. The sides of the cabin have been tapered, the rear edge of the roof lowered and even the lower body painstakingly detailed to optimize airflow.” The CT 200h also features 17-inch alloy wheels and blue badging specific to Lexus hybrid vehicles. The interior features lots of metallic finishes and dark, soft touch materials. Lexus says in spite of the compact size, “the CT 200h does not compromise interior roominess. Its long, 102-inch wheelbase offers front and rear seat passenger accommodation that is amongst the most spacious in the segment.”

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