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Lexus CT 200h: Details on U.S. version arrive

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Lexus CT 200h: Details on U.S. version arrive

by Jonathon Ramsey (RSS feed) on Sep 13th 2010 at 10:01AM

2011 Lexus CT 200h – Click above for high-res image gallery

You want proof of how important the 2011 Lexus CT 200 is to the company? Look no further than the eight press releases totaling 11,987 words that you'll find after the jump. We received a brief ride-along in the hybrid hatch not long ago in Europe, before they'd even take the tape off the logos, and found it full of promise. Lexus is determined to let you know it will keep that promise and pledges even more.

Total output has been pegged at 134 horsepower, with 98 hp coming from the 1.8-liter VVT-i four-cylinder gas engine and 80 hp provided by the electric motor. From a standstill, it will take 9.8 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour. Ease up on the gas a bit and the estimated EPA rating is 42 miles per gallon. A new suspension with aluminum gubbins and low-friction goodies designed specifically for this car features MacPherson struts up front with double wishbones in back, tuned for "spirited" handling. An aluminum hood and tailgate help lower the center of gravity and the curb weight.

Inside, the cockpit has been built around the driver, and the eco-goodness goes beyond the Lexus Hybrid Drive: the audio system is energy efficient and boasts bamboo charcoal speakers. The pilot can choose his particular driving mood, Dynamic or Relaxing, and one of four driving modes: EV, ECO, Normal or Sport.

There's oh so much more, which you'll find after the jump. And if there it yet more to learn, we'll discover it at the Paris Motor Show. Your primer is in the press release after the jump and the gallery of high-res photos.



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Update: Lexus expecting 42 mpg combined for CT 200h hybrid

By Mark Kleis - Posted September 13th 2010

Shortly after its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, Lexus confirmed that its CT 200h premium hybrid hatchback would be coming to the United States with an "early 2011" on-sale target.


But before any American consumers will likely consider buying the next Lexus hybrid, they will likely want to know a little more about the car, such as the expected fuel economy. According to a Lexus announcement made today, the luxury automaker is expecting a combined EPA fuel consumption rating of 42 miles per gallon. This fairly impressive fuel economy will come from a combined output of 134 horsepower, enough power to bring the CT 200h from a stop to 60 miles per hour in 9.8 seconds.

Considering the sporty look of the CT 200h, we expect more sport-minded offerings to follow the initial launch of the hybrid variant. Lexus has also applied for trademarks on the CT 300h and CT 400h nameplates in the United States and Canada, which leaves the door open for more CT-family offerings in the future.

Interior design

Inside the CT 200h, Lexus promises a highly-focused driver's environment aimed at creating a "sporting driving experience." This hybrid features a low driver’s seat with increased lateral and lumbar support, a sport-minded, wide grip steering wheel and an instrument cluster housing large, high-visibility, triple dials.

Unique suspension technology

Although the CT 200h does not come on an all-new platform, Lexus promises the platform was heavily modified with extra attention given to improved handling stability by adding additional structural integrity through the vehicle's shell, as well as a lower center of gravity. Lexus also employed the use of a unique lateral performance damper system aimed at reducing body vibrations and providing for a linear steering feel.

"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 will compete at a lower price point than the automaker's HS 250h.

Lexus' new sporty and versatile five-door will be the brand's second dedicated hybrid and its fifth hybrid vehicle in the U.S. Its positioning in North America does seem to run contrary to its traditionally more conservative offerings in the automaker's largest market. Although Audi has seen some limited success with its sporty A3 TDI, no other automaker offers a luxury-grade five-door hatchback in North America, making the CT 200h somewhat of a bold move for Lexus.

Based on an all-new front-wheel drive platform, the CT 200h will slot in as Lexus' only hybrid-only platform in Europe, where the HS 250h is not currently sold.

The CT 200h is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) mated to Toyota's Lexus Hybrid Drive system. The gas-electric drivetrain features four different settings, including ECO, NORMAL and SPORT. The fourth EV setting, seen in some of Lexus' other recent hybrid offerings, allows the CT 200h to travel up to 1.2 miles at speeds up to 28 mph on all-electric power.



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