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Lexus CT 200h
Lexus adds another entry-level hybrid to its portfolio

Toyota is continuing its quest to spread hybrid technology throughout its entire lineup of vehicles and the next stop for the hybrid train is the all-new Lexus CT 200h. The CT 200h is the production version of the Lexus LF-Ch concept which debuted last year. Although the CT 200h is toned down quite a bit from its concept form, it still shares much of the design philosophy first seen five months ago.

Unlike its HS 250h sibling, the CT 200h forgoes the largish 2.4-liter inline-4 engine and instead uses a 1.8-liter VVT-i four-cylinder engine. As is the case with Toyota's other hybrid vehicles, the gasoline engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), electric motor, and a NiMH battery pack.

Toyota isn't discussing official fuel economy numbers for the CT 200h, but it does say that the vehicle can travel a measly 1.2 miles and at up to 28 mph on battery power alone.

Assuming that the 1.8-liter VVT-i engine used the CT 200h is the same 2ZR-FXE motor used in the Prius, expect to see stellar fuel economy for the vehicle. The Prius is pegged at 50 mpg combined, but every aspect of the vehicle from its tires to its body shape to its underbody is designed to slice through the wind with the utmost efficiency. The CT 200h has a more conventional shape, but we'd be surprised if it dips below 40 mpg combined using the same powertrain as the Prius.

The Lexus CT 200h is due to debut for the European market later this year. It is unknown if the vehicle will find its way to the U.S. -- there may not be enough room in the Lexus lineup with the HS 250h already occupying the bottom rung.

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By Keeir on 2/26/2010 2:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
You are also flat-out wrong because mechanical transmissions, even with gears and cluthes, beat motor/generator combo in power transmission. The PSD still maintains this advantage while adding regen capabilities, so it truly is the best of both worlds.

Urm.... thats not really sound thinking.

Lets look at the Toyota Prius itself in Japan, it barely gets 4 miles (Japanese Cycle) per kWh.

Japanese Cycle is ~ 40-45% more optomistic than the US EPA.

Plug-in Prius manages to get 2.8 miles per kWh! The Telsa Roadster gets ~3.5 miles per kWh.

If we make the assumption that #1. The Prius and Roadster take roughly the same power to move forward and #2. Prius efficieny system for Battery --> PSD is the same as Roadsters Battery --> Forward Momentum, overall the PSD --> Wheels is a reduction of 25%! (Btw, this same reduction would likely apply to regen capacities as well.

There seems to be the potential that a good generation ICE + electronics can get close to beating the Prius Aktinson + PSD.

By corduroygt on 2/26/2010 2:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
1. Tesla weighs 300lb less than a Prius empty, the difference will be even more when you add the fluids in the Prius. This will reduce fuel economy.
2. Tesla has advanced electronics to regulate battery charge levels and current, it may indeed be more efficient in discharging the battery than the Prius.
3. A single stage planetary gearset like in the prius is said to only lose 3% according to wikipedia:

An electric/generator transmission is a lot worse than 3%, so I still don't see how the extra 3% efficiency in the city is going to make up for the massive deficiency in range extending mode on the highway.

By Keeir on 2/26/2010 3:57:47 PM , Rating: 2
1. But the Prius has a significant aerodynamic advantage AND Tire advantage.

2. Its entirely possible. But the Tesla is also designed to go from 0-60 in under 4 seconds. Traditionally this does not result in peak efficieny at normal driving.

3. So you really believe the PSD introduces only 3% losses into the system?!?

And somehow, the Plug-in Prius, acchieving less than 3 miles per kWh is because it wieghs so much?

The Mini E claims greater than 4 miles per kWh... and its essentially thrown together, wieghs more, and has a worse aerodynamic shape. I think the Mini-E doesn't include charging losses... which reduce the overall efficieny down to ~3.5 again, but this is still much much better than Toyota is claiming for the Plug-in Prius.

::shrug:: You have a good theory about the terrible results the Plug-in Prius acchieves on EV mode? The main difference is the PSD right?

By corduroygt on 2/26/2010 5:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
Aerodynamics don't matter much in the city, which is what I'm assuming from this "Japanese cycle" you're stating, because not even the plug-in prius can operate at highway speeds without the gas engine being on. I'd like to see the link to your numbers, and the tests, stating that prius was run in EV mode only with zero IC assistance.

Saying 25% difference due to PSD is preposterous. A manual transmission + differentials + tire/wheel inertia losses all adds up to 12-15% on the dyno, and that's a manual with a clutch and everything. PSD is much simpler andd all cars have diffs and wheels.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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