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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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