It is officially official. Lexus will bring the new CT 200h hybrid crossover vehicle to the U.S. market. In a press release sent out today Lexus announced that the production version of the CT 200h will make its debut at the New York Auto Show this year and we can expect to see the new hybrid in dealers in early 2011. We had a lot of fun with the IS-F but we would love to get our hands on one of these and see what we could do. We’ll have to start begging Lexus corporate for one now!
Lexus Announces CT 200h Premium Compact Hybrid For U.S. Market –
On Display at 2010 New York International Auto Show
NEW YORK – March 22, 2010 – Lexus announced today that the all-new CT 200h premium compact hybrid will go on sale in the U.S. in early 2011 as the first dedicated hybrid vehicle in the premium compact segment.
The sporty five-door will be on display March 31 through April 11 at the 2010 New York International Auto Show. The new CT 200h debuted at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show in early March and will join the HS 250h as Lexus’ second dedicated hybrid.
“The CT 200h is expected to lead the class in fuel economy and deliver low emissions, but the CT 200h isn’t just about being a hybrid, it’s about having fun,” said Mark Templin, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager. “The stylish CT 200h has an attitude and driving dynamic unlike any other Lexus hybrid. It will excite eco-conscious, young consumers and symbolize urban, luxury living.”
To reach this energetic and technology-savvy buyer, Lexus is taking a new approach to marketing the CT 200h. As part of an integrated launch in the U.S., Lexus will release a breakthrough interactive short film that offers a new take on the test drive by providing the viewer a fully immersive way to experience the new Lexus CT 200h.
The CT 200h is powered by a 1.8L Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gas engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and Lexus Hybrid Drive technology.
The CT 200h’s Lexus Hybrid Drive technology features two motor generators. Each performs specific functions and can operate as both a motor and generator. The engine-driven generator can charge the battery pack or provide additional power to the drive motor as needed. The drive motor is driven by electrical power from the hybrid battery pack or generator and provides motive force for the front wheels. The hybrid battery pack is located under the rear cargo area within the wheelbase for optimized balance.
The electric motor, generator and power split device are all housed in one highly compact casing the size of a conventional gearbox, with drive to the front wheels provided by Lexus Hybrid Drive’s quiet and smooth shift-by-wire, electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (E-CVT).
The CT 200h will also be equipped with four drive-modes: Normal, Eco, Sport and EV. Normal mode has an essentially linear throttle response that gives naturally progressive power while the Power Control Unit (PCU) limits drive voltage to a maximum of 500 volts. The Eco mode adjusts air conditioning settings and the throttle for the best possible fuel economy. For an enhanced fun-to-drive experience, Sport mode, a first for the Lexus hybrid line-up, can be selected. Sport mode provides more direct Electric Power Steering (EPS) settings and throttle while the PCU boosts drive voltage to a maximum output of 650 volts. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC) are less intrusive when Sport mode is selected, allowing for more lively driving. In EV mode, under certain circumstances, the vehicle can be driven up to one mile using only the electric motors.
The sporty premium compact hybrid will also feature an ECO driving indicator that illuminates when the vehicle is being operated in an environmentally sensitive manner.
CT 200h, with visible links to the LF-Ch compact hybrid concept that debuted at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, was designed to be a fun-to-drive luxury vehicle that achieves high fuel efficiency. The overall design combines sportiness, and elegance. The low center of gravity design combines short front and rear overhangs with a lowered edge of the rear roof allowing the CT 200h to cut through the wind. The grille and headlamps with standard LED daytime running lamps illustrate airflow with their three-dimensional arrowhead-shaped design cues, and strongly emphasize the unique, dynamic face of the CT 200h. Like all Lexus hybrids, the CT 200h has a blue “L” logo in the center of its grille.
The CT 200h is further distinguished by its long, aerodynamic roofline and unique Lexus slingshot window graphic. Its elegant silhouette is marked by a steeply raked windshield and flowing roofline. In the rear, the trailing edge of the roof overhangs the wide, wraparound window to create a seamlessly integrated spoiler housing a high-mount stop light. A pronounced step in the rear bumper flows from the muscular rear wheel arch shoulders, and is anchored by a sweeping taillamp design that incorporates a Lexus-unique L-shaped motif, first introduced in the LS flagship luxury sedan. In addition, the hood and rear hatch door are made of aluminum to minimize weight.
The CT 200h interior focuses on the driver, and is based on clearly divided display and operational zones. This layout positions functional equipment such as Remote Touch, the shift lever and steering wheel mounted audio controls close at hand, allowing the driver to operate them without having to change posture or divert attention from the road. The instrument panel, center cluster and console all make up what Lexus designers call advanced Human-Machine Interface (HMI). Based on Lexus L-Finesse design philosophy, the interior exudes a sporty yet spacious environment. The driver-centered cabin then combines these sporty touches with refined interior components that have been carefully designed to express the true form and fit of the material. The cabin is trimmed with metal and a new synthetic material called NuLuxeTM that is soft to the touch like leather. Leather-trimmed seating will be available as an option.
A sporty, wide-grip steering wheel gives the driver command of the road while three large, high-visibility dials, speedometer, tachometer/hybrid meter and fuel gauge, in the instrument panel (IP), provide the driver with pertinent information. In Normal or Eco modes, the IP features a blue background. When the Sport mode is selected, a tachometer replaces the hybrid meter on the IP and the IP back lighting turns red. The drive mode switch and center console are also illuminated in red adding to the cabin’s sporty atmosphere.
Standard comfort and convenience features will include fold-flat rear seats, SmartAccess key system, tilt and telescopic steering wheel column, steering wheel audio controls, front sport seats, an eight-way power and memory driver’s seat and Safety ConnectTM (includes complimentary one-year trial subscription).
A six-speaker Lexus Premium audio system with a CD player, auxiliary and USB inputs, integrated iPod® control, Bluetooth® audio wireless connectivity, and an integrated XM® Radio receiver will also be standard.
An optional moonroof will also be available. For added convenience the optional hard disc drive (HDD) Lexus Navigation system features a back-up camera, voice command casual language-based voice recognition system, Bluetooth phonebook download and Lexus’ exclusive Remote Touch controller with user-adjustable haptic feedback. Vehicles equipped with navigation will also have Lexus EnformTM with Safety Connect (includes complimentary one-year trial subscription), XM® Radio with NavTraffic, NavWeather, and Sports & Stocks. All XM services will include a complimentary 90-day trial subscription.