Lexus takes the premium hybrid smaller

Scheduled to go on sale early in 2011, the next Lexus premium hybrid will be the first dedicated hybrid vehicle in the premium compact segment.

The aggressively styled CT 200h will be the fifth Lexus hybrid in the company?s U.S. portfolio and the second exclusive hybrid model.

“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.” said Mark Templin, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager.

The Lexus CT 200h evolved from the LF-Ch concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and was styled with optimum aerodynamic efficiency. ??It is powered a 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.? In EV mode, under certain circumstances, the vehicle can be driven up to one mile using only the electric motors.

Lexus engineers developed the five-passenger CT?200h for excellent handling and a comfortable ride. ?Its fun-to-drive experience is aided by the lowest possible center of gravity for the car and the concentration of mass as close to the center as possible.

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