Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Toyota Confirms US Launch of Compact Lexus Hybrid

Lexus CT 250h

Lexus CT 250h

Toyota officials last week confirmed that the Lexus CT 200h, a premium hybrid hatchback, is coming to the United States, according to a report in Automotive News. The Lexus CT 200h would be Lexus�"s first compact car, and the first compact hybrid sold by Toyota in the US.

The car was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last week, but until recently the company insisted that the compact hybrid would only be sold in Europe. According to Automotive News, Lexus executives pleaded with Japan to bring to the car to the US�partly in hopes that the smaller Lexus would appeal to a younger demographic. "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 Lexus CT 200h will make its US debut at the 2010 New York Auto Show later this month. Production begins in late 2010. The car could go on sale in the US sometime in 2011.

Small Luxury Compact Hybrid Hatchback

The recipe for the CT 200h is to place a Prius-type hybrid system�featuring a 1.8-liter gas engine with variable valve timing, and energy storage with a nickel-metal hydride battery pack�into small relatively affordable premium compact car. Lexus said the CT 200h will ride on a new front-wheel-drive platform with a MacPherson strut front suspension and double wishbones at the rear.

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Read More... [Source: HybridCars.com]

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