Well folks, it’s official, Lexus will be selling the CT 200h luxury compact hybrid wagon in the US. After a well-received launch at the Geneva Auto Show, Lexus officials were still non-committal about what a “global launch” of the car at the end of the year actually meant. But now Lexus has taken the mystery out of that phrase–and apparently the US is still considered part of the globe.
The CT 200h will be Lexus’ 2nd dedicated hybrid (next to the HS 250h) to be sold in the US once it hits showrooms later this year or early next. To get the US market ready for the car, it will be making its US debut early next month at the New York International Auto Show.
The CT 200h started life as the LF-Ch concept unveiled at last year’s Frankfurt Auto Show. Since then it has undergone some changes, yet retained a large amount of the styling cues that were attractive in the LF-Ch. The CT 200h is the vanguard for the luxury downsizing movement. As Mark Templin, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager, said in a statement, “When the all-new Lexus CT 200h enters the market it will be the only hybrid vehicle in the emerging premium compact segment.”
The CT 200h will use the same engine that Toyota aims to underpin its entire hybrid lineup: a 1.8 liter VVT-i four cylinder. Although much of the powertrain is the same as in the Prius, the CT 200h has been tuned to make it a bit more sporty including upgraded suspension and handling. It also has the ability to operate for very short distances (1.2 miles under 30 mph) in EV mode. No word yet on pricing or fuel economy, but given that the Prius gets roughly 50 mpg, we should see at least those numbers in the CT 200h.
Check out the full press release on the next page.