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Lexus Releases Fuel Economy Numbers For CT 200h

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On: Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 11:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

Lexus Releases Fuel Economy Numbers For CT 200h

If you'd like a little more luxury in your hybrid than the Toyota Prius is willing to provide, you'll have to be prepared to pay in both money and miles per gallon. Lexus released fuel economy figures for the 2011 CT 200h, Toyota's luxury answer to the Prius, and its 42 mpg combined lags behind the Prius' 50 mpg. The rating has not yet been verified by the EPA.

Set to go on sale in the first quarter of next year, the CT 200h shares the Prius' 98-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder + 80-hp electric motor drivetrain. The car is capable of all-electric, nickel-metal-hydride-powered driving at speeds of up to 28 mph and can also make use of all-gasoline and combined driving. It features four driving modes in all: EV, Eco, Normal and Sport. The hybrid will hit 60 mph in 9.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 112 mph.

In addition to the hybrid powertrain, Lexus dazzles green buyers with an array of other features like LED lighting, an energy efficient stereo amp, bamboo charcoal speakers and bio-sourced materials. Let's see, they've given us "LED," "energy-efficient," "bio-sourced" and "bamboo;" I'm surprised there's no sustainable wood interior or other eco buzz words in there. I suppose that could fall under the more general "bio-sourced materials."

Unlike the Prius, which has always had an exterior that emanated eco-friendliness at the expense of looks, the CT 200h is a five-door that looks a little more sporty and stylish while still delivering the benefits of a hybrid. Lexus is positioning the five-door at younger buyers, stating that it will be a "new gateway into Lexus" for a new demographic of consumers.

Earlier this year, Mark Templin, Lexus division group vice president and general manager, described the dynamic appeal of the car: “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. 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.”

Some media analysts, like Michael Graham Richard from Treehugger, are calling the CT 200h a missed opportunity due to its lower-than-expected fuel economy.

He expands: "I think it's a missed opportunity for Toyota. The CT 200h might beat the MPG of its "premium compact" competitors (for now), and its tailpipe emissions will no doubt be very low, but it's been about 10 years since the Prius was first introduced in North-America and that car got 41 MPG combined in the EPA test. I'm sure that Lexus can do better than that with modern technology."

The CT 200h, which was originally launched at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, will make an appearance at the Paris Motor Show later this month before hitting the market next year. Lexus has yet to release the price of the car.

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