Lexus Announces CT 200h Premium Compact Hybrid For U.S. Market

•  Only Dedicated Hybrid Vehicle in the Premium Compact Segment
•  Expected to Lead the Class in Fuel Economy Numbers
•  Standard Safety Features Include Eight  Airbags

Lexus announced 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.

Hybrid Powertrain: 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.

Active and Passive Safety: Like all Lexus vehicles, CT 200h will be equipped with many standard active safety features including an anti-lock brake system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), TRAC and VSC. The four-channel, four-sensor ABS helps reduce stopping time and improves control while braking.  EBD monitors all four wheels during braking and varies brake pressure to each wheel based on driving conditions and available traction.  During hard braking the BA system helps boost braking force when the driver does not apply enough pressure to the brake pedal.  BA intervenes when the system senses that the driver’s action indicates an emergency-stopping situation and allows the driver to benefit from more of the vehicle’s full braking power.  TRAC helps optimize traction by working with the Electronic Throttle Control System (ETCS), ABS and VSC to help prevent the drive wheels from spinning while accelerating under slippery conditions.  The VSC system is designed to help identify when the tires experience lateral slippage during cornering, or turning on slippery road surfaces.  VSC responds by applying the brakes and reducing the throttle to help keep the vehicle on track.  VSC works in concert with ABS and TRAC systems on slippery or dry road surfaces.

The Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control will be available as an option on CT 200h.  Dynamic Radar Cruise Control uses millimeter-wave radar to measure and help maintain a pre-set distance from a vehicle traveling ahead.  PCS is equipped with a front-mounted radar sensor that can detect certain obstacles in front of the car.  The PCS computer helps determine whether a frontal collision is unavoidable using information from the radar sensor, vehicle speed, steering angle and yaw-rate inputs.  In such a situation, PCS alerts the driver with audible and visual warnings, and pre-initializes BA so that increased braking will be applied the instant the driver depresses the pedal.  In addition, PCS will preemptively retract front seat belts.

The CT 200h will incorporate a standard eight airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) with dual-stage airbags and knee airbags for driver and front passenger, side curtain airbags, and front seat-mounted side airbags to help protect passengers in certain types of severe frontal or side collisions.


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