Lexus has been trotting around a compact hybrid called the CT200h at the auto show circuit this year. The CT200h made its premiere at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show and will be featured at the upcoming 2010 New York International Auto Show. Far from a novel prototype, the Lexus CT200h is intended for introduction in the United States by fall 2011. Lexus has combined its Hybrid Drive Technology system with innovative drive modes and brake systems to create a fuel-efficient hybrid.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive system combines a 1.8-liter gas engine with an electric motor, generator and NIMH battery pack. The electronic continuously variable transmission (E-CVT) allows the CT200h to shift seamlessly from one gear to another without wasting fuel. Lexus built the electronic components so that they could fit in a small space next to the engine.
Lexus added four drive options so CT200h drivers can complement their driving tendencies. The Normal mode matches the performance of comparable Lexus models in terms of engine power and fuel consumption. Sports car enthusiasts flip to the Sports mode to increase engine output with a little help from the NIMH battery and generator. The Eco mode in the CT200h decreases power to air conditioning and other auxiliary systems to increase fuel economy. The CT200h can travel up to a mile on all-electric power at a speed of 28 miles per hour in the EV mode.
CT200h drivers will stay safe thanks to the myriad safety features built around the anti-lock brake system (ABS). Each set of brakes is monitored by an electronic brake distribution (EBD) system. The EBD system then adjusts brake pressure to handle inclement weather without slipping and sliding. The Brake Assist (BA) system used in the Lexus CT200h adds greater force to the brakes when the brake pedal is pushed to the floor. The Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system connects with the EBD and ABS systems to adjust engine output and throttle control to handle the worst of road conditions.
We will learn more about the Lexus CT200h as the New York International Auto Show progresses. Based on the early previews of the model, Lexus has blended hybrid driving, safety and handling in an attractive package for consumers. The alphabet soup of safety and handling features in this hybrid model are designed to keep passengers safe while keeping an eye on fuel economy. The Lexus CT200h will help the automaker make headway in the luxury hybrid market starting in fall 2011.