Lexus will debut its latest model, the CT200h, in front of a North American audience for the first time at the New York Auto Show at the end of the month. Officially unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show last week, the CT200h is not only a luxury hatchback, but the first hybrid in the compact premium class.
Power comes from a version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system using a 1.8-liter VVT-i 4-cylinder, however, Toyota has yet to announce any engine output numbers. A similar setup used in the Prius makes just 134-hp, but we’re hoping for something closer to the HS250’s 187-hp. Lexus claims a fully electric range of 1.2 miles in EV mode at speeds up to 28 mph, while driver’s can also select Normal or Sport driving modes. The CT200h is a front-wheel drive model and runs 17-inch wheels.
The interior is certainly of a reasonably premium level, with some typical Toyota hybrid touches like the small gear shifter and push button ignition. The dash is divided into two “zones” with a Display Zone for vehicle information (which includes an 8-inch LCD screen) and an Operation Zone, which includes the Lexus Remote Touch mouse control. As a hatchback, Lexus rates the car’s storage capacity at roughly 12 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a total of 25 cubic feet with those seats folded flat.
Originally designed for Europe, Lexus has announced this new model will be offered world-wide, with sales expected to start late this year.