The main attraction at the Lexus booth at the Geneva Auto Show is the CT200h, a hybrid hatchback from Toyota’s luxury division, aimed squarely at the European marketplace. It aims to compete against vehicles like the Volvo C30, BMW 1 Series and Audi A3, but will be the first full hybrid in the premium compact segment.
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.
Designed specifically for Europe, Lexus has announced this new model will be offered world-wide.