Lexus CT 200h 2012 hybrid hatchback soon in UAE
Lexus is doing something completely out of character in this region by going ahead and launching the first hybrid hatchback in the UAE, at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Motor Show. The CT 200h, originally designed for the European market, will become the cheapest hybrid car to be sold in the UAE, undercutting various manufacturers who have only been bringing in ridiculously-priced high-end models here.
The new 2012 Lexus CT 200h hatchback is the smallest Lexus model now, coming in shorter than the IS sedan. Based on a supposedly-new front-wheel-drive platform, the CT 200h features MacPherson strut front and double-wishbone rear suspension, uncannily similar to the setup for the Toyota Zelas, but with unique dampers and tuning.
The really unique bit would be the CT 200h’s “Lexus Hybrid Drive” that features a unique energy management system for the full hybrid series/parallel system. Offering a 98 hp 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine backed by an electric motor and mated to a CVT transmission, the total system output is 134 hp, good for a 0-100 kph time of 10.3 seconds and has a rated fuel economy of between 3.8 litres/100 km or 5.6 litres/100 km, depending on whether you follow U.S. or European ratings. Top speed for the 1445-kg hatchback is 180 kph, with 142 Nm of torque from the petrol engine and 207 Nm from electric power.
Additional environmentally-conscious measures include LED lighting, an energy-efficient audio system amplifier and bamboo charcoal speakers, and the use of bio-sourced materials.
There will be a sharper “F-Sport” with upgraded suspension, unique front and rear bumpers, larger alloy wheels and “F” badging. The cabin gets F-Sport interior trim, steering wheel, aluminium pedals, scuff plates, instrument panel and window tint. This was the version that was displayed at the Abu Dhabi Motor Show.
The Lexus CT 200h is expected to hit showrooms at some point by the summer of 2011. Word is it will be premium-priced, possibly as expensive as the IS sedan itself, but it will still be the cheapest way to get into a hybrid in the Middle East.
Keep track of updates in the Lexus buyer guide.