Lexus CT 200h hybrid launches in Japan

2011 Lexus CT 200h – Click above for high-res image gallery

Luxury automaker Lexus looks to boost its faltering sales in its home market of Japan with the addition of the CT 200h – a dedicated hybrid model. For Lexus, the CT 200h is the automaker's first premium-compact model and lowest-priced vehicle currently offered. Pricing for the CT 200h in Japan ranges from 3.55 million yen ($42,600 U.S. at the current exchange rate) to 4.33 million yen ($52,000 U.S.). Lexus aims to sell 1,500 CT 200h models in Japan per month.

Lexus' five-door hatch employs a Toyota Prius-derived powertrain, mating a 1.8-liter Atkinson cycle combustion engine to an electric motor and a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack. Japan's overly generous test cycle indicates that the Lexus CT 200h can travel 34 kilometers on one liter of fuel. That's approximately 80 miles per gallon. However, Lexus indicates that the CT 200h will return an estimated EPA rating of 42 mpg combined.

Lexus originally designed the CT 200h for European markets, but then decided to expand the reach of its dedicated hybrid to North America and China as well. The CT 200h is slated to hit U.S. dealerships this March.

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Photos copyright ©2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: Carscoop]

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