Combined EPA Rating of 42 MPGA few months ago we started getting some info on the new Lexus CT 200h hybrid. At the time, there was some hope that this premium compact would set a new fuel economy benchmark, and if not, at least match the Prius. After all, this being a Lexus, cost is less of an issue. Better and/or bigger batteries could have been used to boost overall MPG, more aluminum could have been used to reduce weight, etc. But it seems like Toyota thinks it's enough to have the MPG leader with the Prius, and that it doesn't have to push the envelope with the rest of its lineup. That's too bad.
Fuel Economy Could be Be BetterLexus estimates that the CT 200h hybrid will get about 42 MPG combined on the EPA test. That seems low for a compact car with a 1.8-liter engine and a full hybrid drivetrain. And it's not like Toyota sacrified fuel economy for power; the CT 200h is rated at 134 hp (100 kW) and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds. The 3rd generation Prius hybrid also does 0 to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds.
I think it's a missed opportunity for Toyota. The CT 200h might beat the MPG of its "premium compact" competitors (for now), and its tailpipe emissions will no doubt be very low, but it's been about 10 years since the Prius was first introduced in North-America and that car got 41 MPG combined in the EPA test. I'm sure that Lexus can do better than that with modern technology.
Under the HoodThe Lexus CT 200h is powered by a lightweight, highly compact, four-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC, 1798 cc Atkinson Cycle gas engine with a displacement of 1.8-liter. It generates 98 hp (73 kW) at 5,200 rpm. It also has a 60kW high performance, permanent magnet, synchronous 60 kW (80 hp) electric motor. The 202V NIMH battery pack allows it to drive up to 28 mph in EV mode. Electric range is about 1 mile.
Toyota plans to introduce it to the US market in early 2011. No word on pricing yet.
For more details and photos, see: Lexus Confirms CT 200h Compact Hybrid-Only Model for U.S. Market.
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