Here comes the world’s first compact luxury hybrid hatchback. I don’t know if many people were waiting for one, but Lexus sure hopes so. Do you like the Audi A3? Well, that was clearly the target, and it looks a lot like that model.
Hatchbacks have never been popular in the U.S. and Lexus knows that so well that this CT 200h might not be offered to american drivers. The confirmation will be given in Geneva (I’ll be there), most likely it will only be sold in Europe and Japan. But americans may not miss it. Compared to a Prius, the Lexus CT 200h is a bit shorter (5 inches less), a bit lower (2 inches less), which shall translate into a much smaller trunk (about three-fourths of a Prius), and a more intimate interior.
This is supposed to give the feeling you are in a more special car, with better fit and finish than in a Prius, and more upscale materials. Leather might be standard, and a navigation system too. Like the Prius, the car will have a choice of driving modes. That’s ECO, NORMAL and SPORT, with the difference that the SPORT mode will also change the ambiance of the interior with different lightning: it will turn the normal blue into red, giving a sportier feel to the cabin.
The drivetrain is expected to be the same as the Prius. It will be the 1.8 liter inline 4, but few technical details have been released. Maybe, it’ll get some modifications to the hybrid system, to provide stronger performance. Most important, Lexus explains that the CT 200h is built on a new platform with a dedicated double wishbone and trailing arm rear suspension system. This is unexpected! I would have bet that the CT 200h would only be a Prius with different sheetmetal and a more upscale interior, I was wrong. Lexus is smarter than that…