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by Matt Brogan

Lexus has today confirmed its all-new CT 200h hybrid hatch will launch in Australia from mid next year.

The Lexus CT 200h is the fourth hybrid model from the brand to be made available in Australia, and will become this country’s most advanced hatchback model.

Lexus chief executive, Tony Cramb says the Lexus CT 200h will redefine the luxury hatch segment.

“The traditional definition of luxury vehicles is changing,” said Mr Cramb.

“Today consumers are looking for efficient vehicles that do not compromise on driving experience and features. Lexus’ range of hybrid vehicles and the CT 200h are the vehicles for them.

“When you take into account CT 200h’s hybrid drive train and its list of advanced features, it’s clear to see why CT 200h will become Australia’s most advanced luxury hatchback.

“CT 200h will be Lexus’ most significant vehicle since the introduction of the IS Line, bringing with it a whole new range of customers to the brand.

“The arrival of the CT 200h in 2011 only reinforces Lexus’ commitment to hybrid vehicles and cements our real-world hybrid advantage in the luxury market.”

When launched, the CT 200h will be Australia’s only fully hybrid luxury hatch. The model will be powered by a 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid drive train with a high performance battery.

The CT 200h will offer two drive modes – Normal & Sport – to extract the best efficiency from the battery pack in daily driving conditions and the best handling from the sporty chassis when more performance is required.

In Sport mode, the CT 200h offers sharper throttle response and a quicker steering action from the car’s Electronic Power Steering (EPS).

Like most hybrids, the CT 200h will also feature EV (electric only) and Eco running modes to further maximise efficiency and range while at the same time reducing harmful emissions.

To assist efficiency even more, the CT 200h boasts a slippery aerodynamic design. The front and rear corners of the body are narrowed to improve air flow along the vehicle’s profile and minimise wind turbulence within the wheel arches. Similarly, the sides of the cabin are slightly tapered and the rear edge of the roof lowered to further reduce drag.

The Lexus CT 200h is also fitted as standard with unique 17-inch alloy wheels and blue badging specific to Lexus hybrid vehicles.

Lexus’ luxury hybrid hatch will go on sale during the first-half of 2011. Pricing and full specification details will be released closer to the launch.