The Lexus CT 200h, the new baby Lexus. Previously a position taken by the much larger IS range, the new CT 200h will offer two driving modes; one which mimics styles typical of a hot hatch and another that offers fuel efficient consumption rates consequential to hybrids.
By using a simple control toggle inside the cabin, the driver can choose between different driving 'moods', Dynamic and Relaxing. It is essentially a hybrid, meaning, and in this case, there's a 1.8-litre VVT-i engine backed up by an electric motor.
Selecting between the different modes allows the car to run in conjunction with the electric motor, or under the full power of the reasonably potent 1.8 petrol engine simply by selecting ECO or SPORT on the control switch.
If the driver selects the EV button, the car will behave like an electric vehicle and run solely on the electric motor consuming no petrol at all. But the system can only do this at speeds up to 50km/h.
In ECO mode the car showcases average consumption figures of just 4.1//100km and exhausts 96 grams of CO2 per kilometre. In sport mode the car's acceleration is made more aggressive through the use of the petrol motor, albeit, using slightly more fuel.
But it's not all about consumption figures either. Switching between the two modes also changes the in-car 'mood' by way of instrument layout and lighting. In SPORT mode the lighting is in red and a tacho replaces the otherwise charge and discharge gauge of the ECO mode setup.
The Lexus CT 200h will be on show in full-production trim at the Paris Motor Show in a few weeks time, shortly followed by production and introductory into the European market. Unfortunately, it won't go on sale in Australia until mid-2011. One to look forward to though.