After its debut at the Geneva Auto Show just a few weeks ago, Lexus has now officially announced it will sell the CT200h hybrid hatchback in the United States. The CT200h will be the first full hybrid offered in the premium compact class.
Power comes from a version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system using a 1.8-liter VVT-i 4-cylinder, however, Toyota has yet to announce any engine output numbers. A similar setup used in the Prius makes just 134-hp, but we're hoping for something closer to the HS250's 187-hp. Lexus claims a fully electric range of 1.2 miles in EV mode at speeds up to 28 mph, while driver's can also select Normal or Sport driving modes. The CT200h is a front-wheel drive model and runs 17-inch wheels.
The interior is certainly of a reasonably premium level, with some typical Toyota hybrid touches like the small gear shifter and push button ignition. The dash is divided into two "zones" with a Display Zone for vehicle information (which includes an 8-inch LCD screen) and an Operation Zone, which includes the Lexus Remote Touch mouse control. As a hatchback, Lexus rates the car's storage capacity at roughly 12 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a total of 25 cubic feet with those seats folded flat.
Notable safety features include traction and stability control, eight standard airbags and an optional Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
The CT200h will go on sale in the U.S. in early 2011 expanding the dedicated Lexus range of hybrids to two models (the HS250h) being the other, and expanding the total number of Lexus hybrid models to five.
AutoGuide will bring you full coverage of the car's debut at the NY Auto Show starting March 31st.
More: Lexus CT200h Confirmed for U.S. With Debut at New York Auto Show on AutoGuide.com