Lexus recently unveiled plans for its 2013 CT 200h sporty luxury hybrid. The vehicle will have minimal changes over the 2012 model, which had priced starting at around $29,000 when we wrote about it last August.
The CT 200h, according to Lexus, is said to have an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 42 mpg, 43 mpg city and 40 mpg on the highway using regular 87-octane gasoline. Being a hybrid, it pairs its regular engine with an electric drive motor to generate a total system output of 134 horsepower. The car can also be be operated under certain conditions in a driver selectable EV mode for what is likely a short distance.
Besides making use of a second motor in the hybrid system that serves as both engine starter and generator to charge the hybrid battery pack, the CT 200h also has an interesting exhaust heat recovery system that Lexus says “captures the heat of spent exhaust gases to speed engine coolant warm-up and allows the hybrid system to stop the engine earlier and more often in the driving cycle when it’s not needed, for example in low power demand conditions in city driving.”
The car incorporates four different driving modes, including the EV only one, choosable via a drive mode selector. One of these modes, Eco, makes it so that air conditioning settings are adjusted and the throttle response is reduced relative to the pedal angle to emphasize fuel economy.
Features of the 2013 CT 200h, depending upon trim choices, include an updated navigation system with advanced media choices, park assist, heated front seats, regenerative braking which helps recharge the hybrid battery pack and improve fuel economy, an eight airbag system for safety, radar based cruise control to help maintain a pre-set distance from a vehicle traveling ahead, Bluetooth for handsfree cell phone use, LED low beam headlights and lots more.