We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the hybrid vehicle, just like the electric one, was born long before many of today’s car companies, with the man responsible for declaring an internal combustion engine with an electric motor “husband and wife” being none other than Ferdinand Porsche, the bloke who you have to thank while drifting in your 911.
As you probably know, the hybrid was killed in its infancy. Now that the global downturn has teamed-up with the low oil reserves, the world is ready to embrace this solution, at least until a hardcore eco one is found.
Less than 10 years after it created the Lexus brand, Toyota gave birth to the world’s first mass produced hybrid vehicle, the Prius That was back in 1997. The vehicle is now in its’ third generation and... wait, what does all this have to do with the CT 200h? Well, the answer is simple: under CT 200h’s evening attire, we find a powertrain (almost) shared with the third generation Prius’ hybrid. But let’s have a look at the global Lexus “h” picture for a paragraph or two.
You know that feeling you get when a 14 year-old accidentally demonstrates that he’s got more computer skills than you? Don’t laugh, teenagers really know their way around a motherboard these days.
This is the kind of feeling we’d have if we’d be an automaker and we’d look at Lexus’s hybrid offensive. Toyota’s premium division is a young brand, one that can incorporate the eco values, which are now more important than ever, in its DNA. Of course, all the tech hiding inside comes from mother Toyota, who is now so far on the road to hybridization that it should actually be called mother T... heresa. But strictly from the brand image point of view, Lexus has this opportunity to grow up together with the hybrid technology.
Lexus is on its way of completely hybridizing itself and the CT 200h is a new, important step in this process, as this is the first time when the company says the word “compact” and also the first premium compact with a hybrid badge. The vehicle was previewed by the LF-Ch concept in 2009 and has fortunately stolen many of its styling cues.
So, will Lexus manage to navigate the stormy European compact premium waters? We’ve decided to answer this question by having an affair with a CT 200h Executive. No, not a Lexus employee, this is the second highest equipment level for the vehicle.Continue reading