Special Coverage

Geneva
Auto Show

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus luxury brand will unveil a premium hybrid-electric vehicle at the Geneva auto show Tuesday that represents its first foray into Europe’s premium-compact-car segment

The CT 200h hybrid goes on sale at the end of the year in Europe and other world markets. The 5-door HEV is fitted with a 1.8L 4-cyl. gasoline engine and an electric motor mated to an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission.

The CT 200h offers Eco and Normal drive modes that place an emphasis on relaxed driving, while Sport focuses on a dynamic driving feel, Lexus says. There also is an additional EV mode that allows the driver to switch to electric-motor power, alone, resulting in zero fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions.

The CT 200h design is based on Toyota’s LF-Ch concept, unveiled last year at the Frankfurt auto show.

Lexus calls the CT 200h’s styling “sharp-edged and resolute,” representing an evolution of the Lexus L-Finesse design language by “mimicking the natural flow of air over a smooth, sweeping form.”

Lexus touts the car’s deep and full-width bumper, steeply raked windshield, long roofline and “sling-shot window graphic” as standout styling cues.

Inside the CT 200h, the LF-Ch’s driver-focused asymmetrical dashboard is carried over and metallic and dark soft-touch trims are abundant.

The center stack is divided in two, with an upper display zone featuring an 8-in. (20-cm) liquid crystal display screen and a lower operation zone with Lexus’ Remote Touch joystick-like controller. The car’s rear seats fold forward to offer 25 cu.-ft. (700 L) of cargo space.

The CT 200h rides on a new platform, Lexus says, with a McPherson strut front suspension and double-wishbone rear suspension. The latter has a lightweight trailing arm and “positions the coil spring and shock absorber separately to minimize system intrusion into the load-space floor,” Lexus says.

The CT 200h is 170 ins. (432 cm) long and 56 ins. (143 cm) high, with a 102-in. (260-cm) wheelbase that is similar to the U.S. Corolla compact sedan model.

Lexus also will display the LFA supercar and front-wheel-drive RX 450h hybrid cross/utility vehicle on its stand in Geneva, The RX 450h already is on sale in select European countries. It also will show the LFA supercar.

Lexus says it will determine the allocation of the limited-run supercar after the mid-March deadline for hand-raisers has passed. Production is capped at 500 units, to be sold in as many as 56 countries. Consumer orders will be confirmed by the end of May.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com