Lexus hybrid takes on the Nurburgring

Gazoo Racing puts a customized Lexus CT 200h on the Nurburgring for a six hour endurance race.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
Gazoo Racing Lexus CT 200h
Gazoo Racing Lexus CT 200h
Gazoo Racing fitted the CT 200h with a larger engine. Lexus

Hybrids face the stigma of being more about fuel economy than sport, but the Lexus CT 200h intends to prove it can be a hot hatchback by lapping the Nurburgring. A CT 200h tuned up by Gazoo Racing will compete in the Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy, a six hour endurance race.

Along with suspension tuning, the CT 200h's standard 1.8-liter engine has been swapped out for a 2.4-liter. But the car retains its Lexus hybrid system, letting it use the electric motor from a stop and for added boost under acceleration. This hybrid system will give the CT 200h lower fuel use, a crucial advantage in an endurance race.

Gazoo Racing, a Japanese group racing various Toyota and Lexus models, missed an opportunity to also tune up the hybrid system of the CT 200h. A higher capacity lithium ion battery pack and a higher torque electric motor would give the car added acceleration.

The race will be held on Saturday, May 14.