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Lexus CT 200h: The mean, green hybrid

Lexus churns out hybrid cars quicker than rabbits churn out smaller, cuter versions of themselves, so it's no surprise the company has another part electric, part petroleum world saver -- the CT 200h

Rory Reid
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Lexus churns out hybrid cars quicker than rabbits churn out smaller, cuter versions of themselves, so it's no surprise the company is about to bless the planet with yet another part-electric, part-petroleum world-saver. This one goes by the name of the CT 200h and it's going unrepentantly for the throats of the BMW 1-series and the Audi A3.

What does it look like? Well, in PR shots, it's mediocre -- like it fell out of a car mould and hit every generic protrusion on the way down. After seeing it in the flesh, though, we reckon it looks really mean -- like someone has stolen its pint, questioned its parentage or looked at its bird the wrong way. Or its bloke -- whichever this car prefers is cool with us, we don't want to provoke it.

Under its metal skin, the CT 200h uses a hybrid propulsion system. This consists of a 1.8-litre VVT-i engine, an electric motor and a nickel-metal-hydride battery. Lexus is reticent to release information on the exact specs of these components, but it tells us the car should achieve Prius-like fuel economy and sub-99g/km carbon dioxide emissions -- efficiency the BMW 1-series and Audi A3 can only dream of.

Despite coming from the same mother as its Toyota brother, the CT 200h should offer plenty of neat touches not seen in that car. For a start, the vehicle features the same mouse-cum-joystick system as the RX450H, which lets the user control a cursor on its centrally mounted display, to enter information into the hard drive-based sat-nav and music storage system -- just like on a desktop PC.

The Lexus CT 200h will hit the streets, angrily shaking its fist at innocent passers-by later in 2010. Keep your eye out for more information on this bad boy in the very near future. In the meantime, watch our video and click 'Continue' for more pics.

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The front of the CT 200h is particularly menacing and reminds us of Lexus' LF-Ch concept vehicle.
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Even the rear has a slightly teed off expression -- this is one car you'll think twice about tailgating.
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Here's Lexus' Remote Touch joystick-type-mouse thing. It controls a cursor on the car's navigation and entertainment display. You select items by clicking the buttons mounted on the left or right side.
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Here's the navigation and entertainment display. We expect the CF 200h to join the RX450h in having hard disk-based sat-nav and music-storage systems.
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As you drive, that little indicator to the far right tells drivers whether the car is being driven by the petrol engine, the electric motor, a combination of the two, or whether the battery is being recharged during regenerative braking.

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