Share and share alike

At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show Lexus will pull the wraps off its Corolla-sized hybrid hatch, the CT200h.

We suspect that the ever-so-common Corolla hatchback and the CT200h share plenty of bits, not least of which is the common 2600mm wheelbase.

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Sounds familiar

The CT200h is propelled by a hybrid drivetrain featuring a 1.8-litre petrol four-cylinder engine and a set of electric motors powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Unlike the IS, GS and LS sedans, the CT is driven via the front wheels.

The other dedicated hybrid Lexus model the HS250h — sold only in Japan and North America — sports a larger 2.4-litre engine.

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Staying quiet

Lexus isn't quoting either power or economy figures for the CT200h, but the powertrain is, on paper at least, identical to the one used in the latest Prius. So don't be too surprised if it has something around that model's 100kW of power, with a matching 3.9L/100km fuel economy rating.

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Come here often?

If the CT200h looks familiar, then you'd be right. It's a toned down version of the LF-Ch concept car shown at shows last year. It's also a smidge longer and a fair bit lower.

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Sophisticated

Aside from the hybrid drivetrain, unique interior and exterior, the CT200h differs from the Corolla by having a more sophisticated double-wishbone rear suspension.

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Leather and more

With generous lashings of leather, metal bits, what should be higher grade materials and a different design, the CT200h's insides look suitably more upmarket than the humble Corolla's.

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Touched

Like the RX four-wheel drive and LFA supercar, the CT200h's entertainment and navigation system is controlled via a Remote Touch controller.

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Big screen

The Remote Touch controller commands an 8-inch screen at the top of the dash.

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Moody

Depending on your mood the drivetrain can be switched between Eco, Normal and Sport modes.

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Mood lighting

Switch the car into Sport mode and the instrument cluster glows a menacing shade of red, with the power and economy meter dimmed out in favour of a tachometer (left).

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Electric vehicle of sorts

The CT200h can run off electric power only at speeds up to 45km/h for around 2 kilometres. This is done by default in Normal mode, but you can flick a button on the dash to force this to happen.

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Bright lights

The CT200h utilises LED headlights for both low-beam and its daytime running lights.

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