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Lexus CT200h Debuts With High Hopes for Europe [Paris 2010]

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Lexus has just officially debuted the production version of the CT200h hybrid hatchback at the Paris Auto Show. And while Lexus does hope to significantly expand the premium compact segment in the United States, it expects huge growth in Europe with the CT projected to double the Toyota luxury brand's sales.

The CT is the first "sport oriented" Lexus hybrid, with a focus on dynamic handling rather than outright acceleration. In fact, using a version of the Toyota Prius's Hybrid Synergy Drive engine, it makes 134-hp and accelerates to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds. What it can also do, however, is get a combined average of 42-mpg. For the record, that's 8-mpg better than its closest competitor here in North America.

Along with a functional hatchback design, the CT features a more youthful appeal with more exciting design cues. Inside, it's pure Lexus luxury.

To put the focus on driving dynamics, the car features a four-mode control system that allows the driver to switch from modes labeled: EV, Normal, Eco and Sport. In sport mode, the car not only gets a more sensitive throttle and more powerful from the electric motor, but it also features tighter steering to help aid in the driving experience.

Look for AutoGuide's First Drive of the CT200h on October 12th.

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