Lexus aims to be the leader in the emerging premium compact segment with the CT 200h. The car is slated to go on sale in the US market in early 2011.

Lexus will be debuting the CT 200h at the 2010 New York International Auto Show later this month and has announced that the model will go on sale in the US market in early 2011.

The CT 200h will be the first hybrid in the newly emerging premium compact segments in both North America and Europe. It is intended to compete against models such as the upcoming Audi A1. The Lexus CT 200h will be smaller than the Toyota Prius.

The hybrid powertrain on the front-wheel drive CT 200h features a 1.8 liter four-cylinder VVT-i gasoline/petrol engine teamed up with a magnet synchronous electric motor powered by nickel-metal hydride batteries. Lexus is cagely not providing any performance figures for the car, but it's a good guess it will come with something a little more than the 134 bhp (100 kW) available on the Prius, which has a similar hybrid set-up.

One special feature of the CT 200h will be its four drive modes - Normal, Eco, Sport and EV. In Eco mode, the car holds back on the air-conditioning and optimizes the hybrid drive system for maximum efficiency. Sport mode will be more performance-oriented. In EV mode, the car can be run purely on electrical power for limited stretches, which the press release says is an unimpressive single mile (1.6 km).

The CT 200h also comes with a host of technological goodies which you can read about in the press release. The 2010 New York International Auto Show takes place from March 31 to April 11.


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