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Lexus CT 200h: The emissions

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 00:00:00 -0700

Teh Lexus CT 200h has emissions of just 96g/km

We have to go with the flow on this because, although we have no faith in the assertion that man is responsible for climate change, for as long as Governments penalise and promote cars based on the emissions of CO2 from their tailpipe (I know, it’s barking) we have to accept that car makers will respond to that stick and carrot.

Which is why we see a raft of car makers churning out ‘Eco’ cars with a 99g/km emissions figure, as sub-100g/km of CO2 emissions is the Holy Grail for maximising tax effiecencies.

Of course, Lexus has gone a step further and seem intent on producing only hybrid cars as soon as possible. So we have a long-awaited Lexus offering which intends to take the fight to the BMW 1 Series, and all it has in its arsenal is a tweaked version of the Prius running gear. That’s it. Period.

Which means the Lexus CT 200h has to shout about its ‘Eco-ness’ from the rooftops, because no one’s going to buy it for its performance or dynamism. Yes, Lexus say they’ve tuned the Prius running gear for a more sporty drive and you can choose between Normal, Eco and EV (electric vehicle), plus a Sport setting.

But you’ll still have the woeful Prius drivetrain with an elastic-band CVT ‘box. Which will not encourage a single 1-Series driver to jump ship as far as we can see. So Lexus will have to develop a whole new market, seeking ‘Eco-believing’ buyers who don’t feel the need to wear a hair shirt to demonstrate their ‘green-ness’.

And those buyers will be delighted to know that the CT 200h will only emit 96g/km of CO2. Being the cynical lot we are we did wonder if the CT200 achieved that figure running in a default Eco mode. So we asked Lexus and to be fair they said no, the ‘Normal’ mode is the defaut setting, so the CO2 figures are fair and accurate. Good on them.

The CT 200h will also do almost 70mpg (68.9mpg), manage just over a mile in electric only drive and it emits virtually no NOx or particulates. Of which we approve greatly.

But why, oh why are Lexus intent on only offering boring and unappealing CVT driven hybrid powertrains? Sure, have an Eco model, but don’t wipe out a range of potentially desirable petrol (and even diesel) engined options just to make a political statement.

It has to be a poor business decision.


By Cars UK