The upcoming CT 200h is the most affordable of the Lexus hybrids, with a base price of $29,120, which might be exactly why the Toyota luxury division decided to spice things up a bit at the recent Chicago Auto Show, putting the car modifier Five Axis to work on it.
Instead of trotting out the standard CT 200h, Lexus displayed a “highly-modified Five Axis Project CT that proves that hybrids can be aggressive.” What that meant in real terms was a custom widebody conversion, a green, JDSU paint dubbed “Dark Passage,” 19-inch forged wheels, a custom touchscreen interface console and more aggressive suspension and braking systems.
While this tuner was intended to draw eyes to Lexus and give its new hybrid a cool sheen, the CT 200h due out this spring is really about the more prosaic goal of making a premium compact hybrid that actually performs like a hybrid. Which is to say, gets great mileage.
As we noted in December, the CT 200h is the fifth hybrid in Lexus’ line-up and by far its best performer on fuel economy, with a combined rating of 42 mpg. The next best Lexus hybrid is the HS 250h at 35 mpg combined, while the other three models range from 29 mpg down to 21 mpg. Toyota Prius is the top-rated hybrid – and top-rated car overall – at 50 mpg. It too has seen its share of cool modifications.