First Ride: 2011 Lexus CT 200h Hybrid

Autoblog has a first ride review of the 2011 Lexus CT 200h Hybrid.

The CT 200h is a hatchback – a new segment for Lexus.

Toyota is no stranger to being first – Japanese luxury vehicles and hybrids chief among them. Although Acura may have launched earlier, Lexus remains the only Japanese luxury marque to market in Japan. And having launched in Europe shortly after America, Lexus was also the first to challenge the European heavyweights on their home turf, and with its LS and LFA, it remains the only non-European marque to compete at the top level.

Credit Toyota, as well, for popularizing hybrid technology, as it launched the Prius domestically as the first mass-produced gas-electric, whereupon it has dominated the market with successive generations. But where the Japanese auto giant has really stood apart is in the combination of both luxury and hybrid technology.

Recognizing the technology’s popularity with upscale buyers, Lexus has carved out a niche in producing luxury hybrids. In fact, its lineup in many European markets is comprised exclusively of hybrids. The HS 250h launched late last year as the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid model and now Lexus is branching out again by electrifying territory previously uncharted by Japanese automakers: the premium hatchback segment. We flew out to Toyota’s European headquarters to see how development of the new CT 200h has been coming along. Follow the jump to see what we found.

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About Matthew Breen

A Pursuitist contributor, Matt is blogging about travel, auto, gadgets, food and drink. Based in Colorado, Matt loves to share the latest luxury. Follow author Matt Breen on Google +.

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