Lexus has launched CT 200h, its first five-door compact car, as it aims to attract younger customers to the brand.

The compact hybrid was introduced by Lexus at the Geneva Motor Show, which opens to the public on March 4. The model is squarely aimed at a young, European market, featuring an emission-free drive mode and Eco, Normal and Sport hybrid modes.

Lexus, a Toyota subsidiary, says that the CT 200h will be able to run for nearly 2 km at speeds up to 45 km/h on EV mode, before switching to hybrid mode powered by the 1.8-liter gas engine. When it enters production, the car is expected to deliver class-leading emissions and join the established RX 450h, GS 450h and LS 600h to complete Lexus's range of hybrids across multiple classes. It will go on sale towards the end of 2010, although pricing is unconfirmed.

Audi has also hinted that it will explore hybrid technology for its premium models, unveiling a concept hybrid version of its A8 sedan. The A8 concept powertrain combines a 2.0 liter gas engine with an electric power unit, which Audi says is capable of running for two kilometers at up to 64 km/h. Together, the Audi A8 hybrid engines can accelerate the vehicle in 7.6 seconds from zero to 100 km/h and to a top speed of 235 km/h.


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