The Lexus CT200h compact hybrid will debut in racing car guise at an endurance race this weekend at the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit. Entered by Gazoo Racing, the same organization that races the Lexus LFA, the CT200h will compete in the Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy. Around 200 cars will line up at the start of the six hour-race.
The Gazoo Racing CT features the Japanese automaker’s Lexus Hybrid Drive, but has a larger capacity 2.4-liter petrol engine instead of the factory 1.8-liter unit for better performance. At start-up and during braking, the car uses only the electric motor, consuming no fuel and therefore producing zero emissions. The internal combustion engine takes over at higher speeds, with the electric motor providing extra power under acceleration and at racing speeds.
The race car shares with the road-going CT200h the batteries and hybrid system, with the latter selecting the most appropriate power sources and capturing energy through regenerative braking to charge the battery so that the electric motor never runs out of juice.
According to Lexus, the Gazoo Racing CT requires less fuel and emits less CO2 and NOx gases than any equivalent petrol or diesel race car it will compete with. The car will be entered in the SP4 Class and will be driven by three experienced pilots: Kumi Sato, Masahiko Kageyama and Minoru Takaki.
By Dan Mihalascu