The aerodynamic quality of the new Lexus CT 200h is fundamental not only to supporting the efficiency of its full hybrid powertrain, but also to the quality of its handling, ride comfort and stability at high speed.
Lexus engineers used extensive computer aided design and wind tunnel testing to ensure every detail of the car’s body – including the underneath – contributed to achieving the smoothest possible passage through the air, while retaining distinctive, contemporary styling. Their success is reflected in the lowest coefficient of drag in the small luxury car class – Cd 0.28.
Every aspect of the upper bodywork has been detailed for airflow management. The deep front bumper, sharply sculpted front air dam, optimised bumper corner angles and door mirrors styled like those of the ultra-exclusive LFA supercar, have been designed to smooth the flow of air over the front and down the sides of the vehicle, minimising turbulence in the wheelarches.
The flow of air away from the rear of the CT 200h is carefully controlled by the tapered shape of the cabin sides, a deep roof spoiler, aerodynamic fins at the corners of the rear windows and the sharp, near-vertical junction of the rear wing and bumper.
Equal attention has been paid to underbody airflow management, minimising the vehicle’s coefficient of lift to secure optimum fuel efficiency and handling stability.
The aerodynamic underbody elements include a front lower absorber, under covers for the engine, centre floor, tank side and rear floor, front and rear wheelarch spats and rocker mouldings. Diffuser fins have been added to the front under cover, and even the installation of the main exhaust silencer and the shape of the rear bumper cover have been designed to create the smoothest possible airflow.
The production-ready full hybrid Lexus CT 200h – a new gateway model for the Lexus range – will be unveiled at the Paris motor show on 30 September, with UK sales scheduled to start in early 2011.Published 7 September 2010