The moment drivers get behind the wheel of the new Lexus CT 200h, there will be no mistaking the sporty character of Lexus's debut model in the luxury small car market. Great attention has been paid to perfecting the ideal driving position, with seat design and location, steering wheel position and even the angle of the pedals calculated for the best possible results.
Lexus considered this element of the full hybrid Lexus CT 200h to be so important, it even came up with a new engine air intake design so that the bonnet profile could be kept low to ensure a clear view from the low-set driver's seat, without compromising pedestrian safety performance.
The result is the sportiest driving position of any mainstream Lexus production vehicle, much in line with that of the high performance Lexus IS F. Central to this achievement is the low hip point of the driver's seat, which has been brought as close as possible to the car's centre of gravity.
This is complemented by a new sports steering wheel with a wide grip cross-section, set at a lower, 21-degree angle. The accelerator and brake pedal are also angled to take the lower hip point into account.
The driver's seat design - like that of the Lexus IS F - has extra lateral and lumbar support built-in to hold the driver firmly and comfortably in place as he or she makes the most of the car's dynamic performance.
With agile handling, responsive steering and a choice of driving modes, the driver, Lexus CT 200h demonstrates that Lexus's full hybrid drive technology can deliver great driving pleasure as well as environmentally efficient performance.
Lexus will present the Lexus CT 200h - the new gateway model for the Lexus range - at the 2010 Paris motor show. UK sales will start early next year.Published 18 August 2010