The Lexus CT 200h is the first full hybrid vehicle to be launched at the heart of the small luxury car segment. It is also Lexus's first compact five-door car and takes its place as the new gateway model for the Lexus range.
Following its presentation at the Paris motor show, the Lexus CT 200h will be available to order from October 2010, with first deliveries to customers early in the New Year. Full details of UK prices and specifications will be announced mid October 2010.
The Lexus CT 200h is a full hybrid, capable of running on its petrol engine or electric motor alone, or with both working in combination. The Lexus Hybrid Drive features an energy management system which delivers remarkably quiet operation, seamless acceleration and the dynamic performance expected by customers in the small luxury car segment.
Driving through an electronic continuously variable transmission (E-CVT), the system gives the Lexus CT 200h nought to 62mph acceleration in 10.3 seconds (target figure). Combined cycle fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for CT 200h in the UK are 68.9mpg and a class-leading 96g/km respectively (provisional figures).
The Lexus CT 200h has been engineered to perform in two different driving 'moods', Relaxing or Dynamic, supported by four selectable driving modes: NORMAL, EV, ECO and SPORT.
From start-up and at speeds less the 28mph, Lexus CT 200h automatically operates in EV mode; the driver can also select EV mode manually. When the car reaches the limit of its range under electric power, or exceeds 28mph, it automatically switches the petrol engine back on.
In ECO mode throttle response to accelerator pedal input is reduced and the air conditioning control is adjusted to maximise fuel economy. According to driving conditions, ECO mode encourages a relaxed driving style and can help the driver achieve a significant saving in fuel.
SPORT mode is tuned to deliver extra electric motor power to contribute to the Dynamic driving mood, with the supply voltage boosted by 150V to a maximum 650V. Engine revs are held longer and the throttle and electric power steering (EPS) settings are adjusted for quicker response and extra feedback. Operation of the Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is also rendered less intrusive. To help emphasise the change in mood, when the driver selects SPORT the instrument cluster backlighting switches from blue to red and the hybrid power indicator transforms into a rev counter.
The Lexus CT 200h has been developed specifically to deliver superior handling, a rewarding drive and the level of ride comfort expected of a Lexus. It is built on a new platform, has been given the lowest possible centre of gravity and features a high-rigidity lightweight bodyshell. Even the height, position and structure of the driver's seat have been precisely determined to contribute to the car's balance and enhance the driving experience.
The Lexus CT 200h offers the highest level of safety equipment in its segment and is designed to meet the highest, five-star Euro NCAP independent crash test standard for all-round protection of occupants and pedestrians.
In a first for the C-segment, the car can be specified with Lexus's pre-emptive Pre-Crash Safety system (PCS), with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). PCS uses millimetre-wave radar monitoring of the road ahead to detect potential hazards and assist the driver in reducing the risk of a collision. If the system determines a high risk of an impact, it will alert the driver, pretension the seatbelts and, as the driver applies the brakes, deliver supplementary brake assist. If the driver fails to brake and a collision is inevitable, PCS will automatically apply the brakes to reduce impact speed.
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