Lexus CT 200h (2014)
Lexus CT 200h
Reinforcing the progressive luxury that is the hallmark of the Lexus brand, the new Lexus CT 200h compact luxury hatchback offers more sophisticated exterior styling, a more refined interior with upgraded equipment, enhanced driving comfort and a stronger differentiation of the F Sport version.
A key model for Lexus in Europe
The Lexus CT 200h plays a critical role for Lexus. Positioned in the C-premium segment, the largest and most competitive segment of the European market, it represents the entry point to the Lexus brand. Designed to appeal to younger customers, it also attracts 85% of buyers from other brands.
The Lexus CT 200h has a short history, but has quickly established itself as a core model in Lexus' European line-up. Since its launch in January 2011, the CT 200h has sold no less than 42,000 units throughout the continent, representing about 25% of total global sales for this model.
The CT 200h is the best-selling Lexus in several European countries, including France, UK, Italy, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands.
Significant resources have been invested on the development of the new CT 200h. More than 1,400 engineers and staff have been associated with this project, focusing on two main objectives:
Firstly, to reinforce the Progressive Luxury image of the Lexus CT 200h through a bolder design, in line with the new Lexus brand strategy.
Secondly, to enhance the driving experience, both through the improvement of the vehicle's drivability and the traditional Lexus values of comfort, refinement and high technology.
SOPHISTICATED EXTERIOR DESIGN
The exterior styling of the new Lexus CT 200h is more dynamic and sophisticated, and is designed to appeal to a younger target market.
The front introduces a further evolution of the Lexus 'spindle grille' design. The centre has been pushed forwards to create a powerful, more three-dimensional form which generates the highly aerodynamic shaping of the bonnet, lower bumper and front fenders.
The new grille features bottom corners spaced 100mm wider than on the current model, and a lowered spindle 'pinch point', reinforcing the CT 200h's low front profile and wide, sporting track.
Its spindle shape emphasised by a dark finish, the contrast between the upper chrome and lower metallic paint trim surrounds further emphasises the more sophisticated, three-dimensional structure of the new grille.
As with every Lexus, the grille is positioned lower than the headlamps to create the resolute look which hallmarks the brand. The headlamps themselves feature new, projector LED lamps with a new, high quality, smoked metallic finish.
Fog lamp housings at the lower bumper extremities have been detailed to match the dark finish of the spindle grille. They feature integral, aerodynamic slits which help smooth the flow of air around the front of the vehicle for improved high speed stability.
In profile, the new Lexus CT 200h may be identified by a choice of newly developed, 10-spoke, 16" and 17" alloys, and a new shark fin-style roof antenna.
To the rear, a new bumper design which is 20 mm lower at the extremities features a more horizontal structure. It incorporates distinctive, L-shaped reflector housings and a black lower centre section to emphasise the vehicle's low centre of gravity and broad rear stance.
The new CT 200h is available in a choice of 11 body colours including a new Red. And all paintwork now benefits from a scratch-resistant, self-restoring top coat.
REFINED INTERIOR DESIGN AND UPGRADED EQUIPMENT
The new Lexus CT 200h interior has been refined to offer greater comfort, enhanced levels of equipment and improved visual and tactile quality.
The driver now benefits from a new, 370 mm diameter steering wheel matching that of the IS model range.
The Optitron instrument binnacle is now available with an integral, 4.2" TFT (Thin Film Transistor) screen which may be linked to the multimedia system and controlled via steering wheel-mounted switches. The central meter surround has been accentuated with a bright metal finish.
The central TFT multimedia display screen is now of a thinner, fixed design. The Lexus Media Display and Lexus Premium Navigation systems feature added functions, improved operability, and enhanced hands-free and voice recognition control. The former features a new, centre console-mounted controller.
Added functions include twin port, multi-USB compatibility; a USB-stored photo display function; a mirror link function (LDA); album cover art display; and a cache radio function which records 20 minutes of a programme for replay if missed.
Fully described below, the Remote Touch Interface (RTI) features a more user-friendly push entry control switch, the Lexus Navigation System has been substantially upgraded, and the Lexus audio systems benefit from the adoption of the world's first bamboo loudspeaker technology.
Additional equipment upgrades include the availability of rear view and back guide monitors for the LDA system, as well as Intuitive parking Assist, a Tyre Pressure Warning system and a Traction Control 'Off' switch.
A new Light Control System features Welcome lighting, which illuminates selected exterior and interior lights for 15 seconds when the vehicle is unlocked; a Follow Me Home system which illuminates the headlamps and selected other lighting for between 30 and 120 seconds; and the automatic cut-off of interior lights 20 minutes after the ignition is switched off.
The centre console insert colours and combinations have been revised. A new door panel insert and upholstery design incorporates stitching for added visual quality. A choice of 5 trim finishes now includes Shimamoku wood. And a new, more sophisticated, metal film finish has been added to the centre console controls.
A choice of 5 fabric and 3 genuine leather upholstery finishes is available. And the interior also features a new colour scheme: Topaz Brown.
Integral to the Lexus Navigation System, the Remote Touch Interface (RTI) features a more user-friendly push entry control switch. It operates on the same fundamental principles as a computer mouse, but has been specifically adapted and perfected for use in the driving environment.
Via a Remote Touch knob incorporating reaction force feedback for enhanced tactility, it offers simple and intuitive operation, with users able to manipulate the cursor quickly and easily across the central TFT multimedia display screen to access the audio, navigation, climate, phone and vehicle set-up systems.
The system automatically 'pulls' the cursor to an icon passed in close proximity, making it extremely fast and easy to use, minimising driver distraction time.
Lexus Navigation System
The new Lexus CT 200h may now be equipped with a choice of two navigation systems; an entry level Lexus Navigation system, and a high end Lexus Premium Navigation system incorporating Lexus Connected Services. Operated by a rotary dial and using the 7" Lexus Media Display, Lexus Navigation is a fast, user-friendly system offering a wide variety of mapping options.
Accessed via the Remote Touch system, the Lexus Premium Navigation system benefits from a powerful, 40 Gb HDD capacity. It covers the whole of Europe, and includes the traffic information infrastructure of each country. The system features voice recognition in several languages, including Russian, and a menu that can be operated in numerous languages, including Cyrillic characters.
The new CT 200h's enhanced Lexus Premium Navigation system features no less than 29 upgrades and additional functions, including 3D City View, Google Street View, Panoramio and digital terrain modelling.
Lexus Audio Systems with Bamboo Charcoal Speakers
The sound quality of both the 6- and 10-speaker Lexus Premium Sound Systems has been enhanced by the adoption of world's first bamboo loudspeaker technology.
A Lexus first, the unique, bamboo charcoal-based resin diaphragm speakers are constructed using a complex compound combining bamboo charcoal, bamboo fibre and resin, which is injection moulded to a thickness of only 0.2-0.3 mm. They are some 10-15% lighter than a conventional speaker diaphragm, yet 20% stiffer and with a 10% greater sonic speed. As a result, the sound is clearer and more natural than that of a conventional resin diaphragm.
Mark Levinson Premium Surround Audio System with 13 Speakers
The top-of-the-range Mark Levinson Premium Surround Audio System features 13 speakers and an 8-channel ML amplifier. Benefiting from the navigation system's HDD hard drive, the Mark Levinson audio system also features a 'Sound Library' facility, using Compact Disc Data Base technology to transfer and store music files up to a 10gb capacity.
The system incorporates several unique features to guarantee unparalleled sound quality. A centre channel coaxial speaker unit comprising a 90 mm metal cone mid-range and 16 mm tweeter widens the scope of supported frequencies to produce vocals and instrumentals with a greater degree of precision than that of a conventional system, whilst additionally matching harmonics between the front right and left channels.
Secondary 90mm coaxial speakers have been mounted in the centre and rear cabin pillars to expand the sound reproduction frequency range. Satellite speakers have been positioned at the top of the rear pillars to lift the rear mid- to high-range tones upwards for a more realistic sound. And a 200 mm Mark Levinson subwoofer is housed in a bespoke enclosure within the loadspace wall, producing extremely deep bass with ease.
CLASS-LEADING CO2 EMISSIONS
Significant reductions in emissions award the new Lexus CT 200h class-leading CO2 figures.
Vehicles equipped with 15" wheel are now fitted, as standard, with low RRC (Rolling Resistance Coefficient) tyres, lowering CO2 emissions by 5 g/km, from 87 to just 82 g/km.
Fully described in the following chapter, extensive aerodynamic enhancements have reduced the CT 200h's emissions from vehicles equipped with 16" wheels by 6 g/km, from 94 to 88 g/km.
IMPROVED DRIVING COMFORT AND REFINEMENT
With its highly focused driver's environment, the Lexus CT 200h has been specifically developed to combine superior handling and a dynamic driving experience with the ride comfort expected on any Lexus.
Superior handling stability is assured through the high structural rigidity of the body shell, the lowest possible centre of gravity and the minimising of the yaw inertia moment through the use of an aluminium bonnet, tailgate and bumper reinforcements.
A front L-arm type MacPherson strut suspension system combines with fully-independent double wishbone and trailing arm rear suspension architecture to offer superior levels of ride comfort and handling.
Introduced for the first time on a Lexus, a unique lateral performance damper system is designed to absorb and minimise body vibrations, promoting a linear steering feel and further enhanced ride comfort.
The new CT 200h combines increased body rigidity, revisions to its suspension and steering, and enhanced aerodynamics with comprehensive NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) measures to offer a more agile, engaging driving performance and an even quieter cabin environment.
Increased Body Rigidity
Body rigidity has been improved through the adoption of 20 additional spot welds around the tailgate aperture and extensive use of structural adhesive technology throughout the lower bodyshell.
Improved Suspension and Electric Power Steering
Increased body rigidity has allowed for suspension re-tuning. Coil spring rates have been optimised, a new shock absorber valve adopted, and the rear stabiliser bar diameter altered to enhance ride comfort with no loss of handling agility.
The Electric Power Steering (EPS) has also been optimised in conjunction with the increase in bodyshell stiffness and the rigidity of the steering column mount has been improved, providing a smoother feel and greater steering responsiveness.
Aerodynamics have been enhanced through the addition of aero stabilising fins to the door frame covers and rear lamp clusters, which streamline air close to the bodyshell to reduce vehicle vibration.
New, aerodynamic fins on the engine and rear floor undercovers optimise downforce to improve grip and stability. A new roof spoiler design also aids aerodynamic performance, most notably the F Sport-exclusive design featuring cut-outs to increase downforce.
Comprehensive NVH Measures
Complementing the inherent quietness of the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain, no less than 94 separate measures have been adopted to further reduce NHV and, specifically, the intrusion of mid- to high-frequency noise into the cabin.
A new Lexus hybrid first inlet duct design combines a highly porous material with the world's first silencer plate, combining improved quietness with a pleasing intake air sound.
The position and weight of the rear engine mount damper has been optimised and the holes in a thicker, expanded dashboard silencer filled, reducing engine noise. Sound absorbing rear wheel arch liners and new front fender separators combat road noise intrusion into the cabin.
The rigidity of the performance damper mounting brackets has also been increased, helping to suppress bodyshell vibrations.
In conjunction with these comprehensive dynamic enhancement measures, the CT 200h driving experience has been further refined through the remapping of the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain's E-CVT intelligent electronic transmission. The result is a more linear build up of revs, more closely matched to vehicle speed, in the manner of a conventional automatic transmission.
Drive Mode Select - Two Distinct Driving Moods
Supplementing the NORMAL drive mode of the Lexus CT 200h's Full hybrid powertrain, three 'on-demand' drive modes -EV, ECO and SPORT- may be selected via the rotary Drive Mode Select knob or the adjacent EV switch, adapting the vehicle to either a Dynamic or Relaxing driving mood while further improving either driving efficiency, fuel economy and emissions or performance and dynamic ability.
EV, ECO and NORMAL drive modes place the emphasis on a Relaxing driving mood, with particular attention paid to ride comfort, smooth acceleration and the minimisation of NVH.
From start up and at speeds of less than 45 km/h, the CT 200h can automatically operate in EV mode, allowing for relaxed driving under electric motor power alone, for up to two kilometres. The driver may also select EV mode manually. This unique driving mode is not available to drivers of mild hybrids, requiring the full hybrid technology of Lexus Hybrid Drive.
In ECO mode, throttle response to aggressive accelerator pedal inputs is reduced and air-conditioning control optimised for improved fuel economy. The ECO mode can help customers adopt a relaxed driving style, and can achieve a perceptible reduction in fuel consumption.
Maximising hybrid system voltage to deliver greater electric motor power, SPORT mode focuses on a more dynamic driving mood. Engine revs are held higher, throttle and Electric Power Steering (EPS) settings are modified to give a faster response to driver inputs, and the operation of the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRC) systems is less intrusive, optimising the CT 200h's performance and agility.
The highly distinctive character of both the Dynamic and Relaxing driving moods is further reinforced through driving mode selection-synchronised changes to the driver's instruments. Backlit in hybrid blue for the EV, ECO and NORMAL modes, the instrument panel illumination, Drive Mode Select knob and centre cluster spotlight automatically alter to red when the SPORT mode is selected. Simultaneously, the hybrid power indicator function alters to that of a tachometer.
Lexus Hybrid Drive Powertrain
Combining a 99 DIN hp/73 kW, 1,798 cc Atkinson Cycle petrol engine with a powerful, 82 DIN hp/60 kW electric motor, the Lexus CT 200h's Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain features a unique Energy Management System.
Through the application of brand-specific engineering solutions and bespoke software tuning, Lexus engineers have focused on enhancing both the environmental and driving performance of the full hybrid series/parallel system, as well as its uniquely low NVH levels.
With a total system output of 136 DIN hp/100 kW, the CT 200h will accelerate seamlessly from 0-100 km/h in 10.3 seconds, and on to maximum speed of 180 km/h -performance on a par with rivals positioned at the very heart of the premium compact segment.
Conversely, the Lexus CT 200h boasts remarkably low fuel consumption -a combined cycle figure of only 3.6 l/100 km- and, offering significant cost of ownership benefits in many European countries, class-leading CO2 emissions as low as just 82 g/km.
Lexus Hybrid Drive generates significantly less NOx and particulate emissions that an equivalent diesel engined vehicle. Moreover, when operating in EV mode, it generates zero CO2, NOx and particulate emissions.
Further enhancing the Lexus Hybrid Drive system's outstanding environmental credentials, the CT 200h incorporates numerous additional energy saving and environmentally conscientious measures. These include an energy-saving air-conditioning system with pro-active seat heaters, power saving LED lighting, an energy-efficient audio system amplifier and bamboo charcoal speakers, and the extensive use of bio-sourced materials.
DISTINCTIVE F SPORT DESIGN
The new F Sport has been designed with a more powerful road presence, to give a stronger differentiation with other versions of the CT 200h model range.
A new spindle grille design features the same sporting, aggressive mesh pattern as that of the new IS F Sport, which is reversed between the upper and lower sections. The fog lamp housings share the same mesh finish, and are underscored with a fin also finished in black.
To the rear, an exclusive roof spoiler features cut-outs to provide additional downforce for even better grip and stability, and the rear reflector housings are also finished in the same mesh pattern as the front grille.
17", 10-spoke alloy wheels offer an F Sport-unique surface treatment. The vehicle is available in a choice of 9 exterior colours including new Red and F Sport-exclusive White Nova.
The F Sport interior features exclusive upholstery, ornamentation and trim. The seat upholstery has been upgraded with synthetic leather side bolsters and headrests, fabric centre panels and enhanced stitching. Which is offered in 3 colour schemes: Black, Dark Rose and Ocean Blue. Full leather upholstery is also available in a choice of Black or Dark Rose finishes.
The F Sport interior may be further identified by aluminium pedals and scuff plates, a perforated leather steering wheel and dimpled leather shift lever, and F Sport badging. A choice of 4 trim finishes includes Shimamoku wood or F Sport-exclusive Silver Metal film.
The F Sport features all the driving performance enhancements of the new Lexus CT 200h model range. In addition, it benefits from bespoke coil spring settings and optimised front/rear roll rigidity distribution to further enhance its sporting driving dynamics.
CLASS-LEADING ACTIVE SAFETY
The CT 200h is equipped with the most comprehensive range of active, passive and pedestrian impact safety features in the premium compact segment. Offering drivers class-leading preventative safety through the use of the most advanced technology, the CT 200h has achieved 5-Star Euro NCAP and NCAP (USA), and 6-star J-NCAP (Japan) crash test programme ratings.
The Lexus CT 200h may be equipped with a pre-emptive, Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system incorporating Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Eight airbags and Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats are fitted as standard, and an upgraded Electronically Controlled Braking-Regeneration system (ECB-R) incorporates Anti-Lock brakes (ABS), Brake Assist, Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC).
The new CT 200h may be equipped with a sophisticated Pre-Crash Safety system (PCS) that can help reduce collision damage and injury. The PCS system features a millimetre-wave radar sensor, operating within a 20 degree scanning radius to detect obstacles in front of the car, even during cornering. Via numerous sensors, a pre-collision system computer monitors vehicle speed, steering angle and yaw rate inputs to help determine in advance whether an impending collision is unavoidable.
If there is a high possibility of a collision, PCS will alert the driver via both a buzzer and a warning on the multi-information display, activate the Pre-Crash Seatbelt pretensioners to retract all slack from the front belts and, when he begins to brake, provide Pre-Crash Brake Assist to supplement his own braking effort. If the driver does not brake and a collision is inevitable, Pre-Crash Brake will automatically apply the brakes to reduce impact speed.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Complementary to the PCS system, the Lexus premium compact full hybrid also features an Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system.
Capable of differentiating between vehicles directly ahead of the Lexus and those in an adjacent lane, the vehicle-to-vehicle distance control system employs the PCS millimetre-wave radar sensor, allied to constant speed, decelerator, follow-up and accelerator controls, to automatically slow the Lexus CT 200h, match the speed of the vehicle in front and, once the road is clear ahead, accelerate to the previously selected cruising speed.
THE FIRST LEXUS DEVELOPED BY A FEMALE CHIEF ENGINEER
The new Lexus CT 200h has been developed by Chika Kako, the first woman to be appointed Chief Engineer within the company.
Kako-san is a Material Engineer. She joined Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in 1989 and was responsible for developing interior, exterior and sound-proofing materials, as well as solving specific issues such as fogging or odour problems in vehicle interiors.
The first female TMC employee to be posted overseas in an R&D capacity, she moved to Europe in 2001, where she worked on a special project to enhance the sensory quality of interiors.
Returning to Japan in 2004, she transferred to the Lexus Brand Planning department before being assigned to Lexus Product Planning, where she assisted the Chief Engineers of both the RX and IS model ranges.