10 / 11 / 2017

THE REFRESHED CT 200h

THE REFRESHED CT 200h

SPORTIER STYLING, INTERIOR UPDATES AND INNOVATIVE EQUIPMENT

  • Updated exterior and interior styling for Lexus’ original hybrid luxury compact hatchback

  • Revised, more modern frontal design and new alloy wheel designs

  • New interior colour options and larger Lexus Navigation System display

  • Specific design upgrades for the CT 200h

  • Range now available with Lexus Safety System + active safety and driver assistance features

INTRODUCTION

When the Lexus the CT 200h made its debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, it was the first compact hybrid hatchback to be launched in the luxury automobile segment. It has gone on to become one of the brand’s best-selling hybrids: Lexus has sold more than 300,000 CT 200h globally since launch in 2011, including about 75,000 in Europe, one the largest markets for the model.

With this latest update, Lexus looks to build on the CT 200h’s strengths and its well-earned reputation for efficiency and reliability, introducing a refreshed exterior that extends its driver-appeal – without compromising its user-friendliness and fuel economy.

Chika Kako, Chief Engineer of the CT 200h, summed up the impact of the changes: “The CT 200h has been refreshed and revitalised by enhancing its progressiveness. Its updated design is more emotional and sporty, making it the ideal premium hybrid compact car for younger customers who enjoy spirited driving, but care about the environment.”

Exterior design: a more dramatic presence

Designers have crafted a stronger look for the CT 200h with a number of new exterior details, including a cleaner, more prominent arrangement of the signature Lexus spindle grille and front bumper and repositioning of the arrowhead daytime running lights above new single-projector LED headlamp units. Changes have also been to the rear of the vehicle with a new garnish and treatment of the lower rear bumper section, and new 15 and 17-inch wheel designs have been introduced.

Interior updates

The cabin continues to express Lexus quality and craftsmanship its use of fine trim and upholstery materials, rich surface textures and a “form-follows-function” styling philosophy. According to the multimedia system selected, the central display screen has been enlarged – up to 10.3 inches for the Lexus Premium Navigation – for clearer presentation and greater ease of use. The range of interior colourways has also been increased.

CT 200h F SPORT

The CT 200h F SPORT benefits from specific changes that reinforce its status as the sports-focused model in the range. These include an exclusive new mesh pattern for the spindle grille with a metallic black finish, bold new exterior colours, a two-tone paint finish option and new interior seat upholstery and trim choices.

Lexus Safety System +

Another welcome addition to the updated Lexus CT 200h is the availability of the Lexus Safety System + that offers enhanced safety with advanced technologies such as a Pre-Collision System (PCS), Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist Alert (LKA) with Sway Warning, Automatic High Beam (AHB) headlights, and Road Sign Assist (RSA). For full details, please refer to the separate Lexus Safety System + chapter.

Design and on-board technologies

SOPHISTICATED EXTERIOR DESIGN

The CT 200h’s exterior styling is dynamic and sophisticated, aimed at a younger customer demographic.

An evolution of Lexus’ signature spindle grille has its centre pushed forwards to create a powerful, three-dimensional form, while contributing to the highly aerodynamic shape of the bonnet, lower bumper and front fenders.

For 2018, the grille’s visual impact has been increased by introducing a new mesh pattern and redesigning the front bumper, dispensing with the integrated horizontal bar that ran beneath the central Lexus emblem. The horizontal bars within the grille have also been removed to create a more coherent and eye-catching look.

The headlamps feature projector LEDs with a smoked metallic finish. The daytime running lights keep their “arrowhead” shape, but have been repositioned above the headlights. The fog lights, located at the further edges of the front bumper, have gained a new metallic grey finish to their bezels and distinctive, sharp-edged, triangular frames.

The choice of wheel designs has been refreshed, contributing to the car’s attractive profile view. They range in size from 15 to 17-inch diameter and include dark metallic 17-inch rims for the F SPORT model and a new 10-spoke 16-inch wheel with a contrasting black and machined finish.

There are changes at the rear, too, with new Lexus L-shaped taillights that create a wider, sportier look. The lights are now all-LED units, with the turn indicators moved to the lower edge of the unit, strengthening the overall L-motif. The upper and lower lines of the light-emitting section of the taillights thicken as they curve outwards, accentuating the width of the units and giving the rear of the car the sense of a strong, stable presence.

A new garnish has been added to the back door, enveloping the Lexus emblem between the rear glass and the taillights. The lower part of the rear bumper has been reshaped and given a new metallic silver and black finish, and the rear reflector bezels have a metallic grey finish to match the front fog lights.

REFINED INTERIOR AND EQUIPMENT

The CT 200h’s cabin is defined by its comfort, high equipment specifications levels and use of fine quality materials with excellent visual and tactile quality. The latest changes maintain its status one of the best interiors in its class.

While the cabin is spacious and airy, the driver’s environment is a snug, highly focused cockpit, with a low-set seat, wide-grip steering wheel, high-visibility Optitron dials, optimally positioned pedals and ergonomically arrayed controls with advanced human-machine interface technologies. The shape, form and tactile quality of each interior component has been carefully considered, an attention to detail that’s evident in the brushed metal finish of the door handle bezel and the Drive Mode Select switch and the quality of the shift lever.

The principal change for 2018 is the adoption of a much larger display screen for the Lexus Navigation systems, increased in size from seven to 10.3 inches, making it easier for the driver to see and assimilate information and data.

The driver’s instrument binnacle features Optitron meters and, where Lexus Premium Navigation is specified, a 4.2-inch colour TFT multi-information screen. The information menu can be controlled using switches on the steering wheel, or by the using central multimedia display.

Connectivity and entertainment features include twin port, multi-USB compatibility; a USB-stored photo display function; a MirrorLink function (LDA); album cover art display; and a cache radio function which records 20 minutes of a programme for replay if missed.

In a perfect example of Lexus Omotenashi hospitality, the CT 200h has a welcome lighting arrangement which illuminates selected exterior and interior lights for 15 seconds when the vehicle is unlocked. There is also a Follow Me Home system which activates the headlamps and selected other lighting for between 30 and 120 seconds. Interior lights are automatically extinguished 20 minutes after the ignition is switched off.

MULTIMEDIA AND NAVIGATION SYSTEMS

The full colour display for the Lexus Premium Navigation and Lexus Navigation systems in the 2018 CT 200h has been increased in size from seven to 10.3 inches, for greater ease of use, including a split-screen function that allows different information and functions to be presented simultaneously with the navigation map.

Lexus Premium Navigation is provided together with a bespoke 13-speaker Mark Levinson Surround Audio in highest-grade versions of the CT 200h. It offers sophisticated features for improved journey planning and on-board connectivity, including access to connected services (via a compatible smartphone) and multi-lingual voice recognition.

Both this and the Lexus Navigation system (combined with a six-speaker audio package) are controlled using Lexus’ Remote Touch Interface. This is designed for easy, intuitive operation, working in a similar way to a computer mouse with push-entry control. It is linked to a cursor on the display that can be moved quickly and easily to access the audio, navigation, climate control, phone and vehicle set-up systems.

The Lexus Display Audio continues to use a seven-inch colour display, operated using a rotary dial control.

LEXUS HYBRID DRIVE

The CT 200h introduced Lexus’ second generation petrol-electric self-charging hybrid technology to the premium compact segment. It benefits from an Energy Management System which ensures quiet running, seamless acceleration and the kind of performance customers expect from a premium segment hatchback.

Advances have been made in emissions and fuel economy through the successful application of engine technologies, including the adoption of the Atkinson cycle for the petrol engine, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and exhaust heat recovery (EHR).

The engine’s environmental performance is further supported by other energy-saving and eco-focused measures. These include an energy-saving air conditioning system, extensive use of LED lighting and even a lightweight and energy-efficient audio system. Furthermore, a range of bio-materials are used in place of oil-based plastics in different areas of the vehicle.

The system combines a 99 DIN hp/73kW, 1,798cc Atkinson Cycle petrol engine with a powerful, 82 DIN hp/60kW electric motor. Total output is 136 DIN hp/100kW, enabling smooth, seamless acceleration from nought to 100km/h in 10.3 seconds and a maximum speed of 180km/h. Conversely, the CT 200h achieves remarkably low fuel consumption, with combined cycle figures from just 3.6l/100km and class-leading CO2 emissions from 82g/km, supporting excellent cost-of-ownership.

Lexus Hybrid Drive further helps protect air quality by producing significantly lower NOx and particulate emissions that an equivalent diesel-powered vehicle. Moreover, when operating in all-electric EV mode, it generates no harmful tailpipe emissions and uses no petrol.

Driving Dynamics

Drive Mode Select

As well as the full hybrid powertrain’s Normal drive mode, three on-demand drive modes – EV, ECO and SPORT – can be selected, adapting the vehicle’s performance to suit the driver’s mood or the road conditions. According to the mode chosen, priority is given to driving efficiency, fuel economy and emissions, or performance and dynamic handling.

EV, ECO and Normal modes place the emphasis on a relaxing drive From start-up and at speeds below 45km/h, the CT 200h will automatically operate in EV mode for short distances when conditions permit, running solely on its electric motor, with zero tailpipe emissions and minimal noise.

In ECO mode, throttle response to aggressive use of the accelerator is reduced and control of the air conditioning is adjusted to achieve better fuel economy. SPORT mode is tuned to deliver more power from the electric motor, creating a more dynamic driving mood to make the most of the CT 200h’s performance and agility. SPORT mode also brings less intrusive operation of the Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control.

The panel illumination, mode select switch and a central spotlight in the instrument cluster automatically change from blue to red when Sport is selected, and the Hybrid System Indicator changes function to become a tachometer.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The 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, a low centre of gravity and minimal yaw inertia moment through the use of lightweight aluminium bonnet, tailgate and bumper reinforcements.

The front MacPherson strut suspension system combines with fully-independent double wishbone rear suspension to offer high levels of ride comfort and handling.

The CT 200h was the first Lexus to adopt a lateral performance damper system, designed to absorb and minimise body vibrations while promoting a linear steering feel and ride comfort.

Superior body rigidity is supported by extensive spot-welding in strategic locations and the use of structural adhesives in the lower bodyshell. This rigidity allowed for the suspension to be retuned, with adjustments to springs rates and thicker rear stabiliser bar, securing a more comfortable ride without sacrificing handling agility.

The electric power steering has also been optimised in conjunction with the increased bodyshell stiffness, together with high-rigidity steering column mount to improve steering feel and responsiveness.

Lexus CT 200h F SPORT

The F SPORT model continues to stand apart in the CT 200h range with dedicated styling elements that give it much greater road presence and driver appeal.

These qualities have been rendered even stronger by a series of changes introduced for the new 2018 model.

On the outside, these are led by a new, exclusive mesh pattern for the spindle grille, with a black metallic finish. The same mesh pattern is applied to the fog lamp inserts and surrounds. The black theme is also witnessed in the new plating on the upper and lower front grille moulding and the central lower trim garnish at the rear of the vehicle.

The LED headlights have changed to single-projector for both high and low beam illumination.

There are strong new colour choices for the F SPORT models as well, with the addition of Lava Orange CS (Crystal Sunshine) and Heat Blue CL (Contrast Layering). Customers can also choose the option of new two-tone exterior paint finishes, combining coloured body work with a contrasting black roof.

There are also new upholstery, finishes and colour choices for the F SPORT cabin, including two-tone leather and exclusive Naguri trim detailing, representing fine-quality Lexus Takumi craftsmanship.

The F SPORT interior is further distinguished by aluminium pedals and scuff plates, a perforated leather steering wheel and dimpled leather shift lever, and F SPORT badging.

Styling apart, the CT 200h F SPORT also benefits from specific coil spring settings and optimised front/rear roll rigidity distribution to provide sportier driving dynamics.

LEXUS SAFETY SYSTEM +

The benefits of Lexus’ advanced safety technologies have been extended to the refreshed CT 200h.

This comprehensive upgrade of the cars’ safety provisions means that almost all new Lexus models sold in Europe now benefit from Lexus Safety System +. This is true to Lexus’ “democratisation” strategy to make these safety technologies available to a greater number of customers, at an affordable price. It also reflects the brand’s commitment to improving road safety for all – driver, vehicle occupants, pedestrians and other road users alike – with ultimate aim of eliminating traffic accidents.

The Lexus Safety System + includes features which monitor the car’s surroundings and the driver’s responses, recognising certain collision risks and providing support to help prevent a collision happening, or lessening the consequences should an impact be unavoidable.

Pre-Collision System

Lexus’ Pre-Collision system (PCS) can help the driver avoid a collision, or lessen the consequences of an impact, even at high speed.

PCS uses a millimetre-wave radar and camera mounted on the front of the car to scan the road ahead to detect obstacles or hazards. It functions both when driving straight ahead and when cornering. It also computes data collected from sensors around the car monitoring factors such as vehicle speed, steering angle and yaw rate inputs. This information helps the PCS determine the risk of a rear-end collision with a vehicle ahead.

If it calculates a high risk of an impact, it will trigger a warning buzzer and light up a “BRAKE” command in the multi-information display to alert the driver to take action. The moment the brake pedal is pressed, the system initiates a Pre-Collision Brake to provide optimum braking force. This can achieve deceleration of up to 40km/h, slowing the vehicle to reduce the severity of any impact, or potentially bringing the car to a stop before an impact occurs.

If the driver fails to respond to the alerts and does not apply the brakes, the Pre-Collision Brake will automatically deploy to reduce the vehicle’s speed.

PCS also provides a pedestrian protection function. If a pedestrian is detected in the vehicle’s path, automatic braking will be activated. This operates when the Lexus is travelling at between 10 and 80km/h.

Adaptive Cruise Control

The PCS’ radar is also used to provide Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which helps the driver maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front. On the new CT it will operate at speeds above 40km/h.

Once the way ahead is clear, the ACC will automatically and smoothly accelerate the vehicle back to its pre-selected cruising speed. If the car has been brought to a halt, the driver simply has to press the accelerator briefly for the system to be reactivated.

The ACC can operate in two modes: constant speed control, like a conventional cruise control system, or vehicle-to-vehicle distance control. With the latter mode, the driver can set long, medium or short vehicle-to-vehicle distances, according to preference or traffic conditions. The control settings selected are shown on the multi-information display.

Lane Keeping Assist

Lane Keeping Assist uses the PCS camera, mounted on the windscreen behind the rear-view mirror, to track the vehicle’s course between lane markings painted on the road surface. If it detects that car is moving out of its lane without the turn indicators being used, it will light up a warning on the multi-information display and sound a buzzer, prompting the driver to steer back to the correct path. In addition to the alert function, the system will also apply force to the steering in order to assist the driver in avoiding lane departure.

Lane Keeping Assist also provides a Sway Warning function. This monitors the car’s position in its lane on the highway and the driver’s steering inputs. If it detects degrees of vehicle swaying, caused by driver distraction or drowsiness, it will sound an alert and display a warning on the multi-information display, recommending the driver takes a break.

Automatic High Beam system

On the revised CT 200h, Automatic High Beam improves the driver’s night-time visibility by automatically switching the headlights to low beam when the lights of oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead are detected. This means the headlights high beam is used for the maximum amount of time, but with no risk of dazzling other motorists.

Road Sign Assist

Road Sign Assist recognises traffic signs using the windscreen-mounted camera, repeating the information on the multi-information display. This helps prevent the risk of the driver failing to notice important warnings or commands on major routes, including speed limits and lane closures. The system can detect signs that are designed according to the international standards of the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.