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2012 Lexus CT 200h Review

The Lexus CT 200h marks the introduction of the first, and only, full hybrid vehicle to the core of the premium compact segment.
2012 Lexus CT 200h photo2012 Lexus CT 200h photo
Lexus’ first, five-door full hybrid compact car, the CT 200h, is a new gateway to Lexus. It introduces the company’s unique synthesis of quality, sophistication and high technology to the premium compact segment for the first time, and will bring a younger group of customers to the brand.
2012 Lexus CT 200h photo2012 Lexus CT 200h photo
Specifically designed and developed with the European market in mind, the new CT 200h’s size, packaging, full hybrid technology and ultra-low emissions perfectly meet the requirements of a young, highly discerning, environmentally-conscientious customer base. Yet it offers no compromise on the refinement and driving pleasure which hallmark the progressive luxury inherent in every Lexus.
2012 Lexus CT 200h photo2012 Lexus CT 200h photo
A quiet revolution, the new CT 200h represents the synthesis of five key Lexus attributes which offer customers an unprecedented experience in premium compact motoring: Lexus Hybrid Drive and its tailored Energy Management System; a unique driving character; the dynamic yet elegant styling inherent in the latest realisation of Lexus’ L-finesse design philosophy; Lexus’ unrivalled manufacturing quality and attention to detail; and the renowned customer service which lies at the heart of the Lexus ownership experience.
2012 Lexus CT 200h photo2012 Lexus CT 200h photo
With a new platform incorporating numerous, exclusively developed body, chassis and Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain control system engineering applications, the CT 200h has been designed to offer drivers a segment-unique choice of Dynamic and Relaxing driving moods. Combining the lowest possible centre of gravity with a high-rigidity bodyshell, a unique lateral performance damper system and new double wishbone rear suspension, the new full hybrid driving experience is characterised by high speed stability, smooth, precise handling and the ride comfort expected of any Lexus.
The Dynamic driving experience is further reinforced with a highly focused driver’s environment. While offering a uniquely efficient, elegant and spacious cabin design, the CT 200h also features a low, ergonomically ideal driving position.
Marrying refined elegance to dynamic agility, the CT 200h is a new embodiment of the Lexus L-finesse design philosophy. With a powerful new Lexus frontal design, sweeping lines which mimic the natural flow of wind over and around the bodywork and a purposeful, wide track stance, the new full hybrid is the perfect expression of compact precision and power.
The compact segment became the largest in the European premium market in 2009, as a result of the increased demand for smaller, more fuel and CO2 efficient cars which, nonetheless, offer high degrees of refinement and driving pleasure. The compact segment is the strategic entry point into the premium market, with young customers representing the majority of premium compact purchasers.
The CT 200h can deliver highly competitive running and total ownership cost savings to private owners, company car drivers and fleet operators. Its class-leading CO2 emissions of just 87g/km offer the highest tax advantages in many European countries, while its Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain enables owners to enjoy hybrid-specific incentives in various markets. Class-leading fuel consumption of only 3.8l/km minimizes day-to-day running costs. The CT 200h’s Service, Maintenance and Repair costs can be up to 40% lower than those of key rivals, and it offers an impressive, major 5 market average residual value of over 42%.
2012 Lexus CT 200h photo2012 Lexus CT 200h photo
Hybrid Powertrain
Marking the introduction of Lexus’ second generation hybrid technology to premium compact segment customers for the first time, the new CT 200h reinforces the company’s clear leadership in the development of full hybrid drive systems.
Many rival manufacturers have yet to produce a first generation hybrid, yet Lexus already has over a decade of experience in full hybrid powertrains. With the CT 200h joining the GS 450h, LS 600h and − pioneering a comprehensively enhanced, second generation Lexus Hybrid Drive system − the recent RX 450h, the company has an unrivalled breadth of Lexus full hybrid models available.
The CT 200h’s Lexus Hybrid Drive features a unique Energy Management System which equips the new full hybrid with remarkably quiet operation, impressive, seamless acceleration and the performance customers expect from a premium compact segment vehicle.
Conversely, allied to new, cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and Exhaust Heat Recovery (EHR), the Atkinson Cycle petrol engine technologies, deliver superior fuel efficiency, consuming 3.8l/100km, class-leading CO2 emissions of just 87g/km, NOX emissions of only 3.3mg/km and zero particulate emissions.
Further enhancing the Lexus Hybrid Drive system’s outstanding environmental credentials, the CT 200h design incorporates numerous additional energy saving and environmentally-conscientious measures. These include an energy-saving air-conditioning system incorporating an electric compressor, a new humidity sensor with automatic air inlet mode control and pro-active seat heaters; the comprehensive use of power saving LED lighting; a lightweight, energy-efficient audio system amplifier and bamboo charcoal speakers; and the use of bio-sourced materials.
2012 Lexus CT 200h photo2012 Lexus CT 200h photo
Lexus Hybrid Drive Unique Energy Management System
Through the application of specific engineering solutions, and a unique Energy Management System incorporating bespoke software tuning, Lexus engineers have enhanced both the environmental and driving performance of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system, as well as its uniquely low NVH levels.
The ultra-intelligent Energy Management System is the key to the unrivalled efficiency of Lexus Hybrid Drive. It automatically determines when to employ petrol engine power, when to use the electric motor and when to use a combination of both. It can be shaped and refined to deliver specific characteristics, as well as ensuring that each hybrid drive system component is protected to maximise reliability, durability and lifespan.
The system’s optimized energy management ensures Lexus drivers enjoy a superb driving experience. With a total system output of 136 DIN hp/100kW, the CT 200h will deliver performance on a par with rivals positioned at the very heart of the premium compact segment. Conversely, offering significant cost of ownership benefits in many European countries, the new Lexus full hybrid delivers class-leading CO2 emissions of only 87g/km, generates significantly less NOX than an equivalent diesel engined vehicle, and zero particulate emissions.
Engine control and throttle responses have been tuned to deliver the engaging driving experience appropriate to the first Lexus in the European premium compact segment, while the minimal Noise, Vibration and Harshness levels generated by the CT 200h’s full hybrid powertrain reinforce the remarkable quietness inherent in the DNA of every Lexus model.
2012 Lexus CT 200h photo2012 Lexus CT 200h photo
Lexus Hybrid Drive System Architecture
The new CT 200h is a full hybrid, offering all the benefits of series/parallel powertrain architecture. Capable of operating in petrol and electric modes alone, as well as a combination of both, its Lexus Hybrid Drive system delivers the energy-saving benefits of a series hybrid combined with the performance benefits of a parallel hybrid.
Lexus Hybrid Drive equips the CT 200h with impressive, seamless acceleration and remarkably quiet operation, yet returns class-leading fuel efficiency and the lowest possible emissions.
The CT 200h’s second generation full hybrid system features a 1.8 litre VVT-i petrol engine, a powerful electric motor, a generator, a high performance NI-MH battery, a power control unit, and a power split device which employs a planetary gear set to combine and re-allocate power from the engine, electric motor and generator according to operational requirements.
Key to the successful installation of Lexus Hybrid Drive within the new Lexus’ front-engined platform, the electric motor, generator and power split device are all housed in one lightweight, highly compact transmission casing directly comparable in size to that of a conventional gearbox. Drive to the front wheels is provided by the full hybrid system’s seamless, Shift-by-Wire, electric continuously variable transmission.
The electric motor works in tandem with the petrol engine to boost acceleration and power the driven wheels alone when the CT 200h is operating in EV mode.
During deceleration and under braking, the electric motor acts as high-output generator to effect regenerative braking, optimising energy management in the Lexus Hybrid Drive system by recovering kinetic energy (normally wasted as heat under braking and deceleration) as electrical energy for storage in the high performance battery.
Moreover, when operating in a switchable EV mode, the new Lexus full hybrid generates zero CO2, NOX and particulate emissions, driving for up to about two kilometres at speeds of up to 45km/h.
2012 Lexus CT 200h photo2012 Lexus CT 200h photo
In combination, the Lexus Hybrid Drive system’s petrol engine and electric motor generate a total system power output of 136 DIN hp/100kW.
Via an electrically controlled, continuously variable transmission, the CT 200h will accelerate seamlessly from 0-100km/h in 10.3 seconds, and reach a maximum speed of 180km/h. Conversely, the CT 200h boasts remarkably low fuel consumption − a combined cycle figure of only 3.8l/100km, classleading CO2 emissions of just 87g/km, NOX emissions of only 3.3mg/km and zero particulate emissions.
1.8 Litre Atkinson Cycle Engine
The lightweight, highly compact, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC, 1,798cc Atkinson Cycle petrol engine generates 99 DIN hp/73kW at 5,200rpm and a maximum 142Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. Combined with a new cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system and a third generation Exhaust Heat Recovery (EHR) system, the adoption of the Atkinson Cycle offers significant gains in fuel efficiency and the reduction of emissions.
In conventional four-cycle petrol engines, fuel enrichment is sometimes necessary to cool the exhaust gases, preventing degradation or destruction of the catalytic converters. In an Atkinson Cycle engine, compression and expansion are not symmetrical, and the valves close late, delaying compression. This creates a high expansion ratio for less compression, reducing intake and exhaust energy losses and converting combustion energy to engine power more effectively. As a result, the exhaust temperature is lower than that of conventional engines.
2012 Lexus CT 200h photo2012 Lexus CT 200h photo
Lexus Hybrid Drive features a high-output, nickel-metal hydride 202V battery controlled by sophisticated energy-management software. Located under the rear luggage area, without compromising interior space, the battery is constantly recharged by the vehicle’s operation and requires no external charging.
This compact unit helps warm up the 1.8-litre engine more quickly. Fitted to the exhaust system between the engine and catalytic convertor, it allows the Start/Stop system to switch off the engine earlier and more often in cooler weather, leading to a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.
Especially during braking, but also when cruising, the 60kW motor acts as a high-output generator, recovering kinetic energy as electrical energy to charge the hybrid battery for use later when accelerating hard, or driving in Electric Vehicle mode.
Lexus Hybrid Drive‘s electric motor, generator and power split mechanism are all housed in the Hybrid Transmission. Here, the two forces of Full Hybrid − electrical and mechanical power − are combined using infinitely variable gear ratios to produce seamless performance.
The 60kW electric motor works together with the petrol engine to boost acceleration, and is the sole source of power in Electric Vehicle mode. Generating up to 207Nm of instantaneous and linear torque, the motor is far more powerful than that of mild hybrids.
Located in the engine compartment, the groundbreaking Power Control Unit is the brain of Lexus Hybrid Drive and controls the allocation of power resources to ensure optimum efficiency at all times.
An advanced petrol engine is used in the new CT 200h. Featuring Start/Stop capability, Exhaust Gas Recirculation and Variable Valve Timing intelligent technologies, this ultra smooth ‘Atkinson Cycle’ engine delivers exceptional fuel consumption and significantly reduced emissions.
Via a stainless steel exhaust manifold, EGR reintroduces precisely metered exhaust gas − cooled from 700°C to 130°C − into the intake system, further reducing engine operating temperatures, whilst also reducing engine pumping losses through a reduction in intake vacuum pressure.
Together, Atkinson Cycle and EGR technologies minimise situations when fuel enrichment is necessary to protect the catalytic converter from overheating damage, thereby improving fuel economy and lowering emissions.
In addition, via a valve built into the exhaust assembly, a smaller, lighter, more efficient, third generation EHR system redirects exhaust gases to heat up the engine coolant at start up. As well as allowing for a more rapid delivery of effective cabin heating, this system improves hybrid system efficiency and fuel economy by significantly reducing engine warm up times, allowing it to be shut off earlier for longer electric motor-only operation, particularly in cold weather.
Further improving cold weather fuel economy and cabin comfort, the engine heat management system combines a heat recovery system with an electric water pump. To reduce mechanical losses, an electric system replaces the water pump drive belt. The adoption of an electric water pump not only controls the coolant flow rate with greater precision, but also allows for the use of both air-conditioning and heating without the engine running, all of which contributes to greater fuel efficiency.
The 1.8 litre engine features numerous further enhancements to both improve performance and minimise fuel consumption and emissions. VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent) helps boost response levels across the entire rev range by varying the air-fuel intake and exhaust valve timing to suit the conditions at any given time. As well as improving torque at low and medium engine speeds, the system also reduces emissions and enhances fuel efficiency.
The engine also features roller rocker arm valve-train control, a resin intake manifold with an optimised port configuration, a highly efficient, taper squish combustion chamber design and 12-hole, atomising, long nozzle injectors. Thin, long reach spark plugs contribute to enhanced anti-knocking performance, and lower tension piston rings, reduced piston friction, a standing oil jet for piston cooling and a stainless steel pipe exhaust manifold further enhance engine efficiency. In combination, these advanced technologies further contribute to improved power output with reductions in both fuel consumption and emissions.
Engine NVH
Ultra-low Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) characteristics are one of the key attributes of Lexus Hybrid Drive, and particular attention has been paid to minimising engine noise and vibration. The rigidity of engine parts including the cylinder block and crank case has been optimised through in-depth CAE analysis. A highly rigid, ribbed aluminium cylinder head cover combines light weight with reduced noise and vibration.
The engine itself is mounted on a 4-point suspension system with mounting rubber characteristics optimised for the suppression of noise and vibration. And a two-step, dynamic damper is integrated within the engine mount to further minimise noise and vibration generated, as well as reducing engine start/stop shock.
Hybrid Transaxle
Housing the electric motor, the electric generator, the power split device and the motor speed reduction device in one lightweight, highly compact transmission casing directly comparable in size to that of a conventional gearbox, the transaxle lies at the heart of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system.
The full hybrid drive system’s seamless, electric continuously variable transmission is controlled by Shift-by-Wire technology, using an electronic shift lever system. The shift lever itself is designed to always return to its ‘home’ position when released, and the shift position can be checked on the shift position indicator integrated within the driver’s instrument binnacle.
Adjacent to the shift lever, a parking switch with integral indicator light is used to engage or release a parking lock mechanism within the transmission gearing. The parking lock is automatically deactivated when driving off, and automatically re-engages when the car is switched off.
Numerous measures have been adopted to reduce component noise and energy losses, further lowering hybrid system fuel consumption. A highly-advanced, internal gear machining process offers enhanced planetary ring gear precision, minimising transmission noise. The lubrication system has been designed to reduce oil agitation losses and transaxle component friction has been significantly reduced through the adoption of tapered bearings instead of ball bearings.
82 DIN hp/60kW Electric Motor
The high performance, permanent magnet, synchronous 82 DIN hp/60kW electric motor works in tandem with the petrol engine to boost acceleration and power the driven wheels alone when the CT 200h is operating in EV mode. During regenerative braking, the motor also acts as a high-output generator, recovering kinetic energy as electrical energy to charge the system battery.
Air cooled, the motor generates a maximum 207Nm of torque from 0rpm, available torque being boosted through a reduction gear device in the transaxle. Maximum drive voltage amplification is 650V DC. However, under ordinary driving conditions, unless maximum output is required, the motor is driven at an unamplified voltage whenever possible to enhance fuel efficiency.
As with the electric motor, the generator is also of the AC synchronous type. The generator performs numerous functions within the Lexus Hybrid Drive system.
Because the system has no starter motor, the generator is used to start the petrol engine. Under normal driving conditions, engine output is divided according to system requirements to both drive the wheels and power the generator which, via the PCU, drives the electric motors and simultaneously charges the high-voltage battery. Moreover, in order to optimise engine speed control for maximum full hybrid system fuel efficiency, engine speed is also controlled by the generator.
When itsoperationisnot requiredbythe hybrid drivesystem,the generator stops the engine. However, if the CT 200h runs under electric motor power alone for sufficient distance to necessitate battery charging, the generator will start the engine, which itself provides the power for the generator to charge the battery.
High Output Battery
Using proven and reliable nickel-metalhydride technology, the Lexus Hybrid Drive system’s 202V, 37 DIN hp/27kW battery allows the new CT 200h to operate in EV mode, driving under electric motor power alone. Located beneath the rear loadspace floor, the fan-cooled battery pack size has been minimised to reduced impact on cabin accommodation.
Power Control Unit
Similar in size to a 14 volt battery, the Lexus Hybrid Drive system’s power control unit (PCU) consists of:
A voltage boost converter, which boosts electric motor, generator and battery voltage to increase hybrid system power output;
a highly compact inverter for the motor/generator, which converts the DC power from the battery into 650 volt AC power for driving the electric motor and, occasionally, the generator;
and a DC/DC converter, which reduces the high voltage of the 202V system battery pack to 14V, supplying power to the accessory systems and charging the auxiliary battery.
Lexus Hybrid Drive in Operation
Over the course of any journey, the Energy Management System allows Lexus Hybrid Drive to operate in several different modes to maximise the CT 200h’s overall efficiency: At rest, the engine stops automatically to conserve fuel. Under operating conditions of low engine efficiency such as start up and low to mid-range speeds, the vehicle runs on the electric motor alone, thus eradicating CO2, NOX and particulate emissions.
Under normal driving conditions, power allocation is constantly adjusted between engine and electric motor to combine optimum performance with maximum fuel efficiency. Via an Electronically Controlled Braking-Regeneration (ECB-R) system, the electric motor acts as high-output generator during deceleration and under braking to effect regenerative braking, optimising energy management in the Lexus Hybrid Drive system by recovering kinetic energy (normally wasted as heat under braking and deceleration) as electrical energy for storage in the high performance battery.
At all speeds, the Lexus Hybrid Drive system monitors itself for optimum performance and fuel efficiency with minimum emissions, either running the electric motors in isolation, the engine in isolation, or a combination of both. Furthermore, battery power level is constantly managed via the engine driven generator to obviate any requirement to recharge the system from an external source.
Fully described in the Driving Experience chapter, three ‘on-demand’ drive modes supplement the NORMAL drive mode, increasing the capabilities of the CT 200h’s full hybrid powertrain; An EV mode allows for ultra-quiet running on electric motor power alone, resulting in zero fuel consumption and emissions; an ECO mode maximises hybrid system efficiency and fuel economy; and a SPORT mode boosts system performance.
Energy Saving and Environment Performance
Air Conditioning Performance
Allowing for independent control of left and right hand sides of the cabin, the new CT 200h is equipped with a compact, lightweight air conditioning unit incorporating a powerful, electric, variable capacity compressor. The use of a hybrid battery-powered electric compressor reduces the load on the engine, improving fuel economy, whilst the surplus power of the unit allows it run below full capacity, with greater efficiency and with less noise.
The integrated-inverter electric compressor contains a centrifugal oil separator that removes oil from the refrigerant, reducing the amount of oil escaping from the compressor. This allows for a more efficient refrigerant cycle, optimising the air conditioning’s cooling performance.
The use of a lightweight, MF (Multi Flow)-IV sub cool condenser reduces refrigerant volume to further improve system efficiency. And the characteristics of the brushless blower motor have been refined to suppress noise whilst delivering a large volume of cool air.
Air Inlet Mode Control with Humidity Sensor
Because of the need to heat the cabin and de-fog the windscreen, vehicles can suffer a drop in fuel economy during winter months. To counter this, Lexus engineers have combined a third generation exhaust heat recirculation system with new air inlet mode control technology incorporating a humidity sensor.
The exhaust heat recirculation system helps the engine coolant reach normal operating temperature more rapidly by circulating it around a section of exhaust pipe. This not only improves fuel efficiency by reducing the time needed for the engine to warm up, allowing the Lexus Hybrid Drive system to shut of the engine sooner, but also enables the 495watt PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) heater to provide warm cabin air more quickly in winter.
In winter conditions, the need to introduce dry, cold air to prevent windscreen fogging results in an interior temperature drop, the need for the engine to run to reintroduce heat to the cabin and, hence, a reduction in fuel economy. To prevent this, the CT 200h is equipped with a windscreen-mounted humidity sensor which monitors humidity, cabin and glass temperature.
Using this information, the air conditioning system automatically controls the air inlet mode, increasing the volume of recirculated air within the cabin to prevent warm air from escaping and reducing the engine run time needed to heat the interior. The more the windscreen fogs up, the greater the volume of fresh air the system introduces to replace recirculated air, thereby combining satisfactory defogging performance with optimum fuel efficiency.
Pro-active Seat Heaters
The CT 200h’s front seat heaters have been designed to operate proactively with the air conditioning system, reducing the workload of the air conditioning heater unit and further enhancing fuel efficiency.
On start up in cold weather, when the driver switches on the air conditioning to heat the cabin, the seat heaters activate automatically to warm occupant’s bodies directly. This allows the air conditioning heater unit to operate at a lower temperature, retaining heat within the engine’s core and reducing the amount of time needed for it to run in order to warm the cabin.
This automatic seat heater control is overridden when, via seat belt fastening, passengers are detected in the rear seats, allowing ample heating performance for all vehicle occupants.
LED Lighting
Lexus was the first automotive company to introduce LED headlamps, with the LS 600h in 2007. Consuming 45% less power than conventional, halogen units, they offer a significant improvement in fuel economy, perfectly complimenting the energy saving efficiency of Lexus Hybrid Drive.
With 46 LEDs to front, eight used for the door mirror-mounted turn indicators and 35 to the rear, the CT 200h is equipped with no less than 89 external LEDs –the largest number yet fitted to a Lexus model.
Lexus Audio System Amplifier
A new, energy efficient, Digital Signal Processing-integrated (DSP), 8-channel, full range class D amplifier makes its first appearance in the CT 200h. The new DSP unit consumes 50% less power than a conventional, analogue-powered amplifier and, with its weight reduced from 1,300g to 960g, is 26% lighter.
Bio-sourced Materials and Bamboo Charcoal Speakers
Improving its environmental performance, several of the CT 200h’s larger components including the loadspace deck sides, deck board and deck board trim have been fabricated from a bioplastic material containing 30% plant-based polyethylene terephthalate. The new full hybrid also benefits from an easy-to-dismantle construction, and recycle marks have been placed on the front, rear and tailgate trim to facilitate optimum recycling.
A Lexus and industry first, both Premium Sound systems are equipped with unique, bamboo charcoal-based resin diaphragm speakers. Constructed using a complex compound combining bamboo charcoal, bamboo fibre and resin, the diaphragms are injection-moulded to a thickness of only 0.2-0.3mm, and are some 10-15% lighter than a conventional speaker diaphragm.
The new CT 200h has been specifically developed to combine a rewarding driving experience with the ride comfort expected of any Lexus.
The CT 200h benefits from a new platform incorporating numerous, exclusively developed body, chassis and Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain control system engineering applications designed to offer customers a choice of two distinct driving moods − Dynamic, or Relaxing − in conjunction with the full hybrid’s EV, ECO, NORMAL and SPORT, ‘on-demand’ drive modes.
Committed to enhancing the driving experience in both Dynamic and Relaxing moods, Lexus engineers have focused on every aspect of the CT 200h’s bodyshell construction, achieving the lowest possible centre of gravity, the optimisation of the body rigidity, and the reduction of NVH levels.
Introduced for the first time on a Lexus, a unique lateral performance damper system has been designed to absorb and minimise body vibrations to offer a more linear steering feel and further enhanced ride comfort.
CT 200h features a bespoke suspension design which combines an L-arm type MacPherson strut front system with a new, fully independent double wishbone and trailing arm architecture to the rear.
High Body Rigidity
Particular attention has been paid to promoting superior vehicle stability through the structural rigidity of the bodyshell. The CT 200h’s torsional stiffness has been enhanced throughout by the optimisation of weld points.
Underbody rigidity has been maximised through an increase in the density of spot welds connecting the rear floor cross member to the wheel housings, the application of front and rear suspension member
The steering wheel mounts, steering gearbox mount, steering column assembly and suspension members have all been extensively reinforced in the interests of maximum rigidity. The front suspension towers are connected by a straight front cowl reinforcement and a network of bracing connects the front suspension towers, front cowl and front pillars. The front engine mounts feature unique lateral stabilisers, and vibration in the exhaust system main muffler has been minimised.
Torsional rigidity has also been enhanced in the upper body through the use of a fully closed cross-section around the entire circumference of the back door opening, reinforcement on the backside of the rear side member and the application of an inner gusset and outer reinforcement to the rear wheel housings.
Lateral Performance Damper System
Because any high rigidity body has a tendency to transmit vibrations, the CT 200h also features a premium compact segment-unique, front and rear lateral performance damping system designed to absorb and minimise undesirable body vibrations, offer a more linear steering feel and further contribute to ride comfort.
In lieu of conventional fixed bracing, this Lexus-first system features a front performance damper connecting the left and right front suspension towers, and a rear damper connecting the left and right sides of the rear structural frame.
With a construction similar to that of a typical monotube suspension damper, the front and rear performance damper assemblies differ according to the variations in body rigidity, noise and vibration of their surroundings, optimising their ability to absorb body torsion, flexure and fine vibrations.
Their installation has reduced vehicle floor vibrations across a wide frequency range, reduced body deformation in left and right front suspension tower displacement, and even lowered audio system white noise levels.
Though difficult to analyse even using Computer Aided Design, micron-sized, minuscule vibrations manifest themselves as a slight discomfort when turning the wheel and minute deviations in vehicle behaviour during straight line acceleration. Their elimination brings a new dimension of steering response and ride comfort to the premium compact segment.
Lightweight Body Design with Low Centre of Gravity
Enhancing the new Lexus full hybrid’s dynamic abilities, numerous measures have been adopted to ensure the CT 200h has the lowest possible centre of gravity and moment of inertia. The bodyshell features a long, 2,600mm wheelbase with short front and rear overhangs, in which occupants sit as close to the centre as possible to reduce the moment of inertia.
In order to minimise the yaw inertia moment and improve the CT 200h’s agility, bodywork components most distant from the vehicle’s centre of gravity have been designed to be as light as possible. As a result, the bonnet, tailgate and bumper reinforcements have been fabricated in aluminium.
Overall vehicle height, ride height and the driver’s hip point have been set as low as possible. And the hybrid battery has been located under the loadspace floor yet within the wheelbase, optimising weight distribution and balance. Further lowering the centre of gravity whilst also maximising fuel efficiency by minimising weight, the body itself incorporates not only aluminium, but also a high percentage of lightweight, high tensile steel.
Low, Highly Focused Driving Position
Key to the new premium compact full hybrid’s driving experience is its highly focused driver’s environment. It features an optimised seating position which combines a low hip point height with enhanced lateral and lumbar support.
Support wires have been built into the seat side bolsters to improve lateral holding performance, and lumbar support may be power adjusted through a 30mm range. The front edge of the base cushion has been shaped to provide a large contact area, reducing fatigue on long drives, and the cover incorporates a support pleat to better coordinate the motion of the driver’s body with the vehicle.
The driver further benefits from a perfectly sized, 370mm diameter, wide-grip wheel with a lowered, 21 degree steering angle, accelerator and brake pedal angles optimised to suit the low hip point, and a driver-focused instrument binnacle housing three large, high-visibility dials.
Maximising forward visibility, the bonnet has also been lowered in conjunction with the hip point. In order to maintain the appropriate spacing between bonnet and engine componentry for optimum pedestrian impact performance, this, in turn, required the design of a completely new air intake system unique to the CT 200h.
Drive Mode Select Switch
Supplementing the NORMAL drive mode of new Lexus, three ‘ondemand’ drive modes (EV, ECO and SPORT) may be selected via the Drive Mode Select switch located on the centre console. Drive mode selection adapts the CT 200h to either a Dynamic or Relaxing driving mood, while further improving either performance or driving efficiency, fuel economy and emissions.
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 within the body, chassis and powertrain.
From start-up and at speeds of less than 45km/h the CT 200h can automatically operate in EV mode, driving under electric motor power alone. The driver may also select EV mode manually. This unique driving mode is not available to drivers of mild hybrid vehicles, requiring the full hybrid technology of Lexus Hybrid Drive.
With vehicle range dictated by battery charge, the EV drive mode allows for relaxing urban driving with minimal noise, and zero CO2, NOX and particulate emissions, for up to two kilometres. Because the petrol engine is switched off throughout its operation, the EV drive mode contributes to a significant reduction in the new Lexus’ overall fuel consumption.
In ECO mode, throttle response to aggressive accelerator pedal inputs is reduced and air-conditioning control optimized for improved fuel economy. Depending on driving conditions, the ECO mode can help customers adopt a relaxed driving style, and can achieve a perceptible reduction in fuel consumption.
Specifically tuned to deliver greater electric motor power, SPORT mode focuses on a Dynamic driving mood, maximising the new CT 200h’s performance and agility. The hybrid system PCU boosts supply voltage by 150V to a maximum 650V, increasing overall powertrain output. Engine revs are held higher, and throttle and Electric Power Steering (EPS) settings are modified to give a faster response to driver inputs.
In addition, SPORT mode provides less intrusive operation of the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRC) systems, extending new Lexus full hybrid’s dynamic abilities.
The highly distinct character of both the CT 200h’s Dynamic and Relaxing driving moods is further reinforced through changes to the driver’s instruments, synchronised to driving mode selection. Backlit in hybrid blue for the EV, ECO and normal drive modes, the instrument panel illumination, Drive Mode Select switch and a spotlight in the centre cluster automatically alter to red when the SPORT mode is selected. Simultaneously, the Hybrid System Indicator function alters to that of tachometer.
The CT 200h features a bespoke suspension design which combines an L-arm type MacPherson strut front system with a double wishbone and trailing arm architecture to the rear.
Numerous elements of the front MacPherson strut suspension system have been exclusively developed for the CT 200h, including the coil spring, shock absorber, bump stop, upper support, and upper and lower insulators, a lightweight steering knuckle, hub and bearing, and a new anti-roll bar for increased roll rigidity.
Unsprung weight has been minimised and shock absorber damping response enhanced through the use of aluminium steering knuckles and stabiliser links, and lightweight lower arms, hub bearings and shock absorbers.
The shock absorbers themselves feature low friction valves, seals and oil, further improving damping response. The adoption of lateral force control coil springs also reduces suspension friction, enhancing ride comfort. And the steering gearbox mounts are connected directly to the front suspension member, ensuring a linear steering feel and enhancing the CT 200h’s straight line stability.
The lightweight, large diameter, front anti-roll bar improves the controllability, braking stability and evasive manoeuvrability of the CT 200h. It features a ball joint link strut connection for excellent roll rigidity, and a fluorine resin coating between the bushings and the bar itself reduces friction and further enhances ride quality.
A new, fully independent double wishbone rear suspension incorporates a lightweight trailing arm, and positions the coil spring and shock absorber separately to minimise system intrusion into the loadspace floor. Suspension geometry including camber angle, toe angle and arm layout has been optimised to maximise ride comfort and stability.
Fabricated in stamped steel to combine light weight with high rigidity, the system features numerous exclusively developed components, including the coil spring, shock absorber, upper support, bump stop, hub and bearing, and anti-roll bar.
As with the front suspension, the shock absorbers incorporate low friction valves, seals and oil to improve damping response. Rebound springs have been adopted to optimise roll posture when cornering, and urethane bump stops combine excellent roll rigidity with superior ride comfort. Low resistance rear axle hub bearings are used to help improve fuel economy, and a resin aerodynamic cover has been fitted to the front of the lower arm to help direct underbody air flow, enhancing both high speed stability and fuel economy.
The rear anti-roll bar bushings feature resin spacers and optimised rubber characteristics for greater support and stiffness and, as with the front suspension, a fluorine resin coating between the bushings and the bar itself reduces friction and further enhances ride quality.
In combination, these front and rear suspension systems compliment the new CT 200h’s two distinct driving moods, combining the ride comfort essential to a Relaxing driving mood with the handling agility and stability appropriate to a Dynamic driving mood.
Electric Power Steering (EPS)
The CT 200h is equipped with Electric Power Steering (EPS), its energy saving and lightweight design characteristics making it ideally suited for use in conjunction with the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain. With a quick ratio of 14.6:1 and just 2.7 turns lock-to-lock, the CT 200h’s speed-sensitive EPS is also the most direct steering in the Lexus model range.
Powered by the 202 volt hybrid battery, EPS improves fuel economy by consuming power only when steering force assistance is needed. It is highly durable and requires no hydraulic fluid.
Cd 0.28
The EPS’ compact, high output motor and torque sensor are built into the steering column, optimising steering assistance for more precise control of the vehicle. Steering precision is further improved through the mounting of the gearbox directly to the suspension subframe for greater installation rigidity, whilst the high rigidity of both the steering column and support bracket promotes enhanced driver feedback and a more linear steering feel.
When SPORT drive mode is selected, the EPS system automatically governs the amount of steering assistance to offer more direct steering feedback and a more involving driving experience.
With the benefits of extensive Computer Aided Design and wind tunnel testing, particular attention has been paid to the aerodynamic efficiency of the CT 200h. A resultant, class-leading drag coefficient of just Cd 0.28 not only improves fuel efficiency, but also significantly enhances high speed stability and ride comfort.
Every aspect of the CT 200h’s upper bodywork has been painstakingly detailed for superb airflow management. The deep front bumper, sharply sculpted front air dam, optimised bumper corner angles and the door mirrors have been designed to smooth airflow over the front and down the sides of the vehicle, minimising wheel arch turbulence.
The flow of air away from the rear of the CT 200h is carefully controlled through tapered cabin sides, a deep roof spoiler, aerodynamic fins at the corners of the rear windows and the sharp, near-vertical junction of rear wing and bumper.
Equal attention has been paid to underbody airflow management, the minimisation of the vehicle’s coefficient of lift essential to both fuel efficiency and stability.
Numerous aerodynamic underbody elements include a front lower absorber, engine under cover and wheel arch spats, a rear engine undercover, centre floor under covers, rocker mouldings, tank side and rear floor under covers and rear wheel arch spats. In addition, diffuser fins have been added to the front under cover, and even the installation of the main exhaust muffler and the shape of the rear bumper cover have been optimised to create the smoothest possible underbody airflow.
Exterior Design
The CT 200h’s designers have conceived a unique combination of elegance and excitement. The new Lexus full hybrid marries refined charm and glamour to dynamic agility, creating a premium compact car that will attract a new, younger generation of customers to the brand.
The front of the CT 200h is the new embodiment of L-finesse, expressing the perfect balance of precision and power.
The grille is pushed forward of the headlamps for greater visual integration with the bumper mid-section below. It incorporates a deeper, more sculpted interpretation of the L-finesse signature arrowhead motif. The upper and lower grilles combine to form a unique ‘spindle’ shape, bringing both bold simplicity and elegant dynamism to the very apex of the vehicle.
The grille is flanked by headlamp clusters clearly positioned on a higher plane than the grille itself. This is a unique characteristic of Lexus models, focusing the eye at the very apex of the vehicle to give the design a resolute look and strengthen the impression of speed and agility.
To enforce this resolute expression, the headlamps themselves focus on piercing, single halogen or optional twin LED low beam lamps. Newly developed, integral, arrowhead-shaped daytime running lamps feature segment-first, advanced LED headlight technology, making the CT 200h instantly recognisable at first glance.
The deep front bumper and sharply sculpted front air dam flow into clean, muscular front wings which reinforce a purposeful, wide-tracked stance hinting at agility and excellent high speed stability.
The CT 200h’s sweeping lines mimic the natural flow of wind over and around the bodywork, creating a dynamic yet elegant design that combines beauty with aerodynamic efficiency. The resultant drag coefficient of only Cd 0.28 both maximises fuel efficiency and minimises wind noise to further enhance the exceptional quietness of the Lexus full hybrid’s cabin.
In profile, the steeply raked windscreen, long flowing roofline and unique, Lexus slingshot window graphic combine to create an elegant and highly distinctive silhouette. New, compact and aerodynamic door mirrors with an integral, LED side turn signal lamp feature a two-tone finish for a slimmer appearance. The long roof and sweeping character lines of the door form a tapered cabin shape which naturally curves in at the rear to follow the movement of air as it flows into the vehicle’s wake.
To the rear, a pronounced step in the tailgate section flows from the muscular rear wheel arch shoulders, emphasising the wraparound rear window design. Anchored by sweeping tail lamps incorporating a Lexusunique L-shaped motif first introduced in the LS, this step combines with a broad rear bumper design to reinforce the new full hybrid’s wide, firmly planted stance.
The flow of air away from the rear of the CT 200h is carefully controlled through the finely honed trailing edge of the deep roof spoiler, aerodynamic fins at the corners of the rear windows and the sharp, near-vertical junction of rear wing and bumper. Careful aerodynamic detailing of the lower bumper and finned rear undercover smoothes airflow from beneath the car, further improving both vehicle stability and fuel consumption.
The CT 200h is equipped with 15”, 16” or 17” alloy wheels and hybrid-specific blue badging. It is available in a choice of ten colours, of which two − Solar Yellow and Sienna Brown − are newly developed.
Interior Design, Ergonomics and Packaging
The visual impact of L-finesse is carried into the interior, and no car in its segment can match the CT 200h’s emphasis on quality and comfort. Once again, a powerful simplicity of form harmonises with the handcrafted quality feel of even the smallest details to create a uniquely efficient, elegant and spacious cabin design.
The dashboard is divided into two distinct zones: an upper, Display Zone, with an 8”, LCD Multi-display screen located at an ideal distance for at-aglance viewing, and a lower, Operation Zone, which allows access to the uniquely designed shift lever and system controls such as the IF award-winning Remote Touch.
This clear division of zones creates the CT 200h’s unique fusion of an airy, spacious cabin and a driver’s cockpit which places the emphasis on a snug, highly focused environment. All functional driving components are consolidated in the driver’s seat surroundings, combining outstanding ergonomics with advanced Human/Machine Interface technologies.
Fully described in the Driving Experience chapter, the driver benefits from a low, highly focused driving position with a perfectly-sized, wide grip steering wheel, optimum pedal placement and high-visibility instrument dials.
The extensive use of metallic finishes and dark, soft touch materials reinforces the premium quality of the environment. The shape and form of each interior component has been carefully designed to express the true form of the materials and provide the best possible tactile sensation, such as the brushed finish of the door handle bezel, the Drive Mode Select switch, the highly-tactile shift lever, seemingly carved from a single billet, and the generously bound leather steering wheel.
Even the operation of the front power windows has been designed to reinforce the luxurious, premium quality of the CT 200h interior: When fully closing from an open position the windows will automatically slow down for the last 110mm of travel to minimize the sound of closure. Similarly, when fully opening from the closed position, the windows will automatically slow down for the last 150mm of travel.
To reduce the build-up of heat within the interior, the windscreen features Ultraviolet (UV)-cut green tinted acoustic glass, whilst similarly tinted, UV-cut front door glazing incorporates a water-repellant coating. UV-cut green tinted glass may be specified throughout the cabin glazing, and UV-cut privacy glass is available for all rear cabin windows.
Within the CT 200h’s long, 2,600mmm wheelbase, both front and rear seat are placed close to the vehicle’s centre to reduce the moment of inertia and enhance manoeuvrability. While the front seats are spaced at a distance of 710mm, the rear seat spacing has been reduced to 620mm and the hip point raised by 25mm, affording rear occupants a feeling of spaciousness and excellent visibility.
Front seat occupants enjoy class-leading head clearance and shoulder room. The seats are available with 6-way manual or 8-way power adjustment, the latter incorporating a memory function, power lumbar support adjustment and seat heating as standard.
The flattening of the centre of the rear seats, the thinning of the front seatbacks and the flat floor of the CT 200h’s platform result in a cabin which offers rear seat passenger roominess comparable to any vehicle in this segment, with spacious leg and headroom.
With the compact hybrid battery located as low as possible beneath the loadspace floor and the adoption of a trailing arm double wishbone configuration to minimise suspension component intrusion into the luggage compartment, the CT 200h’s load carrying capacity has not been compromised. Comparing favourably with the segment average, the Lexus full hybrid offers a competitive, 375 litre luggage capacity. With the
60:40 split rear seats folded flat, this increases to a maximum of 985 litres.
High-Tech Features
Remote Touch
Integral to the Lexus Navigation System, the innovative Remote Touch multi-function control device is located in the Operation Zone directly behind the shift lever for maximum comfort and ease of operation.
Radically differing from remote devices offered by rival manufacturers, Remote Touch 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, fast and intuitive operation, with users able to manipulate the cursor quickly and easily across the 8”, full colour, LCD Multi-display screen to access the new premium compact full hybrid’s audio, navigation, climate, phone and vehicle set-up systems.
This state-of-the-art device incorporates numerous, highly sophisticated control systems to ensure an engaging, yet entirely relaxed, operating technique. For instance, to facilitate the easier selection of icons displayed on the screen, the system automatically ‘pulls’ the cursor to an icon passed in close proximity. This highly tactile feature makes the system extremely fast and easy to use, minimising driver distraction time. As an example of the depth of thought that went into this system, water drops in a Japanese garden inspired the on-screen icon ‘contact’ signal.
Lexus Navigation System
Accessed via the CT 200h’s Remote Touch system, the Lexus Navigation System benefits from a powerful, 40Gb HDD capacity, making it one of the fastest, most accurate systems on the market. It covers the whole of Europe, and includes the traffic information infrastructure of each country. The system features voice recognition, with four additional languages including Russian, and a menu that can be operated in 14 languages including Cyrillic characters.
Lexus Audio Systems with Bamboo Charcoal Speakers
Conceived under the tenet of ‘clearer quality through an emphasis on direct sound’, the CT 200h builds on the legendary standards already established by Lexus in the field of in-car high fidelity with a choice of three powerful audio systems.
Fitted as standard, the entry level Lexus Premium Sound System features a CD player, steering wheel mounted audio control switches and 6 speakers. DAB ready, the system also offers both USB and audio jack plug connectivity for the fully controlled use of portable music players such as iPods, and Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity with an audio/video streaming function.
Incorporating all of the above features, a 10 speaker Lexus Premium Sound System is also available, integrated with a 6-disc, in-dash CD changer and the Lexus Navigation System. The system features a high performance, Digital Signal Processing-integrated (DSP) low power consumption, 8-channel, full range class D amplifier, making its first appearance in a Lexus model.
The new DSP unit consumes 50% less power a conventional, analogue-powered amplifier, and is 26% lighter.
Sound distortion has been reduced, and the ten speakers are controlled by uniquely developed sound image control technology, which improves sound localisation for each occupant, providing a natural soundscape irrespective of passenger location. New loudness characteristics have also been incorporated within the system; volume tuning developed exclusively for the new full hybrid’s notably quiet cabin improving sound quality at low volumes.
A Lexus first, both Premium Sound systems are equipped with unique, bamboo charcoal-based resin diaphragm speakers. Constructed using a complex compound combining bamboo charcoal, bamboo fibre and resin, the diaphragms are injection-moulded to a thickness of only 0.2-0.3mm. 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 new 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 90mm metal cone mid-range and 16mm 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 200mm Mark Levinson® subwoofer is housed in a bespoke enclosure within the loadspace wall, producing extremely deep bass with ease.
Rear View Monitor
A back monitor is also available, automatically projecting a full colour, camera fed image of the view behind the vehicle onto the CT 200h’s navigation system display or the 3.3” display on the inner mirror whenever reverse gear is engaged. Integral guide monitor lines further assist with precise vehicle placement for curb clearance and parallel parking.
Electronically Controlled Braking-Regeneration System (ECB-R)
Upgraded by Lexus engineers to offer improved braking feel and performance, the CT 200h is equipped with a second generation Electronically Controlled Braking-Regeneration system (ECB-R) which coordinates the control of both hydraulic and regenerative braking. This cooperative control system achieves excellent fuel economy by proactively using braking force from the hybrid drive system’s electric motor to recover as much electrical energy as possible.
To the front, the new premium compact full hybrid is fitted with large, 255mm ventilated disc brakes featuring lightweight, aluminium callipers with a resin piston and high friction brake pads. The retract mechanism of the calliper piston seal has been optimised to reduce brake drag, enhancing fuel economy. 279mm solid discs to the rear feature aluminium callipers and a V-spring to reduce brake drag and further improve fuel economy.
The brake pedal itself is hollow, saving weight, and brake pedal ratio and efficiency have been optimised, reducing initial pedal effort and achieving a pedal stroke that enhances the driver’s ability to modulate braking force.
At speeds over 55km/h, if ECB-R determines that emergency braking is taking place, an Emergency Brake Signal system automatically blinks the CT 200h’s stop lights to alert vehicles behind and reduce the possibility of a rear-end collision.
Additional Active Safety Features
ECB-R incorporates the full range of active safety systems, including a latest generation Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Brake Assist, Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC).
Brake Assist monitors brake pedal depression speed to determine whether an emergency-braking manoeuvre is intended. If the driver applies insufficient braking force yet the system recognises the need for emergency braking, it will automatically increase the hydraulic pressure in the system to optimise braking efficiency.
TRC monitors and controls the amount of power that is applied to the road through the car’s wheels. If the system detects that one or more wheels is about to lose traction it instantly determines the best way to restore traction to that wheel, either by decreasing the power being sent to the wheel that is about to spin or, in more extreme cases, momentarily braking the wheel until it regains traction.
VSC is designed to prevent loss of car control when entering a corner too fast or in slippery conditions which might lead to a skid. Via sensors monitoring car body rotation, wheel speed and brake pressure, the system assesses vehicle stability and the proximity of either an understeer or oversteer slide. The system restores stability by applying smoothly modulated braking to the appropriate wheel individually.
Passive Safety
Body Structure
Reflecting stringent car-to-car impact compatibility standards unique to the Lexus marque, the CT 200h has been engineered with the express aim of achieving the highest safety performance in terms of full-frontal, offset, side and rear collisions. Beyond securing the safety of its occupants, the new premium compact hybrid has also been designed to offer the best possible pedestrian impact protection.
The high strength body has been designed to distribute collision loads through multiple energy-absorbing paths, limiting cabin deformation. In the case of frontal impact, high tensile sheet steel has been adopted for the front side members, and the inclusion of an under member allows for the distribution of impact load from the radiator support. The strength of the door belt line reinforcement has been optimised to allow the structure to distribute collision load effectively between the A pillars, door belt line and rockers.
The dash panel incorporates a cross member which distributes impact load from the front side member to the floor member and upper body.
And the inclusion of floor tunnel side member not only enhances floor tunnel strength, but also further distributes impact load from the front side member.
Side collision performance is enhanced through the use of high tensile steel reinforcement to the outer B pillar and hinge, inner and outer rocker, front door belt line and roof centre. Bulkheads placed at the ends of several floor cross members effectively transmit side impact load to the cross members, and a side impact support box has been positioned in the front floor tunnel between the front seats to further absorb side impact load.
The rear body structure has been designed to comply with revised US regulations (FMV SS 301/305) regarding 50mph high speed collision, with high strength rear floor side members incorporated to suppress body deformation under rear impact load.
Within the cabin construction, occupant protection is further improved through the introduction of energy absorbing padding under the dash panel to help reduce leg injuries, and within the front and rear door trims around the occupants’ waist and abdomens. Within the roof structure, energy absorbing materials have been built into the roof trim and each pillar, helping to reduce head injuries.
Pedestrian Impact Safety
The front of new CT 200h incorporates extensive measures to reduce pedestrian injury in the event of an impact. Within a bumper structure designed to minimise leg injury, impact absorbing materials have been installed within the front bumper and under the radiator support to help avoid a pedestrian’s legs from sliding under the vehicle.
The bonnet structure incorporates an impact absorbing cavity to maximise the impact stroke. In addition, the cowl and cowl louvers feature an easily crushable, energy-absorbing open cross-section structure to absorb impacts from above, helping to reduce head injury.
Airbags and Seatbelts
The new CT 200h is fitted with eight Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags, as standard: driver and front seat passenger front, knee and side airbags, and side curtain airbags. In the event of a collision, their deployment is optimised in accordance with force of impact, seat position and fastened/unfastened seatbelt status. The front passenger airbag may be deactivated, and a dashboard warning light indicates this condition. Though the seatbelt pretensioner remains active, a rear facing baby seat can therefore be safely fitted.
All front and rear seats feature three-point, ELR (Emergency Locking Retractor) seatbelts. The driver, front passenger and rear outer seatbelts are also equipped with a pre-tensioner and force limiter function, and both front seatbelts feature a tension reducer function for added comfort. The ELR is designed to lock up the seatbelt when excessive load is applied over a preset value. During a collision, the force limiter fractionally reduces seatbelt tension to lower occupant chest impact forces.
Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) Seats
The new Lexus CT 200h also features the second generation Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) seat concept. The revised system features a new seat back structure and headrest design. The new headrest is designed to sit as close as possible to the passenger’s head during normal use, whilst, in the event of a rear impact, the lower seat back pushes backwards, effectively closing the gap between occupant head and headrest, and significantly reducing the risk of whiplash through excessive head movement.
The new Lexus CT 200h represents outstanding value for money. It can deliver cost savings to private owners, company car drivers and fleet operators thanks to its unique combination of low emissions-linked taxation advantages, outstanding fuel efficiency, low service, maintenance and repair costs and strong residual values.
Highest Tax Benefits in Segment
Producing class-leading CO2 emissions of just 87g/km, the new CT 200h will always be in the lowest tax category wherever taxation is based on CO2. In addition, Lexus Hybrid Drive enables CT 200h owners to enjoy specific hybrid incentives in certain countries, such as France (up to 2,000 Euro) and Spain (up to 3,000 Euro depending on the region). Furthermore, the new Lexus full hybrid is the only premium model with automatic transmission which qualifies for congestion charge exemption in London.
As illustrated, the CT 200h offers customers significant tax advantages in the majority of the Western European markets. It brings tax benefits of between 1000 and 2000 Euros in five European countries, 2000 to 4000 Euros in three countries, and benefits of over 4000 Euros in a further five countries compared to key rivals.
As a result, private owners, company car drivers and fleet operators can all realise significant, on-going ownership cost savings.
The CT 200h rewards company car drivers through lower personal taxation (benefit-in-kind), and fleet operators by benefiting from write-down allowances.
For instance, a CT 200h fleet owner in the UK has a tax advantage over a close segment rival of around £3,900 over three years, whilst the company car driver saves around £1,400 over the same period.
The adoption of Lexus Hybrid Drive technology has resulted in very low NOX emissions that are already significantly below future Euro VI standards.
Low Fuel Consumption
Minimizing day-to-day running costs, the CT 200h also benefits from class-leading combined cycle fuel consumption of only 3.8l/km.
Lowest Service, Maintenance and Repair Costs in Class
Benefiting from lower parts prices and labour costs, the CT 200h’s Service, Maintenance and Repair costs can be up to 40% lower than those of key segment competitors. Its 15,000km / 12 months service interval maximises component lifetime efficiency, while Lexus Hybrid Drive has been specifically designed for low maintenance and outstanding durability.
Further reducing servicing and parts replacement costs, the CT 200h’s full hybrid powertrain does not require a conventional starter motor, alternator or clutch. The petrol engine is equipped with a maintenance-free timing chain, a low cost paper element oil filter and miniaturised spark plugs. Uniquely, it also has no drive belts, providing both excellent reliability and further cost savings.
The stainless steel exhaust system has a life expectancy of more than five years and, as well as providing better illumination, the CT 200h’s LED headlamps have a dramatically longer lifespan than conventional HID or halogen bulbs.
With a proven reliability record established over 60 billion kilometres of driving worldwide, the CT 200h’s battery is designed to last the entire life of the car. Rigorously assessed for performance and durability, it is covered by a five year / 100,000km warranty.
Because its Electronically Controlled Braking-Regeneration (ECB-R) system supplies the first 50% of all braking force (accounting for some 60% of everyday braking use), the CT 200h’s braking system demonstrates remarkable component longevity. Over 100,000 km of driving, the front brake pads usually need replacing only once, whilst rear pads and all brake discs may require no replacement at all.
Lexus Hybrid Drive is equally efficient in the minimisation of tyre wear. The even distribution of the CT 200h’s hybrid drive components lowers front tyre loads by spreading vehicle weight more uniformly over all four wheels, whilst its smooth, linear power delivery reduces tyre wear under acceleration. Moreover, a higher than average tyre pressure not only helps reduce rolling resistance for improved fuel efficiency, but also reduces tyre shoulder wear.
The CT 200h also benefits from low repair costs. Many components have been developed specifically to reduce impact repair costs, and the body structure itself has been designed to reduce repair costs when a minor collision occurs.
Strong residual Values
Depreciation has a significant impact on the whole life cost of a vehicle, making it a key consideration for both private owners and fleet operators. CT 200h residual values are expected to be in line with vehicles at the top of the premium compact segment.
Based on 36 months / 90,000km (60.000 miles for UK), figures published in September 2010 by Eurotax in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, and the CAP Monitor in the UK, award the new Lexus full hybrid a highly competitive average trade value of 42.2%, on a par with the Audi A3 2.0 TDI and above the BMW 118d.
CT 200h residual values will remain high for a number of reasons: It is a unique fleet offer with many segment-first features. It is a high quality Lexus, built in a factory which has won many international quality awards.
Furthermore the pricing policy at Lexus avoids excessive discounting. This, combined with intelligent volume planning with a balanced supply and demand strategy, will keep CT 200h residual values high.
The Lexus pan-European re-marketing program and business-tobusiness used car sales platform help drive a seamless ‘de-fleet’ process to stimulate market demand for Lexus used cars. And the strong involvement of Lexus retailers in re-marketing helps exploit unique vehicle features, such as full hybrid technology, in the second life cycle.
Combining the strengths of the renowned Toyota Production System (TPS) with the company’s own peerless build quality standards, Lexus continues to set the world benchmark for overall quality, reliability and customer service in the premium automotive segment.
The Kyushu Plant – Innovative Production Technology and the Lexus Master Craftsmen
The CT 200h is built alongside the RX 450h and HS 250h on Line 1 at Toyota Motor Kyushu (TMK) where, in 2008, the Kokura plant started operations as the world’s first factory dedicated to hybrid unit production.
The plant maintains the highest possible standards of manufacturing quality through the high-level fusion of innovative production technology and the skills of Lexus master craftsmen. It has recently received the J.D. Power and Associates Gold quality Award for 2010.
Throughout all processes on the CT 200h production line, TMK is committed to the reduction of inconsistencies. One of the most effective approaches is data-driven manufacturing. In each process, from stamping, painting and assembly through to inspection, highly precise data is measured, collated and managed. For example, all bolts and screws are tightened by electric wrenches, and all data for each wrenching application is recorded by VIN (body) number.
Countless such measurements for each vehicle are recorded in its production history. By monitoring measurement data in real time, inconsistencies and abnormalities can be detected instantly. Crosschecked against design parameters and stored on a database, this data is then used to hone assembly operations to even higher levels of precision.
However, though cutting-edge robots, digital devices and testing equipment now perform many of the tasks and inspections carried out during CT 200h assembly, there are still many areas of manufacture in which human skills far exceed those of even the most sophisticated automated systems.
So, with a senior engineer on station throughout vehicle assembly, the TMK production process integrates Lexus’ legendary manufacturing quality with an entirely humanised focus on subliminal quality; those aspects of a car which cannot be mechanically measured or quantified, yet contribute at a fundamental level to perceptions of the very highest overall quality.
For instance, though undetectable by machines, subtle imperfections such as virtually invisible scratches, dull patches in surface coating and gaps or misalignment in body panels are instantly detected by highly skilled master craftsman and finished meticulously, one vehicle at a time.
Dust-free stamping dies are essential to the creation of a flawless bodyshell. A dust particle need only measure some 20 microns − the size of a grain of pollen from a cedar tree − to leave scratches on body panels, and stringent controls are essential to keep dust away from the entire stamping line.
Twice a week, the dies are taken to a maintenance area within the same plant to be sanded and washed. To ensure that the fine dust generated by this process does not re-enter that stamping area, the maintenance area is surrounded by a dust-catching water curtain net nicknamed ‘Niagara’. Niagara is a three metre high green net with water flowing constantly down its surface, which catches over 90% of airborne particles, resulting in a dramatic improvement in the quality of the stamped panels.
A high degree of body rigidity underpins the CT 200h’s driving performance, ride comfort and quietness. This rigidity has been achieved through key developments in high-precision, advanced welding technologies.
Vehicle body shells are assembled by spot welding performed by robots moving in and out of the vehicle body, which is held in place by a number of jigs. The rigidity and precision of the body is determined by the number of spots the robots are able to reach, and weld. Interspersing slim robots between the standard units has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of weld points.
Careful analysis ensures that the most appropriate number of weld points is used for each area. This not only improves body rigidity, but also dramatically reduces inconsistencies in body shell.
To ensure the CT 200h’s outstanding paint surface quality is maintained throughout the finishing process, the application of both base and top coats combines the latest generation of robotised paint coating technology with the master craftsmanship of spraying by hand. Manual painting by highly skilled workers ensures absolute evenness of finish and consistency of coat.
The vehicle body and its doors are painted together, before following separate routes on the assembly lines. Bodyshell painting is not completed in batches, but individually. The only separation is for white cars, which have their own paint line.
Special equipment and procedures ensure there is no cross-contamination of paint colours. The body of the car is magnetized and the paint charged with static electricity, to ensure that the paint is attracted to the body. Airflow controls the dispersion of paint, and all waste and air-borne particles are sucked into the floor to ensure no contact with the preceding or following car.
The unparalleled surface quality of the Lexus multi-coat painting process is underpinned by meticulous cleanliness in the paint application, particularly in the top-coating booths during the latter half of the process. The eradication of airborne particles is fundamental to the successful application of paint.
TMK has introduced a system such as those used in semi-conductor factories, employing a number of small, one way air outlets to pressurise the area prior to the top coat booth, thus forcing air away from the booth.
This approach has resulted in a significant reduction in the infiltration of airborne particles, achieving a degree of air quality approximately halfway between Class 1,000 and Class 10,000 under the FED (US Federal) standards for cleanrooms. The number 5,000 refers to the number of 0.5 micron dust particles in one cubic foot of air, here corresponding to the cleanliness of air in the earth’s stratosphere.
The CT 200h assembly process involves the fitting of several thousand parts to the bodyshell along the assembly line. Lexus has introduced the Set Part System (SPS), in which all parts required for the assembly of a particular vehicle travel along the line with that vehicle in a gondola. Time spent in collecting parts is minimised, and the system can respond flexibly to complex part combinations.
Numerous ‘Clean and Silent’ initiatives are being undertaken in all TMK plants. The adoption of a ‘friction-driven conveyance’ system in the assembly process is a key contributor to a quiet factory environment. The conventional chain-driven conveyor has been replaced by a system employing urethane rollers to move bodyshells along the assembly line.
The resultant, dramatic reduction in noise within the plant improves technicians’ concentration, leading to improved work efficiency and precision, even allowing workers to hear that a part has been correctly installed. Even the Andon system is silent; instead of triggering a buzzer or chime, it illuminates a light and signals the exact location of the issue to the supervisor.
Inspection and Checking
During the meticulous inspection process, Lexus once again combines cutting-edge digital measuring technology with the sensory skills of master craftsman to ensure the highest levels of vehicle quality and appearance.
Automated, in-line measurements and quality gate checks are conducted by technicians throughout the body welding and assembly processes. Checks carried out during earlier processes are followed by a final fitting inspection in which panel gaps and panel alignment are checked by hand and eye. The inspectors carrying out this work undergo daily training and testing to maintain their sensory skills.
There are no less than 1700 inspection points in total during the build of each car, not merely in final assembly, but also in the sub-assembly and component manufacturing areas.
There are two final checking lines, one for assembly and one for function. Assembly checks incorporate fit, finish, vehicle specification and a visual quality assessment, whilst functional checks include vehicle function, NVH and a rolling road test at speeds of up to 120km/h. headlamp adjustment is completed electronically to ensure accuracy and consistency, by inserting a robot controlled screwdriver into the adjustment port of each lamp.
100% of completed vehicles are inspected in a bespoke ‘quiet Dome’ area, where a noise inspection assess the overall sound quality of every aspect of the car from switchgear operation to door opening and closure. The cars are then checked for leaks in a shower test booth simulating rainfall of 250mm per hour -weather conditions worse than a severe typhoon, and driven on a dedicated proving course which simulates various road conditions and driving situations.
All TMK plant workers are, of course, encouraged to submit their own ideas for improving any aspect of the processes and operations involved in vehicle manufacture and assembly, ultimately leading to a continual improvement in efficiency and quality. One such example of kaizen in action is the fitting of lights under the assembly line floor, illuminating the car for clearer, higher quality underbody assembly operations.
2012 Lexus CT 200h photo2012 Lexus CT 200h photo
Lexus MUSTs
The full hybrid CT 200h has been developed in accordance with an extremely rigorous set of development standards known as the Lexus MUSTs. These unique standards include more than 500 items that set strict guidelines for design, engineering and every stage of the manufacturing process, raising every aspect of the dynamic and environmental performance of the new full hybrid to unprecedented levels.
The Lexus MUSTs also set NVH standards to achieve the levels of quietness and durability expected of Lexus Hybrid Drive technology and the Lexus brand, and even apply to static factors such as the appearance, tactile quality, sound quality, and the performance and sensitivity of controls.
Customer Satisfaction
quality, legendary customer service and the finest dealer network in the industry have always represented the bedrock of the Lexus brand. With the launch of the new CT 200h, premium compact customers can now experience the full benefit of these remarkable standards of customer care, which are best reflected in Lexus’ unprecedented achievements in the numerous awards received worldwide since the brand was launched in 1990.


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First Drive: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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2007 Tokyo Auto Salon - Part 5

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