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Lexus' fuel-sippin' hybrid hatch in SA

2014-03-22 17:19

THIRST-CRUNCHER: Hatchback shell for Lexus CT200h that will fuel-sip at 4.1 litres/100km thanks to powerful back-up electric motor. Image: LEXUS


Lexus is unveiling a race version of its RC F performance coupe at the 2014 Geneva auto show on March 4-16. See even more about the car at the Lexus International Website.

  • New-look CT 200 'gets stylish re-work'
  • One model - 'everything you need'
  • Body rigidity and NVH improved
  • Changes improve ride, handling

Lexus has unveiled its new-look CT 200h - a hybrid with new styling, improved body structure, revised suspension and new specifications.

The automaker is claiming a 'combined' fuel-consumption figure of 4.1 litres/100km. Did that get your attention...?

Central to these improvements, the automaker says, are additional spot-welds and body strengthening measures, revised suspension tune for improved ride comfort and a new styling package.


Lexus SA's Justin Ryan says the changes are wide-ranging and much more than skin deep. “They go right to the heart of the newcomer, focusing on its aesthetic appeal, handling and driveability."

The car has a modest 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, Atkinson-cycle petrol that makes only 73kW at 5200rpm and 142Nm from 2800-4400rpm but it's supported in tandem, when the need arises, by a 60kW/207Nm electric motor.

Top speed is 180km/h and you'll get to 100 in 10.3sec.

The one-model-fits-all rationalisation means the car will be leather and features-rich with "every conceivable piece of safety kit, the perfect luxury compact hatch".

"Coil spring rates have been optimised," Ryan said, "and a new shock-absorber valve adopted. The rear stabiliser bar diameter has been altered to enhance ride comfort with no penalty to handling agility.

"A 'traction control off' switch has been added for more adventurous drivers and the electric power-steering assistance "optimised to create a smoother, more natural, steering feel."


Those who have driven a Lexus will know the cars are super-quiet but the automaker seems to be going for total silence with:

  • Improved sound insulation for the rear wheels
  • Fender separators now prevent noise penetrating between the fender and front apron
  • More sealer has reduced engine and road noise.
  • A new inlet duct has quietened and improved air intake efficiency.

The new CT 200h is the seventh Lexus to adopt the brands very distinctive "spindle" grille and rides on 10-spoked 16" alloy rims shod with 205/55 tyres.

Other major visual changes include a new rear bumper design that has distinctive L-shaped reflector housings and a black lower centre section "to emphasise the vehicle's low centre of gravity and broad rear stance"and a shark-fin antenna.

The cabin of the new CT 200h - one model only, remember - includes as standard:

  • A (37cm diameter) multi-function steering wheel from the IS range
  • Re-designed shift lever in Lexus silver with a leather boot
  • Metallic audio switches, accessory connector socket cover
  • Upholstered central armrest
  • Improved window switch illumination
  • Unfastened rear seat-belt warning
  • Hybrid ECO indicator.
  • Optional toffee-brown leather upholstery

Other standard equipment includes heatable and retractable external mirrors, auto aircon, remote locking, start/stop button (no fussy ignition key and switch), comprehensive information screen, full audio with CD and auxiliary and USB input, Bluetooth cellphone connection and seven airbags.

Driving aids include traction control, hill-start assistance, IsoFix child-seat anchors.

Price: R388 800, including four-year or 100 000km warranty and service plan. For more information on the car, click here.

Read more on:    vehicle launch

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