The 2014 Lexus CT 200h has made its world debut at the Guangzhou motor show in China.
Set to launch in the UK and Europe in the first quarter of 2014, the compact hybrid has been updated with a more comfortable and refined interior, while featuring the latest take on the Lexus spindle grille design.
CO2 emissions for the CT have been further lowered to a class-leading 82g/km. UK and European pricing and exact specification will be announced in January.
Read on for more details on our new luxury hatchback, and see a full gallery of images at the bottom of the page.
The Lexus signature spindle grille features on the CT 200h, giving the car a renewed design focus and imposing front end. The grille has been reshaped in such a way to reinforce the car’s low front profile and wide track.
New 10-spoke 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels have been introduced together with a shark’s fin roof antenna. At the rear the new-look bumper has stronger horizontal lines and incorporates distinctive L-shaped reflectors.
A revised range of paint colours will be available, all benefiting from a scratch-resistant, self-restoring top coat.
Interior design and equipment
The 2014 CT 200h promises greater comfort, increased equipment levels and better all-round quality in the look and feel of the cabin.
The new 370mm diameter steering wheel is the same as that featured in the new Lexus IS. The Optitron instrument binnacle is now available with an integral 4.2-inch TFT screen, which can be linked to the car’s multimedia system and controlled using steering wheel-mounted controls. The second generation Remote Touch Interface controller has been revised with a push-action command switch.
The Lexus Media Display and Lexus Premium Navigation systems have been made easier to operate with better hands-free and voice recognition functions. The display can be operated using a new controller mounted on the centre console.
In a world first, bamboo has been used the car’s sound system as part of a range of measures to improve sound quality. Bamboo fibre, plant opal and charcoal are used in an injection moulding process to create the industry’s thinnest loudspeaker diaphragm, giving noticeably better sound reproduction.
Other equipment upgrades include a rear view monitor for the Lexus Media Display, a tyre pressure warning system and an “off” setting for the traction control.
New insert colours and combinations are available for the centre console, and the door panel inserts have been reworked with new upholstery and stitching design. According to market, shimamoku wood previously seen in the Lexus LS will be among the finishes available. With typical Lexus attention to detail, the quality of the metal finish for the centre console controls has also been improved, while a revised range of leather and cloth seat upholstery has also been created.
Lexus has achieved significant reductions in emissions from the 2014 CT 200h, taking CO2 output down by 5g/km to just 82g/km for the entry level S grade model fitted with 15-inch wheels. For versions equipped with optional 16-inch wheels the official figure has been reduced by 6g/km to 88g/km.
Improved driving comfort and refinement
The new CT 200h has greater body rigidity, revised suspension settings, enhanced aerodynamics and more extensive noise suppression measures, which combine to deliver a more refined and comfortable driving experience and an even quieter cabin.
Body rigidity has been increased thanks to additional spot welds and extensive use of structural adhesive technology. This has allowed for the suspension to be retuned to improve ride comfort without sacrificing handling agility.
Lexus has also remapped with hybrid drive system’s transmission control. This allows for a more linear build-up of engine revs, more closely matching the increase in vehicle speed. The result is a driving experience more akin to a conventional automatic transmission.
Lexus Hybrid Drive is inherently quiet, but nevertheless, 94 separate measures have been taken to reduce noise, vibration and harshness levels.
Distinctive F Sport design
Lexus has redesigned the CT 200h F Sport to give the model more powerful road presence and create a greater differentiation between it and other versions in the range.
The stronger iteration of the spindle grille adopts the same mesh pattern as the new IS F Sport, while at the rear the roof spoiler has cut-outs to create additional downforce. The F Sport has dedicated 10-spoke 17-inch wheels and will be available in a range of colours that includes an F Sport-exclusive white.
Inside, the F Sport has been upgraded with aluminium pedals, scuff plates and perforated leather steering wheel and shift lever trim.
The F Sport benefits from the same driving performance enhancements as the rest of the CT 200h range, together with bespoke coil spring settings and optimised distribution of front/rear roll rigidity to sharpen its sportier driving dynamics.
Find out more about the Lexus CT 200h at lexus.co.uk.