On its launch, the Lexus CT was the first and only full hybrid vehicle in its segment. It was our first five-door compact car and therefore opened a new, more affordable gateway to the Lexus ownership experience.
As a consistent best-seller among the UK range, owners clearly value the CT’s unique synthesis of quality, sophistication and technology. It is a familiar sight on the road, yet we feel the littlest Lexus is still able to surprise and delight.
Here are ten things we think you may not have known about the Lexus CT.
Lexus CT: Did you know that… ?
1 … the Lexus CT offers faultless reliability?
Owners love their CTs, and it reciprocates that affection with faultless reliability. Recently, the CT registered a perfect, 100% score in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, which drew responses from more than 18,000 British motorists. And it wasn’t a quirk either. For Lexus, this result marked three years at the top, having lead the manufacturers’ reliability tables since 2017, while the CT strengthened its position as the nation’s most dependable luxury car after achieving an identically faultless reliability score in the same survey two years before.
2 … the Lexus CT’s interior has inspired fashion?
The supple nature of the high-grade leather used in the CT doesn’t just cosset the body; apparently it also inspires the mind and prompts creativity. For example, leatherworker and clothes designer Úna Burke was inspired to handcraft a couture dress to demonstrate its qualities on the skin. Meanwhile, the design, colours and materials of the CT F Sport derivative inspired the creation of a new trainer line from premium sports shoe manufacturer Walsh.
3 … the Lexus CT has led a double life as a race car?
Prepared by the same motorsport specialists involved in the Lexus LFA’s race development, this modified CT competed in the SP4 class of the six-hour-long Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy around Germany’s infamous Nürburgring in May 2011. At the time, Lexus was the only manufacturer to compete in major endurance races with full hybrid cars, having launched its race programme with the RX 400h in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in 2005.
4 … the Lexus CT can change the way you see things?
Following the success of Lexus Japan’s imaginative Amazing Tricks campaign, Lexus set in motion a follow-up campaign that also used artistic tricks to promote the baby Lexus. For this project the images were captured photographically using clever forced perspective techniques and creative handling of angles and props. Click here for the first half of that series, and here for the second half.
5 … the Lexus CT has pro-active heated front seats?
When the driver switches on the air conditioning to heat the cabin in cold weather, the CT’s front seat heaters automatically activate. This feature enables the seats to warm their occupants directly so that the air conditioning system doesn’t need to draw as much heat from the engine. This minimises the amount of time the engine needs to run and, in turn, saves fuel.
6 … the Lexus CT is heavy on LEDs?
Lexus was not only the first automotive company to introduce LED headlamps, but the launch CT was equipped with more energy-efficient LED bulbs than any other Lexus model. Its external array consisted of 46 units up front, another eight for the side repeaters in the door mirrors, and 35 to the rear – 89 in total.
7 … the Lexus CT was the first Lexus developed by a female chief engineer?
The CT was developed under the stewardship of Chika Kako, the first woman to be appointed a Lexus chief engineer. Kako-san joined the company in 1989 as a materials engineer, and was responsible for developing materials for vehicle exteriors, interiors and sound-proofing. She was also the first female employee to be posted overseas in a R&D capacity. Her follow-up vehicle was the new Lexus UX.
8 … the Lexus CT championed bio-sourced materials?
The CT’s premium sound system adopted the industry’s first bamboo charcoal-based resin diaphragm speakers. Not only that, but the diaphragms were injection-moulded to a thickness of only 0.2-0.3mm, which made them 10-15% lighter than conventional speaker diaphragms. Selected interior trim components are also made from plant-based bio-plastics.
9 … the Lexus CT is the strong silent type?
The CT was launched as a vehicle that could start a quiet revolution. A few years later, the car’s structural strength and silent-running qualities were investigated on a more scientific level inside an anechoic chamber. We quantified the reasons for its approval by the Noise Abatement Society and how its meticulous construction (alongside big brother RX, incidentally) contributes to its calming interior environment.
10 … the Lexus CT has both vertical and horizontal suspension systems?
The CT was the first Lexus to feature special monotube-style damper units positioned horizontally across the front suspension towers (below top) and between the left and right sides of the rear structural frame (below bottom). Their purpose was to absorb the miniscule vibrations inherently experienced in high-rigidity bodies in order to create a more linear steering feel.