With the introduction of the new Lexus CT200h last year, the premium compact segment got a new entrant which was the first full hybrid model in its class. As the entry model in the Lexus range, the CT 200h is introducing the company‟s unique synthesis of quality, sophistication and high technology to discerning Malaysian customers.
Its sporty, fun-to-drive character combined with the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain was praised and appreciated by owners and it‟s no surprise that it was the best-selling Lexus model in Malaysia in 2011 and continues to be just as popular in 2012.
For its second year in the Malaysian market, the CT200h gets a third variant in the form of the CT200h F SPORT. The F SPORT variants are more distinctive and sporty looking with styling enhancements from the F SPORT package line specially developed for each model.
The new CT200h F SPORT shares the features of the CT200h Luxury but has different bumper styling at the front (with a mesh grille in the air intake) and rear. The 16-inch lightweight alloy rims, comes with a dark metallic for the sporty variant.
The exterior colour still comes in 5 different colour range with the Luxury grade having an exclusive colour which is the Fire Agate Mica Metallic.
NEW F SPORT VARIANT
Inside the CT200h F SPORT, an exclusive black colour theme is used to complement the sporty image of this variant. The layout and features are also similar to that found in the CT200h Luxury but more silver trim is used to provide a technical ambience. The CT200h SPORT’s steering wheel also offers a F SPORT perforated leather wrapping around it.
The CT200h F SPORT also has the unique front and rear lateral performance damping system which is fitted to the CT200h Luxury. Besides improving ride comfort, the system also gives the driver a more linear steering feel.
Besides the addition of the F SPORT variant, the CT200h Luxury and CT200 have also received some upgrades which add value to the radical and fun compact hybrid. Technically, there are no changes in the size, packaging, full hybrid technology and ultra-low emissions which have proven appealing to the environmentally-conscientious customer who also wants refinement and driving pleasure.
Power folding mirrors now fitted to CT200h 4-way power adjustment for driver‟s seat in CT200h Luxury/F SPORT Pushbutton pre-set for 3 personalized driver‟s seat positions in CT200h Luxury/F SPORT Bluetooth functionality now linked to audio system for CT200h GPS navigation system (hard disk-based) with EMV available on CT200h Luxury/F SPORT DVD player with Lexus Premium 10-speaker Audio System for CT200h Luxury/F SPORT
LEXUS HYBRID DRIVE
The Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain of the CT 200h is the product of over a decade of experience in hybrid powertrain technology. Already in its second generation of evolution, the full hybrid powertrain is now available to premium C-segment customers.
Having a full hybrid powertrain means that the CT 200h can run in either petrol or electric modes exclusively, or a combination of both. Conceptually, a hybrid powertrain addresses the weak points of each propulsion system while exploiting the merits to get the best overall performance.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive also offers the performance benefits of a parallel hybrid combined with the energy-saving benefits of a series hybrid. The powertrain has been specifically designed to minimize the widest possible range of exhaust emissions while providing remarkably quiet operation, impressive seamless acceleration and the sort of performance expected of a premium C-segment car.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive in the CT 200h consists of a 4-cylinder 1.8-litre petrol engine, powerful 207 Nm electric motor, generator, high-performance 168-cell battery, power control unit and a power-split device. Drive to the front wheels is through a Shift-by-Wire electronically-controlled continuously-variable transmission (E-CVT).
Lexus engineers have focused on enhancing key attributes to ensure that customers receive the same qualities as found in other Lexus models. Specifically, the enhancements relate to noise, acceleration and drivability and the result is that the CT 200h offers superior levels of quietness and low levels of vibrations and harshness. Engine control and throttle responses have also been tuned to deliver an engaging, dynamic driving performance.
During a journey, the Lexus Hybrid Drive operates in various modes to maximize overall efficiency and performance. Whenever the CT 200h is stopped for a while, the engine stops running so that fuel is not wasted. It will automatically restart when moving off and it does so in a seamless manner. Under certain conditions and with sufficient charge in the battery, the car can also run in EV mode, using only the electric motor. In this mode, emissions are zero and the car is remarkably silent while moving.
Besides the EV mode, there are three other driving modes the driver can select – ECO, NORMAL or SPORT – adapting the CT 200h to either a relaxing or dynamic driving character. Regardless of whichever mode is in use, optimum fuel efficiency will be the priority.
Via the Electronically Controlled Braking Regeneration (ECB-R) system, the electric motor acts as a high-output generator during deceleration and also when braking. It recovers energy that would otherwise be lost and uses this energy as electrical energy for storage in the battery. In this way, there is further optimization of energy management in the Lexus Hybrid Drive. The battery power level is constantly managed by the ECU and there is no need for recharging from an external source.
words & pix: Lexus Malaysia