Toyota is known for its high standards in auto manufacturing. The Kyushu Plant is the brand’s first operation dedicated to the production of hybrid vehicles. Established in 2008, it’s set up for precision crafting with master craftsmen and high tech equipment that ensures each vehicle produced meets with the high standards required in each Lexus. The CT200H is one such vehicle which made its first appearance in March of 2010 at the Geneva Auto Show as a concept model for the European market, then at the International Auto Show in New York a month later.
A new generation of innovation in the CT200H
The premium sport compact hatchback is the first to sport a Spindle Grille design. The hybrid electric is the design creation of Takeshi Tanabe whose design for the CT200H was approved in 2008 and officially patented in September of 2009. The CT was offered for sale from 2011 through 2017 in the United States but continues to be produced at the present for Europe.
The CT200H gets its power from a 4-cylinder 1.8 liter VVT-i type petrol engine. It generates 98 horsepower with 105 lb-ft of torque. It’s matched up with a hybrid drive system that features electric motors that produce 134 horses along with 153 lb-ft of torque and the system are paired with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. The average fuel economy ratings are rated at 57.4 mpg for US versions.
The chassis and driving modes
The same platform that is used by the Matrix and the Corolla makes up the chassis with a double wishbone design for the rear and a MacPherson strut suspension for the front. Drivers have the option of choosing among four driving modes including Normal, Sport, EV and Eco. The Sport mode delivers high with mods to the settings for the electric power steering and throttle with a boost in performance and decrease in the intrusiveness of stability and traction control. The EV mode is the cleanest approach to driving that can be taken with a total generation of zero emissions, thanks to the hybridized electrical system. EV mode puts the CT200H in electric power sourcing only.
Vehicle Stability Control is standard in the CT200H along with the installation of eight standard airbags. Depending on owner desire, optional safety features include a dynamic radar cruise control and a pre-collision system. A Vehicle Proximity Notification System is also available along with Safety Connect telematics services for the North American market.
2013 Lexus CT200H
2014 Lexus CT200H – The CT200H gets refreshed
The first cosmetic tweaks came in 2013, intended for the release of the 2014 model years with a refreshing of the exterior with a new Spindle Grille. The minor facelift granted a more modern appearance showing that the DNA remained the same, but as in any family of vehicles, there must be distinctions that separate its members.
2017 Lexus CT200H – North American market
The introduction of the F Sport package didn’t offer any performance enhancements, but it did give the wheels additional eye appeal. No change in the tires though. This was offered from 2014 through 2017, at which time the CT model line was discontinued in the United States, but continued on in other countries.
The Australian market is privy to a variety of options in the CT200H. They may choose from among the F Sport package, the Sport Luxury, and the Prestige Luxury specifications. Thee differences in the offerings include a reversing camera, active cruise control along with the pre-collision safety system and sports bumpers and side skirts and of course a large rear spoiler. Other upgrades for the Sport are a special steering wheel, scuff plates, sports pedals, an instrument panel and the inclusion of privacy glass.
An honorable mention in sport racing
Australia’s Formula One Grand Prix held in Melbourne in March of 2011 featured the Lexus CT200H in a Celebrity Challenge in which only one make was used in this part of the race. It was a special segment that featured only petrol-electric vehicles and was promoted by Lexus Australia. The cars were out there to show the world what they were capable of.