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Lexus CT 200h released in Japan (copyright image)

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16th January, 2011

Lexus launched the hybrid-only "CT 200h"1, its first entry in the premium-compact segment in Japan last week. And it will be coming to Australia this year.

Paving the way for a new Lexus era, the CT 200h is a five-door hatchback combining the vitality of agile driving with dynamic, sporty styling to provide an experience that excites and motivates both drivers and passengers.

Its high level of body rigidity, supported by performance dampers2, a newly developed suspension and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for driver control achieves both agile handling and riding comfort. The Drive Mode Select feature allows drivers to switch between different acceleration and steering sensitivities and gauge displays as wanted. Class-leading3 fuel efficiency of 34 km/L4 is also attained through effective harnessing of a 1.8-litre Atkinson cycle combustion engine5 and Lexus Hybrid Drive technology.

Furthermore, keeping the vehicle height down low emphasises the vehicle's low centre of gravity, lending to a silhouette suggesting dynamic movement.

Monthly Sales Target

1,500 units in Japan

Assembly Plant

Miyata Plant, Toyota Motor Kyushu, Inc.

Vehicle Outline

Agile Handling and Riding Comfort

Painstaking attention — especially to the entire under-floor structure, the area around the front spring support, the rear suspension tower area and door openings — achieved a high level of body rigidity. Fitted to the underbody at front and rear, performance dampers connecting the left and right sides of the vehicle absorb minor deflections and vibrations to enable agile handling and a comfortable ride.

The CT 200h's newly developed suspension system employs front MacPherson struts and rear double wishbones. A reduction of unsprung weight was pursued through the use of aluminium and optimised component shapes to achieve nimble handling and cruising stability in addition to superior riding comfort.

Use of aluminium for the bonnet and tailgate and high-strength steel throughout the body frame help reduce weight.

A sports version, F Sport, is designed for people who love to drive and inherits the traits of other Lexus F sports models, including the quintessential sports car, the LFA.  The F Sport has a dedicated front grille and lower grille and special seat fabric, among other F Sport-only features. Underneath, it uses specially tuned suspension and high-performance tyres.

Pursuing the Joy of Driving

A low 'hip' point, a steering wheel angled for easy control and pedal positioning allow for a sporty driving position.

A snug driver's seat comes from optimising the shape of the seat cushion and designing the seat with internal support structures.

Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters allow six-speed gear shifting.

The Drive Mode Select feature in the centre cluster enables switching between three modes: Normal, Eco and Sport; acceleration and steering feels different in each mode, and meter display and interior lighting colours change to signify driving mode and to provide a particular mood.

Advanced Environmental Performance

The CT 200h features a 1.8-litre Atkinson cycle combustion engine specially made for hybrid vehicles. The hybrid system includes a hybrid transaxle housing a high-performance electric motor able to deliver high torque at low rpm, a motor-generator, a power-split device and a motor-speed reduction device. As the first hybrid system for a premium-compact vehicle, it tops the class with a fuel efficiency of 34.0 km/L in the 10-15 test cycle outlined by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) (equivalent to 68 g/km of CO2 emissions), or 30.4 km/L in the MLIT's JC08 test cycle (equivalent to 76 g/km of CO2 emissions).

  • Meets new 2015 Japanese fuel efficiency standards under Law Concerning Rational Use of Energy; CO2 emissions are 75% lower than 2005 standards (Japan's strictest) under MLIT approval system for low-emission vehicles, qualifying it for Japanese government tax reductions and subsidies for environment-friendly vehicles
  • Qualifies for 100% reduction in automobile acquisition tax and automobile weight tax under Japanese tax incentives promoting environmentally friendly vehicles

An exhaust-heat recovery system warms coolant, thus shortening engine warm-up time and contributing to greatly improved fuel efficiency, especially when outside temperatures are low.

Using a new sensor to detect humidity, air temperature and windshield surface temperature, the air-conditioning automatically switches between fresh and recirculated air and maximises the ratio of interior air being circulated to prevent the window glass from fogging up, improving heating efficiency, particularly during winter.

To limit CO2 emissions through achieving carbon neutrality6 and to minimise use of fossil fuels, the luggage compartment liner employs Ecological Plastic in the world's first use of plant-derived bio-PET7. Compared to conventional bio-plastics, Ecological Plastic boasts dramatically improved heat resistance and durability and it will likely be used for other interior surfaces in future models.

The CT 200h also rewards environmentally considerate driving. Its Harmonious Driving Navigator awards points for environmentally considerate driving that can be used, for instance, to donate to charity.

CT 200h Key Hybrid System Specifications
1,797 cc
Maximum output
73 kW [99 PS]/5,200 rpm
Maximum torque
142 Nm [14.5 kgf-m]/4,000 rpm


Maximum output
60 kW [82 PS]
Maximum torque
207 Nm [21.1 kgf-m]
Complete system
Maximum output*
100 kW [136 PS]
HV battery
Nickel-metal hydride
*Using both engine power and electric-motor power (based on TMC calculations)

Dynamic, Sporty Styling


The CT 200h exterior is based on the L-finesse8 design philosophy, with the vehicle's low centre of gravity intended to impart compactness in an expression of sporty vigour and refined charm, making the unique Lexus style that calls to mind dynamism, environmental performance and technological advancement.

Front pillars are positioned to provide an exhilarating field of vision and contribute to a classy silhouette in spite of the vehicle's length.

Lowering the chassis to reduce the frontal area and narrowing the cabin toward the rear, while emphasising rear shoulder sections and the projection of the wheels, provides a frame suggesting vibrant movement and an aerodynamic design. Aerodynamic parts beneath the floor improve airflow under the vehicle, contributing to a class-leading 0.28 drag coefficient.

Like other Lexus models, the CT 200h has a long roof silhouette. While ensuring comfort and aerodynamic performance, the visual effect of wrapping the rear window around to the sides and portraying a shorter side window expresses the cabin's forward motion and compactness—traits of a sporty compact vehicle.

A dynamic profile evoking an image of air flowing over from bonnet to cabin, a more powerful and resolute Lexus face, front upper and lower grilles combining to form a spindle shape, and use of a geometrically evolved arrowhead design all underline the unique Lexus identity.


Functions are arranged into two distinct zones: the Display Zone (for visual systems) and the Operation Zone (for control systems).  This allows easy control of the vehicle, making a unique driving space that offers both luxury and a snug cockpit feel.

  • Switches, shift knob and other driving controls concentrated around driver's seat between gauge display and centre console enhance operability and provide driving cockpit feel
  • Remote Touch system blends in with general centre console profile and enables 'mouse'-like operation of controls (for controlling audio, climate control and other systems) through haptic device and forward-placed display monitor, allowing drivers to maintain optimal driving posture and good line of vision

Colour Schemes

Preferred combinations of body and interior colours are selectable to provide interesting harmonies and contrasts, and provide a personal touch.

  • Nine body colours are available, including newly developed Flare Yellow Mica Metallic, based on bright, beaming sun halo motif; and Fire Agate Mica Metallic, emitting rainbow glow like rare fire agate gemstone; as well as White Pearl Crystal Shine; Silver Mica Metallic and Black
  • Interior colours include six fabric colour schemes, such as Ocean Blue, Black and Red, and four leather colour schemes: Ivory, Black (two types) and Water White
  • Four themes of ornament panel available: Bamboo, made from natural, fast-growing bamboo helps reduce environmental impact; Ash Burl, made from wood to provide both vibrancy and composure; and, matching any interior colour scheme well, Black and Metal (F Sport)

Class-Leading Safety and Peace of Mind

The impact-absorbing body, which disperses the force of a collision throughout its structure, and a robust cabin frame reduce the amount of cabin deformation resulting from a collision, achieving the highest level of collision safety in its class. The vehicle also incorporates the concept of "compatibility", aiming to ensure the mutual safety of vehicles of different weights and heights if they collide. The CT 200h pursues the highest safety evaluations in Japan, Europe and the United States.

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All grades come standard with a set of eight SRS airbags. Dual-stage SRS airbags, which open at the optimal speed depending on the impact force, and SRS knee airbags help protect front-seat occupants. SRS side airbags, also for the front seats, and SRS curtain shield airbags for both front and rear seats deploy in the event of a collision from the side.

The Lexus CT 200h employs newly developed Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) seats.  High rigidity of the seat frames combined with optimised shape and other characteristics allow occupants' backs to sink into the seat during a collision from behind, simultaneously supporting the head and back and thereby alleviating impact on the neck area.

For pedestrian safety, impact-absorbing structures used for the bonnet, cowl and bumper area alleviate impact to the head and legs and thus lessen injuries sustained in the unfortunate event of a collision.

The Pre-crash Safety System (optional on all grades) helps to minimise collision damage, as does a braking-signal system that provides warning to vehicles behind. Steering-assisted Vehicle Stability Control (S-VSC), Traction Control (TRC) and an approaching-vehicle-alert system are also among the many advanced safety features.

Incorporation of Unique Lexus Comfort and Quality

The front-engine, front-wheel-drive lay-out is exploited to give ample legroom to the front seats. Flat-surfaced legroom in the rear is also generous, as is head clearance, and bringing the seating position in toward the centre gives passengers an excellent forward-view vantage point.

The low position of the compact hybrid battery makes way for 375 litres of cargo space (under the VDA method). Folding back the 60/40-split rear seats provides a large flat cargo space reaching back 1,500 mm with a capacity of 960 litres (under the VDA method).

The audio unit, standard on all grades, employs bamboo charcoal-based resin diaphragm speakers for delivering clear, low distortion 5.1-channel surround sound.

The internationally acclaimed Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System, the pinnacle of the listening experience, is available as an option.

In addition to a hybrid system with a reputation for quietness, bonnet insulation and a dash outer silencer reduce engine sound, sound-absorbing material attached to the mudguard liner reduces road noise, and noise-reducing windshield glass and flush body surfaces reduce wind noise, providing an extremely quiet cabin space.

Lexus' production skills certification system, which covers every process on the production line, means that all those who build Lexus vehicles incorporate quality into the vehicles they make. Furthermore, all post-production vehicles undergo a special inspection process in Lexus' Quiet Dome facility and are test driven on a dedicated proving course.


1"CT" stands for "creative touring" and "200h" refers to hybrid-vehicle performance equal to that of a conventional 2.0-litre vehicle
2Standard on C, F Sport and L grades
3Compared to premium-compact vehicles of similar engine displacement
4Measured using the 10-15 test cycle of the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
5Raises thermal efficiency by increasing the expansion ratio above the compression ratio
6Refers to zero net CO2 emissions over entire product lifecycle
7Made by replacing monoethylene glycol with a biological raw material derived from sugar cane
8Made by combining "leading-edge" and "finesse" design concepts


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