Lexus CT200h Premium 1 8 (A)

30 Мар 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Lexus CT200h Premium 1 8 (A) отключены
LEXUS CT200h CT 200h S E-CVT Continuosuly Variable

Downsizing it seems has become a trend that has greatly caught on with many globally. Everyone talks about the impending financial crisis these days, with cries of austerity reverberating in the air, the cacophony of doom prophets and prophesies that they make.

The trend has certainly found itself entrenched in the automotive world, with car manufacturers locked in a race to develop the most fuel efficient production vehicle to cater to the masses. Lexus is no different, opting to go green with their hybrid car programme, carving a niche for them as a luxury brand that cares for the environment with their slew of hybrid luxury vehicles. The CT200h happens to be one of those cars produced by Lexus, but with an added twist; the car is a four-cylinder powered hatchback, a first for the manufacturer in producing downsized engines as well as compacts.

Having come a long way since the debut of their first hybrid in 2004, the luxury car maker has steadily produced a fleet of eco road warriors, each with its own distinctive target market, but yet at the same time appealing to the tree hugger in all of them. The CT200h is no different, possessing a unique selling point of being a car that combines fuel efficiency via its hybridised mode of propulsion with a sporty looking compact body to attract a younger target segment of buyers. For young executives in the market for a fuel saving car, this amalgam is spot on.

Although based on the Toyota Prius, the Lexus CT200h barely resembles its cousin. Continuing with the ‘Amalgam of Sorts’ theme, the CT200h reminds us of a RX450 from the rear with its similar looking rear lights, albeit low slung and at the same time sporting a frontal design akin to an IS250 with angular contours defining the car’s facial features. Blue tinted Lexus badges adorn the car, a tell-tale sign of it being a hybrid, while modest 16-inch wheels complete the overall outlook of the car, a far cry from what it evolved from the LF-Ch, but nonetheless a sporty looking car.

Interior wise, it is pretty much standard Lexus fare. Although a hatchback, the CT200h is roomy all round, with ample head and leg room for occupants. Cabin amenities such as the plush leather seats, control knobs, plush leather seats and soft touch surfaces all round give the car a premium feel due to its high quality fit and finish.

In terms of giving car owners a feeling of luxury, Lexus never disappoints.

With the exterior and interior sorted out, how does the CT200h fare in terms of drive and performance? While nothing much can be said for the latter, the car does excel in terms of drive. Handling wise, though uninspiring to the extent of being insipid, the CT200h does everything with perfunctory competence; the steering precise and well weighted.

LEXUS CT200h CT 200h S E-CVT Continuosuly Variable

The brakes are also well servoed, and linked to a generator that charges the motor s batteries by regenerative braking. Turn the silver knob on the centre console, and you can toggle between four different drive modes Electric Vehicle (EV), Eco, Sport or back to Normal. The car operates in full electric mode when the EV mode is selected, sparing Mother Earth the grief of breathing in noxious exhaust fumes when you cruise leisurely down the street at not more than 45 km/h.

In Eco mode, your lead heavy foot input gets moderated for improved fuel economy; which means, the car deems you unworthy of the Saving Gaia cause and micro manages your throttle input.

The fun part only comes when Sport is selected as you turn the knob to the right. Seeing red mist, the once cool blue CT200h has its instruments’ backlight turn to an angry red, with the virtual display’s hybrid power gauge turning into a tachometer. Like an enraged super human, the CT200h’s engine, throttle and steering response becomes heightened.

On its own, the four-cylinder 1.8 litre petrol engine produces a mere 98 hp and 142 Nm worth of torque, making it an overly placid car to drive, but in Sport mode, an additional 44 hp and 65 Nm is gained from the additional input from the electric motor, jolting the car to life. Coupled with a highly responsive and fuel efficient Electronic-Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT), the CT200h impresses with its sporty drive, with only the purists disputing the car’s sporty ambitions.

For what once seems to be an automotive joke for tree-hugging drivers, hybrids have steadily grown in stature in the automotive world, its importance amplified by rising fuel costs. With the combination of comfort, luxury and fuel efficiency, the entry level premium compact in the guise of the CT200h is indeed a boon for the young successful executives in the market looking for their first car. Though the styling deviated greatly from what its designers first intended it to be, and its driving experience a far cry from its powerful stable mates such as the IS F, the CT200h is indeed a sensible option for premium compact buyers.

LEXUS CT200h CT 200h S E-CVT Continuosuly Variable

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