Out of Lexus’ current lineup, the CT 200h is the final model to receive the automaker’s spindle grille treatment, with this being the first major update to the car since its launch in 2010. Other exterior changes include newly designed 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels and a revised rear appearance with a more horizontal structure.
The car also features increased body rigidity, suspension revisions and enhanced aerodynamics which all help to improve NVH levels. Body rigidity has been improved through additional spot welding and the extensive use of structural adhesive technology. Coil spring rates have also been optimized, a new shock absorber valve adopted, and the rear stabilizer bar diameter altered to enhance ride comfort.
Unfortunately, there’s no additional power, so despite the sporty look the car is delivering the same meager 134 horsepower as last year’s model. The drivetrain consists of a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine which is mated to a CVT and Lexus Hybrid Drive system. Lexus is aware that fans of the CT 200h desire more power but is waiting until the next generation of the car, due around 2016, before exploring its options.
2014 Lexus CT 200hEnlarge Photo
The new CT 200h is available in a choice of six body colors including an all-new Lexus red, and for the first time buyers can order the car with a contrasting black roof. All exterior paint now benefits from a scratch-resistant, self-restoring top coat.
The interior of the car has been enhanced with premium materials and more standard equipment. The instrument panel is now available with a 4.2-inch TFT screen which can be linked to the multimedia system and controlled via steering wheel-mounted buttons. The available center screen is now fixed and thinner. Additional equipment upgrades include the availability of a backup camera, a parking assistant, a tire pressure monitor and a button to switch off the traction control.
One interior feature is the audio system’s bamboo loudspeaker technology: Bamboo fiber, plant opal and charcoal are combined in an injection molding process to create the industry’s thinnest loudspeaker diagram, which is said to result in improved sound quality.
Once again an F Sport package is available for the car. This adds custom bumpers, 17-inch alloys with a 10-spoke design, more exterior color options and some new trim options for the cabin.
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