Hybrid Lexus refreshed for 2018 – and in SA already

  • Added appeal for one of Lexus’ global top-sellings
  • Revised, more modern nose, new alloy-wheel designs
  • New interior colours and larger information display
2018 LEXUS CT 200h: Image: Lexus SA
2018 LEXUS CT 200h: Image: Lexus SA

BELIEVE IT or not, but the Lexus CT 200h five-door compact hybrid is said to be the least expensive machine in the Lexus lexicon, even though it has just been refreshed for 2018.

Nevertheless, the automaker says, the car still comes with ”a sophisticated urban look with unique craftsmanship and the most-advanced technologies”. As well as ”being endowed” with more cabin kit that includes leather, advanced crash-protection features and ”flawless paintwork”.

A hybrid, of course, means a car that has a conventional combustion engine supported by a modest range under battery power, the battery being recharged during braking or under negative acceleration (coasting) – in other words, it needs no recharging while parked.

Lexus says the model is its best-seller globally – 300 000 deals to date (Feb 2018) since its launch back in 2011. Hybrid Lexii available in South Africa include an ES250 EX / ES300H EX and RX350 EX / RX450H SE.

SO WHAT’S NEW?

Lexus Europe lists a sporty new look, usual spindle grille with new panel detail, sportier wheel rimss that include a new 10-spoked 16” design finished with dark metallic paint / bright machine-finished surfaces.  The CT 200h also features a black-out roof in bi-tones which include Titanium and Quartz, Mercury and Morello as well as Titanium and Black.

READ MORE about Lexus models in South Africa

Lexus wants to build on the model’s strengths with this latest update and its reputation for efficiency and reliability, a refreshed exterior, user-friendliness and fuel economy. It’s described as ”more emotional and sporty, the ideal premium hybrid compact for people who enjoy spirited driving yet care about the environment”.

‘MORE DRAMATIC PRESENCE’

There are new single-projector diode headlights with a smoked metallic finish and daytime running lights wnich have kept their “arrowhead” shape but are now above the headlights. Changes at the rear include a new treatment for the lower rear bumper.

The cabin, of course, has Lexus quality and craftsmanship with fine trim and upholstery materials, soft-touch surfaces. a multimedia system whose screen has grown from 19 to 25cm with satnav. There are more cabin colours.

READ MORE Lexus features on Carman’s Corner

The CT 200h introduced Lexus’ second- generation petrol/electric self-charging hybrid technology to the premium compact segment that gives ”quiet running, seamless acceleration and the kind of performance customers expect from a premium hatchback”.

2018 LEXUS CT 200h: Image: Lexus SA
2018 LEXUS CT 200h: Image: Lexus SA

Other environmental stuff includes energy-saving aircon, the extensive use of diode lighting and a light and energy-efficient audio system”. Bio materials have replaced oil-based plastics.

DRIVE MODE SELECT

The drive system combines a 73kW 1800cc Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a 60kW electric motor. Combined, they will take the car to 100km/h in 10.3sec and on to 180km/h. Combined-cycle figures can return 4.1 litres/100km while breathing out only 95g/km of CO2.

In battery mode, of course, it emits nothing.

There are four driving modes – Norma, Electric, Economy and Sport. – though Lexus says each gives priority to driving efficiency, fuel economy and emissions, or performance and dynamic handling.

EV, ECO and Normal place the emphasis on a relaxing drive and will automatically select hybrid or full electric mode.

PRICES AND COLOURS

The South African model will retail for R529 300 which includes a four-year or 100 000km maintenance plan.

Available metallic colours are (Lexus capital letters) White Quartz, Sonic Titanium and Amber. Bi-tone colours are Black with Titanium (dark grey roof), Morello Red with Mercury (grey roof) and  White Quartz with Titanium (dark grey roof).

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