Lexus Announces Updated 2018 CT 200h Hatchback

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Lexus has just announced an update for the CT 200h hybrid hatchback — the changes are minor but needed. Here’s the full press release to start our coverage.


When Lexus debuted the CT 200h at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, it introduced the compact hybrid hatchback to the luxury automobile segment. The CT 200h remains the brand’s exclusively hybrid model, with more than 300,000 units sold from Dec, 2010 to May, 2017. Sales have remaining strong in key geographic regions that include the European Union, China and Japan, where hybrid-vehicle sales continue to grow.

With this latest update, Lexus looks to build on the model’s strengths and evolve upon the CT 200h’s well-earned reputation for efficiency and reliability, armed with a freshened exterior that embodies its exciting-to-drive nature―without compromising its user-friendliness and fuel economy.

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“The 2018 CT 200h has been refreshed and revitalized by enhancing its progressiveness. Despite being classified as a minor-change model, the car is more emotional and sporty than before, making it the ideal premium hybrid compact for younger customers who enjoy spirited driving, but still care about the environment,” said Chika Kako, the Chief Engineer of Minor Change CT 200h.

Exterior Design: A More Dramatic Presence

From its inception, the 5-door Lexus CT 200h combines an automotive packaging solution that compliments its owner’s active lifestyle with an exciting-yet-comfortable driving experience and interior surroundings offering the latest technology, upscale design and materials.

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For the 2018 model, the CT 200h features a much more modern and aggressive front fascia, thanks to a new mesh pattern for the signature spindle grille that helps elevate the model’s sophistication. Also, the integrated bumper that ran across the grille just below the Lexus emblem is gone, as are the horizontal bars within the grille. The fog light bezels are now painted metallic grey and are surrounded by an outer frame with a triangular cross-section and sharp edges. The “arrowhead” DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) have been repositioned above the single-projector headlamps to create a sense of continuity with the side character lines of the car. Collectively, these new styling elements give the CT 200h a more modern, athletic, and yet sophisticated appearance, helping this compact 5-door command a powerful presence when seen from the front.

“We have pursued a new look by reversing the position of the LED headlight unit and DRL compared to the previous model. The result is a look that’s more aggressive than before. Moreover, the “L” motif of the DRL strengthens the Lexus signature.” said Tetsuo Miki, the Chief Designer of the CT 200h.

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At the rear of the car are new “L”-signature shaped taillights that give the CT 200h a sportier, wider appearance. New wider rear combination taillights have been changed to an all-LED configuration, with brightly illuminating LED turn signals at the bottom of the assembly, strengthening the “L”-signature look, as well as making the new CT more visible from behind. The upper and lower lines of the light-emitting section of the taillights thicken as they curve outwards, accentuating the width of the taillights and providing the rear end with a strong, stable presence. Perhaps the most expressive design change to the CT 200h’s rear end are restyled rear combination lamp and the back door garnish―enveloping the Lexus badge right between the rear glass and the taillights―that adds some athletic appeal to the vehicle’s already sporty rear-end. Also, the lower part of the rear bumper is now metallic silver and black, and reshaped to enhance the vehicle’s aggressive appearance, while the rear reflector bezels have been painted metallic grey to match the fog light surrounds up front.

Spicing up the CT 200h’s profile are sportier wheels―from the base 15-in. pieces to the F SPORT’s 17-in. dark metallic alloys. Of note is the new ten-spoke 16-in. wheel that features a machined finish and dark metallic paint.

For 2018, the CT 200h will offer new two-tone exterior paint schemes and distinctive new colors for the F SPORT model: Lava Orange CS (Crystal Sunshine) and Heat Blue CL (Contrast Layering).

Fresh Interior Updates

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One peek inside the cabin, and it is easy to see that the CT 200h offers among the finest interiors in its class, thanks to high-quality materials, rich surface textures and an attractive form-follows-function overall styling philosophy. Lexus Navigation System that features a larger 10.3-in. wide display screen (versus the previous-generation’s 7-in. monitor) is newly available.

An expanded available interior color palette features new combinations including striking two-tone leather in Sunflare Brown/Noble Brown, the distinctive Ochre/Light Ochre, and the lighter Chateau/Fromage; a mix of fabric and long-wearing synthetic leather in Black, Black/Red, Dark Camel/Noble Brown and Chateau/Fromage; and new all-fabric upholstery in the sporty Black/Red, the unique Dark Camel/Noble Brown and the airy Chateau. And for 2018, a total of six different ornamentation choices are available, with the addition of Sunflare Brown Film and Bamboo.

F SPORT

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The performance-minded F SPORT receives dramatic design changes for 2018 that include black metallic paint and an updated mesh pattern for the spindle grille exclusive to the F SPORT. The new mesh pattern has also been added as a backdrop for both the fog light inserts and surrounds to match. This specialized model receives high-grade headlights that house a single projector high/low-beam headlamp. Also, exclusive to the F SPORT are jet black plating used on the upper and lower front grille molding and a metallic black center lower trim garnish at the rear of the vehicle.

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“The F SPORT attracts younger customers, so we’ve strengthened the vehicle’s exclusive black items to reinforce its sporty nature, namely the rear bezel and the rear lower garnish. The rear bezel has the same mesh design as the front grille, and the lower garnish is painted metallic black here while the normal grade color is silver,” Miki said.

Inside the cabin, the F SPORT boasts new exclusive interior combinations including two-tone leather in Flare Red/Black, White/Black and Chateau/Black; fabric in Black/Red and Chateau/Black. Fabric and synthetic leather is offered in Black/Flare Red, Black/Orange. And only in the F SPORT can you get the elegant Naguri ornamentation, which showcases the high level of Takumi craftsmanship.

Lexus Safety System +

Another welcome addition to the updated Lexus CT 200h is the availability of the Lexus Safety System + that offers enhanced safety with the inclusion of such avant-garde safety technologies as Pre-Collision System (PCS), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with steering wheel control function and Automatic High Beam (AHB) headlights. Road Sign Assist (RSA) is also available in a comprehensive safety package.