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A hot hatch with a conscience



LEXUS have endeavoured to change the premium performance hatchback segment, with the advent of the CT200h.

What it is, essentially, is a luxury hatchback that promises to give its driver smile-inducing performance, without being heavy on the pocket, or detrimental to the state of the environment.

Aesthetically, the CT200h certainly looks like a premium, performance-orientated hatchback should: Lexus’ traditional design cues feature throughout, and a mix of interesting shapes, creases and kinks make this hatchback good to look at.

At the front, it boasts striking lights and a snappy-looking grille. The rear window wraps around, which almost gives it a station wagon kind of persona, from the side profile.

In terms of performance, the Lexus CT200h delivers a total of 100-kilowatts, using their traditional Hybrid Drive powertrain. Powering the CT200h is a 1.8-liter engine with 73-kilowatts, in addition to a 60-kilowatt electric motor. It promises to go from 0 to 100km/h in 10.3 seconds , and also promises to render a fuel consumption figure of 4.11l/100 kilometres.

Inside, the CT200h features a distinctive driver-orientated cabin, with elements that make the driver feel as if he is in the cockpit of a jet fighter. Triple dials feature in the instrument cluster in front of the driver, and add a sporty touch to things.

Giving the driver more choice to suit his needs and style of driving, are several modes. You can choose from Dynamic – for more spirited driving, or Relaxing, obviously suited towards calm highway cruising. This is in addition to the Eco, Sport and Normal driving settings.

From a safety point of view, the CT200h has been endowed with a host of passive and active mechanisms, for that added peace of mind behind the wheel. You get 8 airbags – even one for your knee, as well as seats with mechanisms that promise to reduce the effects of whiplash.  This is an addition to the usually array of safety gear, like traction control and anti-lock brakes. They haven’t forgotten about those on foot either, with a bumper and bonnet structure designed to absorb and minimize injury to pedestrians.

As a hybrid, efficiency is one of the biggest priorities in the Lexus CT200h. For example, it’s got a feature called Electronically Controlled Braking-Regeneration, which recovers as much electrical energy as possible under braking.

The Lexus CT200h is undoubtedly unique, and it would set you apart from others who opt for conventional hot hatch products. Also, for those out there with a “green” conscience, the CT200h appeases with its raft of eco-friendly, hybrid technologies.


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