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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lexus CT200h in Malaysia- Updates with the pictures from the launch!!

Yesterday Lexus Malaysia had launched the all new Lexus CT200h the first of its kind here in this region. This new breed of hybrid vehicles was recently launched back in the ‘wasabe’ land of the rising sun in January this year. Lexus has dubbed the CT200h as the world’s first hybrid luxury compact car with all the finesse like any other Lexus vehicles that was rolled out from its factory. Speaking of factory, the CT200h is built at Toyota’s factory in Kyushu Japan and I have been to this factory before even tough I just went there driving along its vicinity of the factory. The factory is very big with the large Toyota name and badge in the front facade of the factory and with its test track at the back of the factory quite high on an elevated terrain thus impossible to see what car is running on the test track.

Going back to the CT200h, Lexus Malaysia has introduced two variants namely the Standard version and also the Luxury version. Both car has the same exterior look with some minor difference that only if you are keen to spot the difference. The exterior design of the car like any other Lexus has been treated with its L-finesse design philosophy where Lexus express the perfect balance of precision and power. This perfection is further elevated with the use of twin LED low beams that was integrated with an arrowhead shape daytime running light (Luxury model) with the latter comes as a standard equipment for both model. As for the Standard version, the car equipped with halogen lamps with manual levelling with the higher refine model comes with automatic headlamp levelling. The car was design very sleekly with a low drag coefficient of 0.29 to maximize fuel efficiency and reduce the wind noise for a more serene drive, a signature of every Lexus vehicles. Both variants also feature a compact and aerodynamic door mirrors with integral LED turn signal indicator that features a two tone finish for a more visual minimization.

The wheel base of the car is at 2,600mm with both front and rear seat are placed close to the vehicle center to reduce the polar moment of inertia and also enhance manoeuvrability. Buyers no need to worries, even though the seat are place close to the center, Lexus has a clever idea of placing the front space of 71cm and the rear seat spacing has been reduced to 62cm and the hip point was raised by 2.5cm providing rear occupant a feeling of spaciousness. Speaking of seat, the driver seat for the luxury model has been equipped with an 8 way power adjustments with 3 memory seat function and also power lumbar support adjustment but the standard model only comes with a manual seat of 6 ways on the driver side and 4 ways manual seat on the front passenger side.

The CT200h battery pack is essentially the same unit found in the Toyota Prius and the compact hybrid battery of Nickel Metal Hydride was located low beneath the boot floor and the adoption of a fully independent double wishbone configuration has minimize the suspension component intrusion into the luggage area thus providing the CT200h 375 liter of luggage space on a flat floor design. This can further be improve by folding down the rear backrest thus increasing the boot volume to 986 liters.

As for the Lexus brand, like any other luxury car model, the equipment list will be long and for the luxury model, this is not an issue as the car was equipped with rain sensing wipers, performance dampers and also smart entry system to further amplifies the luxuriousness of the car. Bad sadly the standard model comes without any of those equipment that I have mention above. In terms of tyre size, the car is equipped a 205/55 R16 alloy wheels as standard equipment for both model.

In term of interior, the Luxury variant of CT200h are equipped with Electro Multi Vision screen that is 7 inch in size where it can access all the multimedia interface of navigation, to the status of hybrid vehicles to the In Car Entertainment system. Speaking of ICE, the Lexus CT200h comes with Lexus 10 speakers Premium Audio with AM/FM tuners that is also equipped with 6 CD changer, MP3, WMA and also 8 inch subwoofer with amplifier to really immense the occupant in a very nice sound stage. For the standard variant, Lexus has equipped the CT200h with a Lexus 6 speaker Premium Audio with AM/FM tuners, CD player with MP3 and WMA files capability. For the young and trend setting man/woman Lexus has also includes as a standard equipment of AUX and USB hub to connect you Ipod or any other PMP that you have in your arsenal.

Besides the equipment that I have mention above, the Luxury variant also comes with a remote touch controller that was first introduce in Lexus RX 450h which is located directly behind the shift lever that operates like computer mouse that has been specifically adapted for the use of driving environment which incorporate reaction force feedback for enhanced tactility to access the audio, navigation, climate control, phone and also vehicles setup. As I have mention Navigation, the Lexus Luxury variant comes with Lexus Navigation system that has been preinstalled with Malaysia maps for your navigation needs. Besides that the Luxury variant also comes with Bluetooth hands free connectivity and all the specification that I have mentioned above does not comes neither standard nor optional equipment for the Standard CT200h variant.

As previous paragraph I have mention more too specific Luxury variant equipment, the standard equipment of the Luxury and Standard variant does not differ much. For instances, both variants comes with perforated leather seat that comes with seat heater and also dual zone automatic air conditioning with pollen filter. Besides that, both cars come with Smart Start Button and also cruise controls for a more relax drive. To further enhance the easiness of driving, both variants comes with Auto Dimming rear view mirror for enhance night driving ability. Speaking of night driving, you will be appreciated with the inclusion of visual guidance in terms of illuminated entry system where Lexus has include a puddle lamp, foot lamp and also room lamp.

Now we move on the active safety features. Both CT200h variants comes with all the bells and whistle of equipment acronyms such as ABS, BA, VSC, Traction Control, EBD and also parking clearance sonar guide both front and rear. The only enhancement to the Luxury variants is the inclusion of rear reverse camera to help you navigate your way during the parking manoeuvres. In terms of passive safety, both variants come as standard equipment a total of 8 airbags that also includes a knee airbags for both front passenger and driver of the car. The passive system is also supplemented with a 3 point seatbelt with Pretensioner and Force Limiters but this is only limited to the front seat only.

In terms of security, in order to provide a piece of mid owning this luxury compact hybrid, Lexus has includes an immobilizer as a standard equipment for both models with the Luxury model comes with security horn and also intrusion sensor to further elevates the sense of security to the car.

Now we move on to the engine department of this car. As I have mention before, the battery pack for the CT200h share the same battery pack with the Toyota Prius and this is further generalize with the use of the same 1.8 litre Atkinson cycle in line four 16V DOHC engine that is equipped with VVT-i technology. The engine power output is rated at 98bhp at 5,200RPM with the torque of 142Nm that comes from 2,800RPM to 4,400RPM. As this is a hybrid car, essentially the car comes with an electric motor and this electric motor was rated at 60kW or a massive 207Nm of torque and with a combined system output, this Lexus CT200h spit out a total of 134bhp. All of this engine and motor power is mated with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (E-CVT) to provide excellent fuel efficiency and a smoother drive. The rated fuel consumption for CT200h was rated at an impressive 33km/l.

The hallmark of a Lexus hybrid system is the implementation of Lexus Hybrid Drive which features 4 driving modes of ECO, EV, Normal and Sport. The EV modes allows the car to be driven in a pure electric drive for a distance of 2KM but this is all depends on speed and other factors that draws the battery power. In the ECO mode, this is where the fuel efficiency comes into place and the systems automatically control the throttle response to a more subdued acceleration and the air conditioning operates in such a way to optimised better fuel economy. In this mode, the instrument cluster ambient lighting changes to green hue to show the green conscious to the driver. In the normal mode, well as it say normal, so there is nothing too specific that the car does but when you turn the dial to Sports mode, this mode offers a more dynamic drive by increasing the output of the electric motor which supplements the petrol engine. In this mode, the throttle response is very aggressive and the Electric Power Steering setting automatically set for greater responsiveness but it also reduced the influence of the VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) and Traction Control system for a more spirited driving performance. In this mode, the instrument cluster changes to a red hue with its shows the aggressiveness in this mode.

With the introduction of Lexus CT200h, Lexus Malaysia has open a new segment to car buyers here in Malaysia where now Malaysian can enjoy the luxuriousness of a Lexus brand in a sub RM200K price bracket here in Malaysia. Lexus Malaysia is confident that they will achieved its target of selling 800 units of CT200h this year and this outcomes looks very bullish as before the launch, Lexus Malaysia has manage to secure more than 200 bookings with the booking ratio of both models is equally the same. The Lexus CT200h comes with 7 exterior colour with 5 colours are standard for both variants with the Luxury variants comes with an additional 2 colours of Fire Agate Mica Metallic and Flare Yellow Mica Metallic. Shown below are the prices of CT200h here in Peninsular Malaysia and also Sabah and Sarawak.

CT200h Luxury version

Peninsular Malaysia: RM 196,500.00

Sabah: RM 199,894.20

Sarawak: 199,944.20

CT200h Standard version

Peninsular Malaysia: RM 168,000.00

Sabah: RM 171,394.20

Sarawak: 171,444.20

Both prices above are for individual private registration and on the road price without insurance.

Head down to your nearest Lexus showroom if you are fancy the world’s first hybrid luxury compact car.

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