2014 Lexus CT shows new face on each side of the Pacific [w/video]Thu, 21 Nov 2013 19:00:00 EST
Earlier today, Lexus officially took the wraps off its 2014 CT 200h at the Guangzhou Motor Show, and now we've gotten a chance to inspect the updated hybrid hatchback right here at the LA Auto Show.
As expected, the most prominent change made to the CT's styling is the addition of Lexus' signature spindle grille. Additional changes include new wheel options and revised front and rear fascias, but our favorite update to the car is to the headlights, where there is no longer a gap in the middle of the LED running lights. The luxury hatchback has also received some changes to the cabin, including an updated instrument gauge cluster, a new fixed nav screen that replaces the previous folding unit and a freshened combination of cabin materials.
No changes have been made to the CT's hybrid powertrain, meaning the model will carry on with a 134-horsepower 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder paired with a drive motor and an electronic continuously variable transmission. Fuel economy ratings likely won't stray too much from the 2013 model's 43 miles per gallon city and 40 mpg highway ratings.
The motivational force may not have change, but Lexus has stiffened up the CT's chassis and fine-tuned its suspension and aerodynamics in the name of reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels. As with the current model, there will still be an F Sport offering, and in addition a more aggressive look, it will also maintain its firmer suspension. There is still no indication as to when the 2014 CT will go on sale or how much it will cost – the current car starts at around $32k – but the full press release and a short video with more details be found below.
2014 Lexus CT 200h Shows its Full Face at Guangzhou Motor Show
More Dynamic, Sophisticated Exterior Design
Refined Interior With EnhancedVisual and Tactile Quality
Distinctive New F SPORT Design With Unique Exterior and Interior Styling and Improved Driving Dynamics
GUANGZHOU, China (Nov. 21, 2013) - Mean and green, the Lexus CT 200h compact luxury hybrid showed off its new front fascia at the Guangzhou Motor Show premiere in China.
In addition to a new grille, the updated hybrid also offers more dynamic, sophisticated exterior styling, a refined interior with upgraded equipment, and enhanced driving performance for the 2014 model year. In addition, the available F SPORT model features create a distinctive look.
Dynamic, Sophisticated Exterior Design
The front of 2014 CT 200h introduces a new Lexus "spindle grille" design. The center has been pushed forward to create a powerful, more three-dimensional form. The bottom corners are spaced wider and the spindle 'pinch point' has been lowered, reinforcing the CT 200h's low front profile and wide, sporting track.
In profile, the new 2014 CT 200h sports newly developed, 10-spoke, 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels, or a new shark fin-style roof antenna.
To the rear, a new bumper design features a more horizontal structure. Distinctive, L-shaped reflector housings are incorporated on the bottom corners. A black lower center section emphasizes the vehicle's low center of gravity and broad rear stance.
The new CT 200h is available in a choice of six body colors including an all-new Lexus red. A Lexus first, a sporty black roof is available with six color schemes to provide a unique two-tone look. All exterior paint now benefits from a scratch-resistant, self-restoring top coat.
Refined Interior Design and Upgraded Equipment
The 2014 CT 200h interior has been refined to offer enhanced levels of equipment and improved visual and tactile quality.
The driver benefits from a new, 14.6-inch diameter steering wheel. The Optitron instrument panel is now available with a 4.2-inch TFT (Thin Film Transistor) screen which may be linked to the multimedia system and controlled via steering wheel-mounted switches.
The available center screen is now fixed and thinner. The second generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) features a new, more user-friendly push entry control switch.
The Lexus Display Audio (LDA) and Electro Multi Vision/Navigation (EMV/N) multimedia systems feature added functions, improved operability, enhanced hands-free, voice recognition control and a new, center-console-mounted controller.
The sound quality of the Lexus audio system has been enhanced by the adoption of the world's first 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 results in noticeably improved sound quality.
Additional equipment upgrades include the availability of rear view and backup monitors for the LDA system, as well as Intuitive Parking Assist, a Tire Pressure Warning system and a Traction Control "Off" switch.
The CT 200h offers revised center console trim colors and combinations for 2014. A new door panel trim and upholstery design incorporates stitching for added visual quality. A choice of five trim finishes now includes Shimamoku, or "striped wood." Anew, more sophisticated, metal film finish has been added to the center console switchgear.
Interior upholstery choices include leather or Lexus NuLuxe in Black, Caramel, Flaxen and Parchment.
Enhanced Driving Performance
The 2014 CT 200h combines increased body rigidity, suspension revisions and enhanced aerodynamics with comprehensive NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) measures to offer a more agile, engaging driving performance and an even quieter cabin environment.
Body rigidity has been improved through additional spot welding and the extensive use of structural adhesive technology.
Increased body rigidity has also allowed for suspension re-tuning. Coil spring rates have been optimized, a new shock absorber valve adopted, and the rear stabilizer bar diameter altered to enhance ride comfort with no loss of handling agility.
Complementing the inherent quietness of the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain, more than 94 separate measures have been adopted to further reduce NVH. A Lexus hybrid first, a new inlet duct design realizes both excellent intake efficiency and a high level of quietness.
Distinctive F SPORT Design
The 2014 CT 200h F SPORT has been designed with a more powerful road presence, to give it a stronger differentiation from the standard CT 200h.
A new spindle grille design features the same aggressive mesh pattern as that of the new IS F SPORT, which is reversed between the upper and lower sections. The fog lamp housings share the same mesh finish, and are underscored with a fin also finished in black.
To the rear, an exclusive roof spoiler features cut-outs to provide additional downforce for even greater grip and stability.
Seventeen-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels feature an F SPORT-unique surface treatment. The vehicle is available in a choice of nine exterior colors including F SPORT-exclusive White Nova, and seven two-tone colors with a black roof.
The F SPORT interior features exclusive upholstery, ornamentation and trim. The seat upholstery has been upgraded with synthetic leather side bolsters and headrests, fabric center panels and enhanced stitching. A choice of four F SPORT-exclusive color schemes includes a newly developed Slate Grey. Full leather upholstery is also available, in a choice of Black or Dark Rose. A choice of four trim finishes includes F SPORT-exclusive Wedge Metal.
The F SPORT features all the driving performance enhancements of the 2014 CT 200h model range. In addition, it benefits from sport-tuned coil spring settings and optimized front/rear roll rigidity distribution to further enhance its sporting driving dynamics.
In addition to its alluring style the CT 200h has one of the best EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings in its segment with a combined rating of 42 mpg, 43 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.
By Jeffrey N. Ross
See also: Lexus LF-NX gets turbocharged second act [w/video], 2015 Lexus RC 300h is a hardcore hybrid cherry coupe, Toyota, Lexus dominate KBB's Best Resale Value Awards.