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Lexus CT 200h

The new Lexus CT 200h is a full hybrid car that the company promises will have sharp and sporty handling

The new Lexus CT 200h is a full hybrid, but the company also promises that the car will have sharp and sporty handling.

Lexus says that from the outset the aim has been to make the CT 200h a true driver’s car, and so its features include lateral performance dampers. These lateral dampers, at front and rear, are claimed to increase torsional rigidity, suppress vibrations and contribute to ride comfort without the penalty of extra weight. As well as absorbing and minimising unwanted vibrations, particularly through the vehicle floor, they improve steering feel and ride comfort. The Lexus CT 200h is the first volume production model to use this technology.

The CT 200h’s handling is said to have been developed specifically to appeal to European customers. Final dynamic testing was carried out on European roads to ensure that all aspects of the car’s suspension, steering, regenerative braking system and full hybrid powertrain meet the standards expected in the highly competitive market for compact luxury cars.

Lexus’s ambition is for the new CT 200h to set a benchmark for handling in its segment – where it will compete against the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. To help meet this goal it has targeted measures to give the car excellent structural rigidity, in particular by optimising weld points and bracing around the vehicle.

The driver can choose between Dynamic and Relaxing driving “moods”, and selectable SPORT, NORMAL AND ECO drive modes.

It’s just a shame that the styling of the CT 200h looks very fussy.

The CT 200h, the first Lexus for the luxury small car market, will form the centrepiece of Lexus’s display at the Paris Motor Show before going on sale in the UK early next year.