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Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Car Review

By on July 31, 2011
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The Quarterback of the Hybrid World

Good: Phenomenal Range & Fuel Efficiency, Smooth Ride, bullet-proof build quality
Bad: Power Deficiency, Small Boot Space.
Price: AED 162,000 as reviewed. Base model starts at AED 132,000.
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Picture this – you’re a Hybrid and it’s your first day of school. You walk into your class and are greeted by a projectile, a chalk – thrown at you by a big bad group of SUV’s lurking at the back of the classroom. They’ve targeted you because you’re different and you have a funny name – CT 200h. You quickly realize that this is how things are going to be for the rest of the year. Finally, one day, fed up of explaining Peak-Oil theory to your petrol powered friends and of all the bullying you’ve endured at the hands of the V8′s & V12′s of the school – you stick up for yourself and there’s an inevitable car chase. If you’re the Lexus CT 200h, you’ll get away, every single time.

Want to know why? Range – lots of it. While everybody chasing you will eventually have to stop for a drink of petrol. Like the Energizer Bunny, you’ll simply keep going – because that’s what Hybrids do.

The Lexus CT 200h is an exceptional Hybrid. With a RSP starting at 130,000 AED it’s also the lowest priced Lexus you can get your hands on. It’s based on the Scion tC platform and has a powertrain derived from the Toyota Prius. It was designed by a guy called Osamu Sadakata – who’s also been responsible for the development of the Lexus RX & LS 600h Hybrids. The man knows a thing or two about putting batteries in cars.

So, has Mr. Sadakata simply created a Prius in a fancy dress? No, not by a long shot. The CT 200h is definitely not a quick car, its 0-60 time is about 10 seconds (in Sports Mode) – so you’re not going to be winning any drag races. Its 134BHP are derived from a combination of a 1.8 Liter, high efficiency Atkinson Cycle Engine & an electric motor mated to 202-volt NiMh Batteries. The Atkinson Cycle engine, while being very fuel efficient lacks low-end torque. To compensate the batteries can be boosted up to 650Volts to give you extra-oomph – and you will need every bit of that extra power to overtake anything going over 120Kmph on the highway.

However, being a Hybrid – what the CT 200h lacks in power, it makes up for in its phenomenal fuel efficiency. The car has a fuel tank capacity of 45 Liters, and a theoretical driving range of around 1098 kilometers. To put that in perspective – you could drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and back (a round trip of 240kms) about 4 times before you would have to stop for petrol. That’s an astonishing achievement for a car that comfortably seats 5, comes loaded with SatNav, 17 inch wheels, heated seats, a rear-camera, an electric sunroof, an 8-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, a sublime audio system & the bullet-proof build quality of a Lexus.

The CT 200h also features CVT – a Continuously Varying Transmission. This type of transmission system uses pulleys instead of gears, and therefore does not require a clutch. This means you won’t ever feel a “gear change” as you accelerate. Also, the lack of clutch makes for a much lighter car.

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click happy connoisseur of all things uncommon & rare. also a heavily opinionated vandal of gadgets with an affinity for anything powered by petrol.

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