|The CT 200h instrument panel, backlit in red to designate Sport mode. The panel is backlit in blue in Normal, ECO and EV modes. Click to enlarge.|
The CT 200h, Lexus’s second dedicated hybrid (the 250h being the first), benefits from a new platform incorporating numerous, exclusively developed body, chassis and Lexus Hybrid Drive engineering applications designed to offer customers a choice of distinct driving modes: Sport, when the driver wants a more dynamic experience, or Normal, Eco, or EV to satisfy more typical day-to-day driving needs.
Supplementing the Normal drive mode of the new Lexus full hybrid compact’s Electronically-Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT), three drive modes may be selected to fit the driver’s needs or mood, while further improving either performance and dynamic ability, or driving efficiency, fuel economy and emissions.
EV, ECO and Normal drive modes place the emphasis on more relaxed driving, with particular attention paid to ride comfort, smooth acceleration and the minimization of NVH within the body, chassis and powertrain.
From start-up and at speeds of less than 25 mph (40 km/h), the CT 200h can operate in EV mode for up to one mile driving under electric motor power alone.
In ECO mode, throttle response to aggressive accelerator pedal inputs is reduced and air-conditioning control optimized for improved fuel economy. Depending on driving conditions, the ECO mode can help customers adopt a relaxed driving style, and can achieve a perceptible reduction in fuel consumption.
Sport mode focuses on dynamic driving, maximizing the new CT 200h’s performance and steering feel. Engine revs are held higher, and throttle and Electric Power Steering (EPS) settings are modified to give a faster response to driver inputs. The system automatically governs the amount of steering assistance to offer more direct steering feedback and a more involving driving experience. In addition, Sport mode provides less intrusive operation of the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC) systems, allowing drivers to fully exploit the new Lexus full hybrid’s extended dynamic abilities.
The highly distinct characters available via the CT 200h’s Drive Mode Select function are further reinforced through changes to the driver’s instruments synchronized to driving mode selection. Backlit in hybrid blue for the EV, ECO and Normal drive modes, the instrument panel illumination automatically switches to red when the Sport mode is selected. Simultaneously, the hybrid power indicator changes to a tachometer.