New models - Lexus - CT - 200h
Lexus CT200h to hit Australia at $39,990
Pricing, technology of Lexus CT200h to worry the competition
22 Feb 2011
LEXUS’S hybrid CT200h luxury hatchback will go on sale in Australia priced from $39,990 plus on-road costs, meaning the cheapest Lexus will cost just $90 more than the closely-related Toyota Prius.
The sharp pricing for the CT200h – the first hybrid compact luxury car on the Australian market and the first Lexus here with front-wheel drive – was announced today ahead of its launch in the Australian Formula One Grand Prix celebrity race in Melbourne.
Powered by a modified version of Toyota’s 1.8-litre petrol-electric drive system from the Prius, the four-model hatchback range had been expected to be priced closer to $50,000, but it will start with the Prestige specification at $39,990 and top out at $55,900 for the flagship Sports Luxury. The latter is $100 more than the previous cheapest Lexus, the IS250 Prestige.
As GoAuto reported in October last year, Lexus said its CT200h would be priced from under $50,000 at launch but would not match the entry-level pricing of small-luxury rivals.
Non-hybrid five-door competitors include Alfa’s Giulietta, which opens at $36,990, with base-spec Mercedes B-class and Audi A3 Sportback occupying a similar price bracket, while the least expensive BMW 1-Series hatch weighs in at $41,200.
From top: The production CT200h, Toyota Prius and the Lexus Celebrity Challenge CT200h.
The cheapest diesel A3 is $48,100, undercut only by BMW’s $44,500 118d which also gets closer to Lexus levels of efficiency with fuel consumption of 4.5l/100km but its CO2 figure of 119g/km is 23 grams higher than Lexus’s claimed 96g/km.
Standard equipment on the entry-level CT200h Prestige includes eight airbags, dual-zone climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, cruise control and metallic paint as a no-cost option.
Lexus Australia chief executive Tony Cramb said: "CT200h will open up the Lexus brand to a host of new and existing customers – those wanting to enter the luxury market, those wanting to downsize to a stylish and sporty hatchback, and those who wish to take advantage of the CT200h's unique hybrid driveline."Last year, the small luxury car segment above $40,000 grew 14.5 per cent – faster than the sub-$40,000 small-car market that climbed 11.7 per cent.
Options on the CT200h Prestige include a $3000 leather pack that in addition to upgraded upholstery includes 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, reversing camera and auto-dimming interior mirror. $5000 gets the leather pack and a ‘moon roof’.
The Luxury trim level adds the leather pack plus satellite navigation and reversing camera.
The F Sport also receives the leather pack, navigation and reversing camera plus a number of chassis and cosmetic upgrades, led by tuned suspension, aggressive front and rear styling, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, leather upholstery, sports seats, steering wheel and pedals. Also available on the F Sport will be an exclusive ‘Flame Blue’ exterior paint colour.
The Luxury and F Sport variants can have the glass roof fitted for an extra $2500. Lexus claims that the Luxury, F Sport and Sports Luxury variants will be the only cars in the compact luxury segment to feature a reversing camera.
The Sports Luxury range-topper adds further comfort features including radar-based active cruise control. The radar behind badge also serves as a component of the pre-collision safety system to warn the driver of a likely collision, with audible and visible warnings on the dashboard.
If there is no reaction from the driver and the system predicts an unavoidable collision, it primes the braking system for maximum power, pre-tensions the seatbelts and prepares the vehicle for collision by setting the airbag sensors to high alert.
According to Lexus, the CT200h in Sports Luxury trim debuts adaptive cruise control and pre-collision safety in this sector. The Sports Luxury version also has the option of a $1500 sports bodykit comprising front and rear bumpers, side skirts and a larger rear spoiler.
Lexus dealerships across Australia are now taking orders for the CT200h. Customers who place orders before the official launch will be entered into a draw to win a place in the all-Lexus CT200h celebrity challenge, which Lexus claims is the world’s first all-hybrid race and will take place at the Australian F1 Grand Prix on March 27 at Albert Park in Melbourne.
Asked if customers were placing orders for the CT200h sight unseen, a Lexus spokesperson told GoAuto that last year, Lexus ran a road show, taking some CT200h cars around Australia for prospective customers to examine and that since then, two examples have been on display rotation at various Australian Lexus dealerships.
In addition to the prize draw for early-adopters, Lexus auctioned off another seat in the celebrity challenge in aid of the Red Cross Victorian Flood appeal, raising $17,600. Both winners will partake in driver training, hospitality and racing at Albert Park.
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