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In the midst of writing our recent <A HREF="">The Official Lexus USA CT 200h Press Releases</A> Front Page story, this author, on a whim, decided to check out what, if anything, our counterparts in the Lexus Europe Media Room were up to. To our surprise, they had put together a Press Brochure for the upcoming 2010 Paris Auto Show and posted it, as a "protected" PDF Document, on Friday 10 September. Unlike the much more broadly open <A HREF="">Toyota USA Newsroom</A>, the Lexus Europe Media Room is only accessible to registered media. And the PDF's "protected" status means that we can't post it as we'd hoped to. The somewhat similar initial CT 200h Press Brochure was <A HREF="">famously scanned and leaked</A> by <A HREF=""></A> ahead of the 2010 Geneva Auto Show last winter, but this author's level of computer literacy isn't high enough to do that. Instead, we'll note that many passages and photos are shared with the far more easily accessible U.S. Press Releases, and that many of the Euro-centric tidbits we unearthed were already incorporated into <A HREF="">our prior write-up</A>. More of those remain, however, and the next several paragraphs will bring them to you.

While automotive CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions numbers are largely irrelevant to us here in North America, they are hugely vital in Europe as the basis of numerous vehicle taxation schemes. A base CT 200h with the Prius-like 15" wheels has CO2 emissions of 89g/km (grams per kilometer) combined city/highway, a match for its Toyota Auris HSD and Prius siblings. The Extra Urban (presumably suburban highway use) drops this to 85g/km, while the Urban (city) cycle shows emissions of 90 g/km. Bear in mind, though, that the full hybrid powertrain can move the CT for up to 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) producing zero emissions.

Lexus dealers will begin accepting dealer orders this coming November 2010, and pricing is expected to begin from less than 30,000 Euros in France. Worldwide prices will vary due to specification differences and local market factors, but that guesstimate supports this author's personal contention that U.S. CT 200h base model pricing will be no higher than $29,995 plus destination charge and local taxes.

Externally, the headlight options are described as single halogen standard or optional twin LED low beam lamps. <A HREF="">An earlier article</A> reminds us that Europe will offer Cerulean Blue (8U9 colour code), Ultrasonic Blue (8U1 colour code) and Black Opal Mica (214 colour code) exteriors unavailable in North America for its initial model year, as well as smaller 15" and 16" wheel options again unavailable in the U.S.

Inside, we learn that the thick-grip steering wheel's diameter is 370mm (14.5"), with a lowered, 21 degree steering angle, and that the quick steering ratio of 14.6:1 and just 2.7 turns lock-to-lock gives the CT 200h the most direct steering in the Lexus model range. Then come the notable differences in interior seating and trim options. While the U.S. Press Releases strongly imply that the 8-way power seats with memory function and power lumbar support adjustment will be standard, the European Press Brochure clearly states that 6-way manual seats (shades of the 1st-generation Lexus IS) are standard in the Old Continent, with the power seats optional. Speaking of the power lumbar support, its range of adjustment is given as 30mm (just over an inch). Heated seats are included in Europe as part of the 8-way power seat/memory/power lumbar option and will likely be standard in Canada, but they are tipped to be optional in the U.S. As to European trim options, there will be a choice of Black, Ivory or Grey leather trim and upholstery, and five fabric finishes: Black, Red, Blue (which already met with the <A HREF="">Seal seal of disapproval</A>), Ivory or Brown. Available dashboard inserts are Tropical Bamboo, Brown Ash Burl Wood (which may or may not be the U.S. Matte Wood) and Storm Black in lieu of Silver Metallic.

While North America's navigation system option is merely trilingual (English, Spanish and French), its European counterpart benefits from a powerful, 40Gb HDD capacity, making it one of the fastest, most accurate systems on the market. It covers the whole of Europe, and includes the traffic information infrastructure of each country. The system features voice recognition, with four additional languages including Russian, and a menu that can be operated in 14 languages including Cyrillic characters.

As to audio possibilities, North America's two options (the standard, entry level Lexus Audio System, which includes 6 speakers and a single-CD player and the 10-speaker Lexus Premium Audio System upgrade that also includes an in-dash 6-disc CD changer and a Digital Signal Processing (DSP) eight-channel, full range class D amplifier) are joined by a third European option, a Mark Levinson Premium Surround Audio System featuring 13 speakers and an 8-channel ML amplifier and ‘Sound Library’ facility, using Compact Disc Data Base technology to transfer and store music files up to a 10Gb capacity. Alas, Lexus will not be offering the latter option in the United States (and probably not in Canada, either).

CT 200h is designed to achieve maximum 5-Star Euro NCAP and NCAP (USA), and 6-star J-NCAP (Japan) crash test ratings.

Like <A HREF="">their U.S. counterparts</A>, the Europeans refer to Preliminary Specifications. Although much of the information is the same (albeit converted to metrics) there are some additional numbers worth mentioning. Both Europe and the U.S. share a final drive ratio of 3.267, so that does not explain the seemingly large jump between U.S. 0-60 mph and European 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) times mentioned in our earlier article. Fuel tank capacity is 45 liters, or 11.9 gallons. The eagle-eyed might wonder why the coefficient of drag is given as 0.28 in Europe and as 0.29 in the U.S. Chalk that up to the Euro-standard 15" wheels versus our more stylish but less aerodynamic 17" wheels. Those wheels (and their smaller tires) probably also go a long way in explaining why the European kerb weight is given as 1370 kg (3014 lbs) versus the U.S.'s 1422 kg (3130 lbs). The GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is either missing or inadvertently cut off from the U.S. specs, but Europe cites it as 1790 kg (3938 lbs). Subtract the curb weight from this figure, and it means that the maximum passenger and cargo combined weight the CT 200h can handle is somewhere in the 368-420 kg (809-924 lb) vicinity.

Finally, European fuel consumption cycle figures are cited as 3.8 liters per 100 kilometers in the Combined city/highway cycle, 3.7 l/100 km in the Extra Urban (highway) cycle and 3.9 l/100 km in the Urban (city) cycle. Those figures can be easily converted to either U.S. or U.K. (Imperial) miles per gallon ratings via the ultra-handy <A HREF="">Mark Porthouse Fuel Consumption Conversion Calculator</A>.
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