In spite of Lexus' decision to feature only hybrid models in its official display at the 2010 SEMA Show, this author didn't harbor any illusions of seeing modded CT 200h vehicles there, given the paucity of pre-production prototypes and the many markets clamoring to use them for press previews, auto shows and the like. Yet, to our pleasant surprise, Lexus USA did manage to take one Starfire Pearl CT 200h and turn it over to Troy Sumitomo of <A HREF="http://www.fiveaxis.net/">Five Axis</A> who, with a lot of support from TRD (Toyota Racing Development), the in-house tuning shop for Toyota, Lexus, and Scion cars, created the Lexus CT 200h F Sport Concept.
Given the time and vehicle availability constraints they worked under, this is a far more understated effort than previous Lexus/Five Axis collaborations such as <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f41/f-fiveaxis-344776/">2007's Project IS F by Five Axis</A>, 2008's <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f45/lexus-sema-2008-preview-372931/">Project GS by Five Axis</A> and <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f45/lexus-sema-2008-more-information-emerges-373795/">Lexus IS 350 with F-Sport Accessories</A>, as well as last year's <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f45/lexus-launches-its-official-sema-2009-microsite-401250/">Lexus IS C with F-Sport Accessories</A>. Lexus' <A HREF="http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/lexus/document/2010_Lexus_SEMA_Media_Guide.revised.pdf">Car Media Guide for the 2010 SEMA Show PDF document</A> succinctly describes the Lexus CT 200h F Sport Concept as being equipped with F Sport 18x8.0-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli PZero Nero 225/40R/18 front and rear; F Sport high performance Big Brake Kit – Front with 12.9 x 1.1-inch cross-drilled rotor and F Sport performance adjustable suspension and adjustable dampening shocks.
The sharp-memoried amongst you may well feel the same consternation this author felt when seeing how the above specs seemingly contradict this passage from our recent <A HREF="http://www.ct200hforum.com/forum/lexus-ct200h-news-reviews/117432-lexus-ct-200h-tale-two-continents.html">A tale of two continents article</A>: "...the U.S. market's dealer-installed accessories list revealed an alternate 17" F Sport wheel patterned after that of the CT-previewing Lexus LF-Ch concept... We also learned that, while items such as an intake and a big brake kit are out of the question for a hybrid like CT 200h..." So, were we misinformed at the Paris Press Preview? Hardly. Lexus officials reaffirmed that article's information that the F Sport accessory line for CT 200h will consist solely of the "five tri-spoke" accessory wheels in a 17" size, lowering springs (with a drop no greater than an inch) and sway bars.
In other words, don't expect 18" F Sport wheels for the CT any time soon, if ever. Yet, we must also note that the 10-spoke F Sport accessory wheels for the Lexus IS line are available in a trio of sizes (18" X 8", 19" X 8" and 19" X 9"), so it isn't entirely out of the question for the future, either. As to the Big Brake Kit, this is far more unlikely, given the difficulty inherent in combining the factory-integral hybrid regenerative braking with aftermarket brakes. And, tantalizing as the notion of an "F Sport performance adjustable suspension" (read: coilovers) and adjustable dampening shocks sounds, again, Lexus has no immediate plans to offer these as part of the official F Sport accessory line. Yet, the very fact that Lexus has seen fit to outfit a CT 200h with these items and shown it at Las Vegas' SEMA Show, the world's premier aftermarket accessory and tuner show demonstrates that the carmaker is at least thinking along these lines. Strong positive response to this concept may well persuade Lexus to expand the F Sport accessory line for CT beyond its initial cautious offerings.
The Lexus USA Newsroom also features <A HREF="http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/lexus/electronic.aspx?fid=117478&id=E23C26936">a video</A> of the Lexus CT 200h F Sport Concept, as well as the other hybrids featured at the 2010 SEMA Show's Lexus exhibit.