2011 Lexus CT 200h achieves five-star rating at the Euro NCAP crash testing

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 24, 2011

The latest Euro NCAP test results give the Lexus CT 200h the top marks when it comes to safety. In several fields, the Lexus hybrid topped its class, with a 94% protection rating for adults. It tied with the Volvo V60. The Lexus hatchback got high scores when it comes to the categories of child protection and safety assist but it tested poorly on pedestrian rating.

In the frontal impact, the passenger compartment remained stable and the knee airbags gave good protection to the knees and femurs of the driver and passenger.

In the side barrier impact, it scored maximum points as all body regions were protected well. In the side pole impact, its chest protection was marginal based on the rib deflections of its dummies. Also well-protected were the three-year dummy (with 11.9 points) and the 18-month dummy (with 11.2 points) out of a total of 12.

Pedestrians' legs were protected by the bumper, getting maximum points in the tests. Unfortunately, the front edge of the bonnet was poor in almost all of the tested areas.

The CT200h is fitted with Electronic Stability Control as standard equipment. It has complied with Euro NCAP's requirements.

Also offered as standard is a seatbelt reminder system for the driver, front passenger and rear seats. The model that was tested had a five-door hatchback configuration and the 1.8-liter hybrid powerplant. It was specked in the 'Comfort' grade.

The Lexus CT 200h is equipped with a group of advanced safety features centered on an “Integrated Safety Management Concept” that offers optimal safety performance in any driving scenario. Not only that, the Lexus CT 200h likewise offers the highest level of safety equipment in its segment. For starters, the Lexus CT 200h features a rigid, impact-absorbing body shell that’s complemented by a number of active, passive and pedestrian impact safety features.

These features include eight airbags and Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats, as well as an upgraded Electronically Controlled Braking-Regeneration system (ECB-R) that combines Anti-Lock brakes (ABS), Brake Assist, Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). All of these elements should allow the new Lexus CT 200h to achieve top crash ratings in Europe (Euro NCAP, five stars), United States (NCAP, five stars) and Japan (J-NCAP six stars). Passive safety is provided specifically through a body shell that features a high percentage of high tensile sheet steel, thereby resulting to a light weight yet very rigid structure.

Thanks to this, Lexus was able to engineer the Lexus CT 200h to perform as best as possible in terms of full-frontal, offset, side and rear collisions. As standard, the new Lexus CT 200h is equipped with eight Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags -- driver and front seat passenger front, knee and side airbags, and side curtain airbags. It also features three-point ELR (Emergency Locking Retractor) seatbelts.

Seatbelts for the driver, front passenger and rear outer passengers are specified with a pre-tensioner and force limiter function. Meanwhile, the second-generation Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) seat concept found on the CT 200h features a new seat back structure and headrest design. During normal use, the new headrest is placed as close as possible to the passenger's head. With this configuration, there is minimal gap between the headrest and the occupant’s head in case of rear impact, thereby reducing the risk of whiplash through excessive head movement. Aside from passenger-centered safety features, the new Lexus CT 200h also offers the best possible pedestrian impact protection.

Customers may further boost the safety level of the Lexus CT 200h by availing of a pre-emptive, Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system with Adaptive Cruise Control. Designed to help reduce collision damage and injury, PCS uses a millimeter wave radar sensor to sense objects ahead, thereby allowing it to identify possibly dangerous objects ahead and help reduce the possibility of a collision. If this possibility is high, PCS will provide an alert to the driver while activating the Pre-Crash Seatbelt pretensioners. As the brakes are applied by the driver, PCS will provide Pre-Crash Brake Assist to augment his or her braking effort.

Should the driver fail to brake in an inevitable collision, Pre-Crash Brake will apply the brakes automatically to reduce impact speed. Complementing the function of the PCS when the car is moving at speeds between 50 km/h and 170 km/h is the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). ACC works by maintaining a pre-set distance between the Lexus CT 200h and the vehicle in front. Once the path ahead is clear of other vehicles, the CT 200h will return to its intended cruising speed.

In terms of deceleration and stopping, the Lexus CT 200h comes with a second-generation Electronically Controlled Braking-Regeneration system (ECB-R) that manages the control of both hydraulic and regenerative braking. ECB-R proactively employs braking force from the hybrid drive system's electric motor to recover as much electrical energy as possible, thereby helping the CT 200h achieve outstanding fuel economy. ECB-R also combines several active safety systems like the latest generation Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRC).

Press Release

The New Lexus CT 200h Achieves A Maximum Five Star Euro NCAP Rating

The Lexus CT 200h has been awarded the prestigious Euro NCAP five-star rating with an overall score of 83/100. This score is well above the minimum required to achieve five stars, and ranks the new Lexus amongst the very safest vehicles in the premium compact segment.

This achievement is all the more significant for the adoption by Euro NCAP of a new, more stringent crash test scheme in 2009. The new programme is composed of four areas - Adult Occupant, Child Occupant, Pedestrian Protection and a new area; Safety Assist. Injury avoidance and mitigating functions, such as seat belt reminders, ESP and a speed limiter are also rated, and achieving a five-star rating has become increasingly more difficult year by year.

The Lexus CT 200h scored 94% for Adult Occupant, 84% for Child Occupant, 55% for Pedestrian Protection and 86% for Safety Assist.

Commenting on the Adult Occupant category, Euro NCAP highlighted the maximum points scored by the CT 200h in the side barrier impact test, the good protection offered by the driver and front passenger knee airbags, and the high level of protection against whiplash injuries. The new premium 2/2 compact achieved an outstanding result for rear impact protection performance, due to Lexus’ second-generation WIL (Whiplash Injury Lessening) seat technology.

The revised WIL system’s headrest is designed to sit as close as possible to the occupant’s head during normal use. In the event of a rear impact, the torso sinks easily into the seat, effectively closing the gap between the occupant’s head and the headrest, reducing the risk of whiplash injury.

In the Child Occupant tests, the CT 200h scored well for its protection of both 18 month and three year old children. And in the Pedestrian Protection category, the bumper provided good protection to pedestrian’s legs, scoring maximum Euro NCAP points.

With a highly rigid, impact-absorbing bodyshell and a comprehensive range of active, passive and pedestrian impact features, the CT 200h is designed to provide the best possible safety performance in all driving scenarios.

The new Lexus premium compact is the only car in its class to feature both driver and front passenger knee bags amongst the eight airbags fitted as standard. The knee airbags are designed to deploy from the lower part of the instrument panel at the same time as the front airbags to reduce injury from contact with the steering column and lower dashboard structures. They also help to reduce head and chest injuries by reducing pelvis displacement and torso rotation in a major impact.

In a world-first for the premium compact segment, the CT 200h may also be specified with an optional Pre-Crash Safety system (PCS). The PCS pre-emptively optimises front seat belt and emergency braking systems to help reduce collision damage and injury, and will automatically apply the brakes if an impact becomes inevitable. A complimentary Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) automatically matches the speed of the CT 200h to that of the vehicle ahead.

An upgraded Electronically Controlled Braking-Regeneration system (ECB-R) offered as standard incorporates Anti-Lock brakes (ABS), Brake Assist, Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC).

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