A restyled and upgraded 2014 Lexus CT 200h was unveiled in Los Angeles after making its debut at China's Guangzhou Auto Show. As preview images indicated, the exterior styling of this compact hybrid hatchback receives significant tweaks to its nose and tail. Up front, a new spindle grille treatment more directly links the CT 200h with its Lexus kin and swaps the basic bar insert for an IS F-style mesh alternative in the CT 200h F Sport variant. The rear quarters also gain new edge thanks to a more aggressively contoured fascia with prominent L-shaped reflectors and blackout center section, a recast diffuser and a larger rear spoiler that also gets a unique shape on the F Sport. All CT 200h models feature new 10-spoke alloy wheel designs, with the standard 16-inch rims giving way to 17-inchers on the F Sport. 

Also: More first looks from the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show

The 2014 CT 200h also benefits from a number of unseen upgrades starting with a series of strategic reinforcements to its body structure that enhance platform rigidity. This meaningful tweak permitted a comprehensive retuning of the steering and suspension that result in an even sportier feel and greater precision while maintaining ride compliance, with F Sport-spec further elevating those baseline gains. While the Lexus Hybrid Drive package in the CT 200h still develops a modest 134 total horsepower and 142 lb-ft of torque, it now produces fewer CO2 emissions and the transmission controller on its CVT automatic has been recalibrated to deliver a more linear response. Finally, no fewer than 94 individual improvements were made to reduce NVH levels in what was an already pretty quiet cabin.

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Speaking of the passenger compartment, the 2014 Lexus CT 200h also steps up its inside game with a number of meaningful enhancements. New colors and trims - including premium shimamoku wood from the flagship LS line - add to the basic ambiance, as does a new multifunction steering wheel from the IS. The standard Optitron gauge cluster now can be augmented by a new 4.2-inch TFT screen and the center multimedia screen for the infotainment and navigation systems transitions from a pop-up configuration to a new thinner, fixed display that can be controlled by voice or a new and more user-friendly second-generation Remote Touch Interface controller on the center console. Revised F Sport trim kit brings aluminum pedals, scuff plates and perforated leather wraps on the steering wheel and shift lever.

The 2014 Lexus CT 200h will arrive at dealers in early 2014. Pricing will be released closer to the actual on-sale date.

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