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Lexus HS 250h: The 'Luxury' Prius

By Jay Williams - 14/January/2008

Lexus HS 250h
Lexus HS 250h

Lexus HS 250h
The new Lexus HS 250h is driven by a
2.4-litre 4-cylinder hybrid power core

Lexus HS 250h
Lexus has a knack for crafting high tech,
but highly intuitive and usable interiors

Lexus HS 250h
The "luxury Prius" has arrived: Lexus HS 250h

Detroit, America — Featuring the same hybrid set up as the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Lexus has introduced a new model - the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle.

The 2010 model Lexus HS 250h sedan made it's debut at the Detroit Motor show, cementing the Japanese car makers image as a hybrid specialist.

With a fair bit of grunt, the Lexus HS 250h sedan produces 139kW from it's 2.4-litre, 4-cylinder gasoline engine and comes with a CVT transmission that delivers that power to the front wheels.

Lexus has gone to great lengths to achieve reduced emissions and better fuel-efficiency in this new mid-sizer, and one of the first stops in this pursuit was to clean up the aerodynamics of the car.

The idea is to reduce drag and thus improve overall fuel efficiency.

But how? Take, for instance, the unique gull-wing-shaped roof-panel design. It's supposed to help reduce mass and overall vehicle height so it better slices through the air. 

The front spoiler, rear spoiler, rear under spoiler, and diffuser fins all help reduce drag as well.

The Lexus HS 250h sedan will be the fourth hybrid and the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its lineup: Lexus reckons the new model will be 30 per cent more fuel-efficient than any model currently in its range.

This is in stark contrast to the likes of the 311 kilowatts V8-powered IS-F or the upcoming V10 supercar which aren't exactly your tree hugging, muesli-munching kind of cars.

First glance at the 2010 model Lexus HS 250h and it's not hard to see the correlation between Lexus and Toyota. Take a look at the front end of the HS 250h and compare it with the Toyota Prius - it's pretty similar. 

That was the idea, to create a 'luxury' version of the Prius with a bit more power.

Out of all the Hybrid cars on the market, the Lexus HS 250h seems to be one of the more attractive models in terms of styling, and the interior looks super slick with more gadgets than a 007 sports car. 

It also gets the new Lexus touch-pad thingy that navigates the menu systems.

Lexus stated that "Like the all-new 2010 RX 450h hybrid utility vehicle that made its debut in November, the HS 250h will include a new system designed to improve efficiency."

And what is that system? It's a new exhaust heat recovery system that "reduces engine warm-up time, thus allowing it to stop earlier, more often, and for longer periods," explained Lexus. 

The new vehicle looks as though it'll be a high tech luxury car too, with things like a windshield with infrared-ray (IR) reduction properties, which helps keep the interior cooler and can decrease the amount of air conditioning needed to lower the cabin temperature. 

Guess that means no window tinting...

"In addition to the exhaust heat recovery system and the IR windshield, available power-saving LED headlamps also contribute to improved fuel efficiency and emissions," the Toyota-owned Japanese luxury car maker explained.

Related articles:
- Lexus GS450h (Road Test)
- Lexus IS250 (Road Test)
- Lexus LS460 (2007)
Lexus LS 600h L (2007)
Lexus GS430 (Road Test)
Lexus LF-Sh (concept)

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