Lexus is taking great strides to be seen as the premier provider of affordable hybrid luxury. The company’s landmark LS460h took the hybrid stereotype and shattered it. Its RX350h proved it could work for a luxury SUV too. Lexus was proving that there was no limit to the application possibilities of hybrid technology.
Now, the company releases another landmark new model. It’s called the HS250h and unlike other Lexus hybrids, this one was born a hybrid from the get-go. The concept of a hybrid luxury sedan was done but not to this extent. By only using the hybrid powertrain in the design process, the designers were not restrained by packaging compromise. In other words, the car can be made more aerodynamic if we don’t need to compensate hood length to accommodate a V12 engine, for example.
This allowed the team to give the HS250h fuel-saving a 0.27 drag coefficient rating. The HS250h uses a new powertrain that already has its roots in the Prius. Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system is mated to a 2.4-liter four-cylinder in the HS250h as opposed to a 1.8-liter in the Prius. Power is rated at 187-hp for the Lexus, versus just 134-hp for the Prius, giving the Lexus what is probably just about acceptable in terms of power for a luxury vehicle.
Though no pricing has been announced yet, we do know it will slot between the IS and the ES in Lexus’ lineup. Expect this new Lexus model to be in showrooms as early as this summer.
Lexus is betting big on hybrids.
Source: Road and Track
Photo: Marc Urbano for R&T