Lexus has just left us their brand new 2010 HS 250h compact gas/electric luxury sedan. This premium compact hybrid from across the Pacific looks like nothing else you have ever seen from a four wheeled machine, it looks as if someone took a Camry and made it look cool. The HS line is an interesting move, unveiled at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it is made up exclusively of HS 250 h model, thus becoming an alternatively powered range of vehicles.
From the sound of things, and trust us it will be quiet, Lexus has no plans of expanding to gas guzzlers. It is almost like how most crossovers have the letter X hidden away somewhere in their name, the fuel efficient Japanese automaker is striking their point home with this one. While the name, and while the car’s proper name is Harmonious Sedan we’re thinking hybrid. The heart of the beast is a very green 2.4 Liter 16 Valve DOHC four cylinder with VVT-i coupled with a Lexus Hybrid Drive electric drive motor mated to a gas sipping Electronically Controlled Variable Transmission, all together the 21st century power train puts out 147 HP and 105 lb-ft of torque which should be good for 35 MPG around town and 34 MPG on the highway.
From the looks of things our HS is short on options but comes with everything necessary to spoil it’s owner, creature comforts like a push button starter, power everything, a spacious leather wrapped interior, satellite fed hard drive based navigation complete with backup camera displayed on a neat little screen that tucks itself away when not in use. Outside you get a distinctly hybrid looking vehicle with a visually appealing aggressive edge; wearing a bold three bar grill, stylish 18 inch wheels and a sporty little rear spoiler all for well under $40,000.
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At first glance you would think that this is nothing more then a $38,520 rebadged Prius with a trunk and some fancy leather, however the HS is an all new luxury four door that will be familiar to Toyota ’s other hybrid only lineup. While Lexus Hybrid Drive seems a lot like Toyota Synergy Drive, the HS is a premium compact and our car has it everywhere it counts. To start with you get the bigger engine, the interior is much more plush a perfect example being the discreet leather wrapped gear selector and not to mention a significantly higher price tag.
However just like the 3rd generation Prius isn’t without its innovations, like bold blue shifter made us feel like were behind the controls of the Starship Enterprise, the new Lexus Remote Touch controller and palm rest will make you feel more like Tom Cruise in Minority Report. With only 10,000 units being made for the initial production run, these cars are guaranteed to be in demand and you can expect the long waiting lists and dealer premiums that most Prius owners should be familiar with.