Lexus is to the hybrid world as Germany is to the Formula One racing driver scene. Toyota’s luxury brand has been in the hybrid game for some time now and they have quite the selection to choose from. Most have been successful, but nobody would dare argue that these models are the best of the hybrid world. In order to take the hybrid title, Lexus has decided to build a hybrid from the ground out, sort of Lexus’s Michael Schumacher.
Being that Lexus is directly related to Toyota, who currently produces the benchmark hybrid in the Prius, Lexus has a wealth of knowledge at its disposal, but at the same time has one tough act to follow with the new third-generation Prius. With all that in mind, one would hope that this HS 250h would be the pinnacle of what a hybrid vehicle should be.
Lexus’s attempt to create a Schumacher-type vehicle seemed within reach, but the Japanese automaker wound up with a Sebastian Vettel, which isn’t that bad if we’re honest. What Lexus has done was create a luxury Prius, something that is nearly a mirror image of the best selling hybrid and that just isn’t a benchmark in our eyes. After spending a week in the HS 250h, our minds haven’t changed.
Lexus is rolling out a whole bunch of hybrids for this year’s SEMA Auto Show and their first luxury hybrid sedan is in the mix with a tuning kit presented by VIP Auto Salon. The Lexus HS 250h
gets a Branew aero styling package, a Huper Optik ceramic-based window film, and Lexus OEM Japan-market window visors.
Other goodies fitted into this luxury hybrid include a Work Gnosis GS4 machined center disk, gloss bronze anodized outer barrel, 20x8.5-inch ET30 A disk front and 20x9.5-inch, ET 35 A disk rear, and a Branew axle back system. As with the LS 600h by VIP, this sedan will also get a custom interior by Vip Auto Salon and Top Stitch, but it will also get exterior and interior premium light packages provided by VLEDS.
Nothing was changed under the hood which shouldn’t be too surprising considering the hybrid engine sitting there, but 187hp should be plenty for the greenies of the world.
Toyotais just making things worse and worse as months pass. Lexus, Toyota’s luxury division, has announced another major problem with its vehicles, just days after halting sales of one of its hybrid models.
The car recalled was the Lexus HS 250h, due to a possible fire risk in a rear end collision. This time, Lexus has announced the recall of 270,000 vehicles already sold worldwide because of an engine-stalling problem. The issue affects seven models and Toyota says that the issue could affect the cars while driving.
Lexus has not announced all of the vehicles that were in the recall, but they did say that 90,000 of them were in Japan, while the other 180,000 were overseas.
Japan’s Nikkei has reported that “tens of thousands” of LS models could be in the recall and the Wall Street Journal cited a Toyota spokeswoman as saying that the LS, GS, and IS models would be included.
The engines in question are the 4.6-liter V8 and the 3.5-liter V6, as they were built using faulty valve springs.
Toyota is at it again. Like the Ford Pinto in the 1970’s, which would leak fuel during a rear end collision, the Lexus HS250h is having the same problem. Lexus fileded a report with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the recall. Around 17,000 Lexus’s will need to be taken back to the dealer for servicing.
The HS250h could leak fuel in the event of a rear end collision at speeds of 50 miles per hour or greater. Leaking fuel could cause a fire that may threaten the lives of the passengers. Needless to say, Lexus needs to get this issue resolved as soon as possible.
"Even though our own testing of the Lexus HS 250h shows full compliance with federal fuel system integrity standards, we are working intensely to duplicate the noncompliance issue that the NHTSA identified and to determine the reason behind the different test results," said Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America.
Lexus has not advised the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about what steps should be taken. Call Lexus Customer Care at 1-800-25 LEXUS or 1-800-255-3987 or the NHTSA for further questions.
With Toyota embroiled in the biggest crisis in company history, you’d figure that there’s no way to go but up for the embattled auto giant. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Toyota’s problems are far from over.
After already recalling an estimated 8 million vehicles over sticky accelerator, a new problem has arisen from a number of Toyota units, forcing the Japanese-based automaker to recall about 437,000 more units of the Toyota Prius, the Lexus HS 250h, and the Toyota Sai.
What makes is worse for Toyota is that the recall of these units is completely different from the over 9 million vehicles that Toyota has previously recalled. While those cars suffered from sticky accelerators pedals, this latest batch consisting mostly of Prius and Lexus HS 250h models involve “inconsistent braking during slow and steady application of brakes on rough or slick road surfaces when the ABS is activated in an effort to maintain traction.”
It may sound a little too complicated at first but the bottom line is that these cars have a very serious braking problem, which could end up leading to fatal accidents down the road. While accidents stemming from this problem have been minimal, Toyota isn’t taking any more chances in making irreparable damage to its already hard-hit reputation.
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.
You don’t need to look far to find proof that the auto industry is turning over a new leaf – no pun intended – than to look at sales figures for hybrid cars. With the world beginning to become more eco-friendly, it was only a matter of time before car manufacturers would jump at the opportunity to release their own hybrid vehicles.
The most successful car brand to take advantage of this shift in consumer preference has been Toyota, all thanks to their Prius hybrid. The car has become such a sales hit that the company even found itself running out of batteries for the car. Since Toyota is being hailed as the foremost hybrid car maker, it was only inevitable that its luxury line, Lexus, would produce its own hybrid vehicle, the Lexus HS 250h.
Now, it looks like Toyota may have rubbed some of its hybrid magic on its high-end brother after reports out of Japan have said that the HS 250h is falling short in supply due to overwhelming demand. We can’t say we’re surprised, can we? Not when you consider that the brain thrust behind the HS 250h had the best mentors at their disposal.
The Japanese luxury automaker Lexus recently unveiled the HS 250h in Detroit, showing the world the automaker’s fourth hybrid and the most fuel-efficient vehicle in their lineup. The company has just announced that when it does go on sale, it will be available in two different trim levels: standard and premium, with prices ranging from $34,200 to $36,970.
The Lexus HS 250h is powered by the automaker’s first four cylinder gas burning engine, a 2.4 Liter Atkinson-cycle unit that develops a maximum output of 187 HP. The engine is able to achieve extreme efficiency thanks to Toyota’s Variable Valve Timing with intelligence. The VVT-i system allows the combustion/power stroke to be longer than the compression stroke allowing the thermodynamic energy to be more effectively used to produce power.
The production version of the HS 250h will feature four different drive modes: Normal, Power, Eco and EV. Each different mode can help enhance the vehicle’s efficiency by changing the rate that the engine’s throttle opens no matter how hard the accelerator is pressed. Lexus expects that this type of engine control will be good for 35 MPG in the city and 34 MPG while cruising at highway speeds.
Lexus unveiled today at the Detroit Auto Show world’s first ever dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle: the HS 250h, the fourth hybrid and the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its lineup. Sales will begin later in the summer.
The HS 250s is powered by Lexus’ first four-cylinder gas engine: the 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle that develops 187 hp. The highly efficient Atkinson-cycle engine, made possible by the Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) system, allows the expansion/power stroke to be longer than the compression stroke so that combustion energy can be more effectively used for production of engine power.
The car is being offered with proactive adoption of plant-based, carbon-neutral “Ecological Plastics” or (bio-plastics) used in the cowl-side trim, door scuff plate, tool box area, floor-finish plate, seat cushions, and the package tray behind the rear seats.
Among the technologies used by the HS 250h are: standard leather-trim seats, a moonroof, Lexus premium audio systems, and a new standard multi-media package that includes Bluetooth® technology, integrated satellite radio (subscription required), voice recognition, and USB iPod connectivity controlled via steering-wheel controls or a display screen.
UPDATE 11/05/2010: Check out our review of the Lexus HS 250h by clicking here!
Although we’ve already seen scanned pages of the Lexus HS 250h, catching the car out testing shows that sketches were no fluke. Lexus’ first stand-alone hybrid will use the technology from the next Prius, but will have its own skin that will be more in line with a regular sedan. HS 250h should feature a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for gas power and will also use the Prius’ nickel metal hydride battery pack.