Launched last October at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, the Toyota Sai is a familiar looking vehicle to us here at the Top Speed because it is a more economical version of the Lexus HS 250h, especially with fuel efficient gas/electric hybrids being all the rage these days.
However the good news is that despite the Sai being built with hyper milers in mind, tuners aren’t turning a blind eye to the new hybrid sedan. In fact the Japanese automaker’s in house high performance specialists TRD have revealed their first customization program for the new Sai. The kit includes a complete aero package with a new grill, ground effects and sport tuned suspension as well as a few dress up items like TRD specific oil and fuel filler caps to go along with a variety 16, 17 and 18 inch alloys available in quite a few different designs.
The fuel efficient Japanese automaker Toyota has just launch the Sai luxury hybrid sedan, a model based on the Lexus HS 250h, into its home market. The new four door Hybrid Synergy Drive sedan is both bigger and more luxurious than the automobile manufacturer’s current flagship hybrid, the Toyota Prius. With the Sai’s scheduled launch only a few days away at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota is taking a step forward to shake up the gas/electric car market.
Compared to the Lexus HS 250h, the new Toyota Sai features a distinct front end design with new head lamps, a unique hood, grill and bumper as we;; as a set of different taillights. On the inside, the new Sai gets its own instrument panel and center console design as well as a different steering wheel than the entry level Lexus hybrid.
However this where the differences end, under the hood the Sai features the same hybrid drive train as the Lexus HS 250h which includes a 2.4 Liter four cylinder engine running on an Atkinson cycle combined with an electric motor and a reduction gear to take over power train responsibilities when the gas burning engine isn’t required, when combined, the pair of conventional and electric motors can delver up to 190 HP. The Sai successfully bridges the gap between the entry level Prius hatchback and the more expensive Lexus HS 250h as far as the Japanese automaker Toyota’s lineup of hybrids is concerned.
Press release after the jump. Full story