Lexus is going green, in a small way
European consumers love diesel powered cars. They feature good performance and very low fuel consumption. But no matter what, fossil fuels will one day be gone and the car driving public will need a new solution to personal transportation. So being the environmentally conscious automaker that they are, Lexus thought: why not offering the same benefits of a diesel in hybrid car?
The Japanese luxury automaker has traditionally used hybrid power to increase their vehicle’s performance. In the case of the LS600h, Lexus’s goal was to create a $100,000 automobile that had the same performance of a much more luxurious V12 powered vehicle by adding an electric motor to their current V8. But all this will change this September at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, because Lexus will unveil their first compact hybrid concept.
Lexus revealed the HS 250h, their first four cylinder hybrid back in Detroit. Their hybrid concept will be similar to the future HS, it will be a front wheel drive hatchback based on the same Toyota Prius platform.
But the Prius is Toyota’s answer to economy, so the Lexus will still have to focus on delivering the same level of performance as the competition counterparts. The man who lays down the law for Lexus in Europe, Andy Pfeiffenberger, said that "our hybrid saloons are going up against the V8 diesels in Europe. In the future we need to compete against the four-cylinder diesels. So we will enter new sectors with low-displacement hybrids. The C-premium segment is the fastest growing segment and we must be in it.
The production version of the compact Lexus hybrid should go on sale in 2010, priced at around $20K.