Print 21 comment(s) - last by MrPoletski.. on Apr 30 at 7:27 AM

Lexus' new RX 450h will get an estimated 30 MPG combined city/highway in FWD guise

Toyota is wasting no time in quickly expanding the hybrid models available for its upmarket Lexus brand. Lexus introduced the HS 250h compact hybrid at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The HS 250h is based on the Prius platform, but is offered in a more "America friendly" sedan configuration.

The HS 250h, however, isn't the only new hybrid on the way from Lexus. The company announced pricing for its upcoming RX 450h hybrid CUV (crossover utility vehicle). The 2010 RX 450h will start at $41,660 for the front-wheel drive version and $43,250 for the all-wheel drive version. Both models are powered by the same 3.5-liter V6 engine which uses the Atkinson-cycle for increased efficiency. When the V6 is combined with the electric motors, total system power is rated at 295 HP.

The FWD RX 450h achieves fuel economy ratings of 32 MPG city, 28 MPG highway (30 MPG combined) while the AWD RX 450h is rated slightly lower at 30 MPG city, 28 MPG highway (29 MPG combined). Lexus also state that both models qualify for Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) certification.

The RX 450h will join the aforementioned HS 250h as well as the GS 450h and LS 600h L in the Lexus hybrid family.

It should be interesting to see how far Lexus is willing to go with hybrid technology in its sedans and crossovers. Two likely candidates in the future for hybrid technology include the IS and ES sedans. The case could likely be made for the ES as its Camry counterpart is already available in hybrid form (albeit it’s paired with a four-cylinder engine). The IS may be a tougher sell due to its already compact dimensions inside and out and RWD configuration.

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By terminalrecluse on 4/27/2009 11:21:58 AM , Rating: 2
32mpg is not bad, but for a 42k car I'd want more.

RE: hmmph
By twhittet on 4/27/2009 11:45:07 AM , Rating: 5
Most people who are buying a 42k$ car probably aren't worried about mpg very much, except to pretend that they're being "green" like all the other soccer moms.

RE: hmmph
By Zok on 4/27/2009 11:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
If I had the dough to buy a hybrid (preferably electric), I sure as hell would do so. Not because it's "green" -I honestly don't care at all -, nor because it "saves money" -we've all seen that this turns out time and again to be untrue at current gas prices. Instead, I'd purchase one simply because if I am going to spend $42k on a Lexus, I might as well get the added convenience of having to fill up the tank less often. This, to me, is better worth the exorbitant price of a luxury vehicle than an extra cup holder, wood trim, or 50 extra ponies that will be doubtfully used. Plus, a hybrid or electric vehicle would have been a godsend last year down here in the Southeast where gas stations for miles were completely out of gas and people couldn't make it to work/school.

RE: hmmph
By redbone75 on 4/27/2009 11:51:01 AM , Rating: 2
It's a luxury crossover vehicle, not an economy vehicle, which typically entails higher displacement engines. How many luxury vehicles do you know are fuel misers?

RE: hmmph
By Wierdo on 4/27/2009 1:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
This car is a status symbol, so high price is not unusual in the ego-stroking market segment :p

RE: hmmph
By Chaser on 4/27/2009 1:57:49 PM , Rating: 3
42K for a SUV Lexus hybrid is "ego stroking"? Or for "soccer moms"?

Believe it or not some people look past their egos for the functionality a SUV provides. Value for the money including gasoline mileage is not some imperceptible joke just because someone can afford something others you personally might find lavish, ridiculous, or expensive.

We're not taking about a Hummer or an Escalade here. 42K for a new hybrid SUV is a pretty deal.

RE: hmmph
By MadMan007 on 4/28/2009 5:41:03 AM , Rating: 3
What's a joke is the supposed utility of these crossovers compared to real body-on-frame SUVs. They are high riding station wagons that's ALL.

RE: hmmph
By therealnickdanger on 4/27/2009 9:46:39 PM , Rating: 3
High price? $42K seems pretty reasonable IMO:

1. Lexus
2. SUV
3. Hybrid

All three of those items would normally mean "ridiculously expensive". Given the choice between this for $42K and the Volt for $42K...

RE: hmmph
By MrPoletski on 4/30/2009 7:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
32mpg is TERRIBLE. What the hell is the point in this hybrid? The very idea is that you use less chemical fuel and more electricity, in British mpg that's 38MPG. My friends citroen C5 gets nearly 60 MPG (british) and that's no hybrid.

What a total and utter gimmicky waste of money. Totally flies in the face of the whole point of having a hybrid.

more hybrids?
By BusterBluth on 4/27/2009 11:50:40 AM , Rating: 3
This car has pretty much the same specifications/pricing of the old RX 400h, nothing really new here...

RE: more hybrids?
By TheFace on 4/27/2009 11:52:50 AM , Rating: 2
but its NEWER!

RE: more hybrids?
By DonkeyRhubarb on 4/28/2009 7:32:43 AM , Rating: 2
But she's got a new hat!

RE: more hybrids?
By theoflow on 4/27/2009 1:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
More "refinement" and upgrade on materials probably which is what really makes a luxury car.

If people want to pay for it, then so be it. People WILL pay money for being more eco-friendly and it is the same reason why they pay for performance variants of cars. BMW M-Series, Mercedes AMG, Honda Type R...etc etc.

People buy what they want and reasonably afford. There is a noticeable different between a Toyota Highlander and a Lexus RX series.

IMO, the people with the BEST overview of cars vs. another are valet drivers.

RE: more hybrids?
By drka0tic on 4/27/2009 6:43:33 PM , Rating: 3
Still stuck in traffic
By armagedon on 4/27/2009 8:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, great, more big cars though with better mileage but they are still going be stuck in traffic, bumpers to bumpers, spewing exhaust standing still during rush hours. It's getting a nightmare here.
What about new super duper mass transit vehicles ?

RE: Still stuck in traffic
By SimpleLance on 4/27/2009 11:40:50 PM , Rating: 2
These hybrids from Toyota can run in electric-only mode. So, in bad traffic, you get your money's worth. No emissions.

RE: Still stuck in traffic
By ChronoReverse on 4/28/2009 7:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
If a hybrid didn't at least shut off the engine when the car isn't moving, something is really wrong.

'crossover' waste
By MadMan007 on 4/28/2009 5:39:04 AM , Rating: 2
Crossovers are such a waste, they're nothing more than glorified station wagons. At least with 'real' SUVs you get good towing, or storage, or lots of seating, or offroad ability.

Just make some goddam station wagons and be done with it, as a bonus they'll weigh less and have better aerodynamics for even better fuel efficiency.

RE: 'crossover' waste
By Spuke on 4/28/2009 2:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
Crossovers sell because people don't like wagons.

RE: 'crossover' waste
By ChronoReverse on 4/28/2009 7:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see the problem with only wanting a subset of those. What's wrong with a car with good storage, with lots of seating and is not ugly (in most people's eyes)?

this is one fugly car.
By j@cko on 4/28/2009 2:05:59 AM , Rating: 2
this is one fugly car.

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