Lexus unveils the HS 250h hybrid sedan

Toyota, until recently, has been wowing the U.S. auto buyers with its Prius hybrid. The fuel efficient hatchback is embraced by everyone from celebrities to Sally Homemaker to tree huggers. The vehicle has certainly struck a chord with auto buyers, and Toyota is looking to spread a little more hybrid love to its Lexus family.

Lexus is already home to the three hybrids: the GS 450h, the LS 600h L, and the RX 450h. There is now one more vehicle to add to the hybrid fleet: the HS 250h. The HS 250h is based on the Prius platform and ditches the hatchback design in favor of a traditional four-door sedan look. The end result is a vehicle that looks like a mash up of a Lexus ES 350 and a Toyota Corolla.

Power comes not from the Prius' tiny four-cylinder engine, but instead from the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine from the Toyota Corolla and Camry. The gasoline engine when combined with the Lexus Hybrid Drive System provides a total of 187 HP. Lexus hasn't given EPA mileage numbers for the HS 250h yet; it simply states that the vehicle will be "more than 30-percent better than the most fuel-efficient model currently in the Lexus lineup".

The HS 250h will come standard with a leather interior, Bluetooth, moonroof, active front head restraints, vehicle stability control, and ten airbags. Optional equipment will include LED headlights, Lexus' Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Hard Disk Drive Navigation System, and an LED-based Heads-up Display (HUD).

According to the Detroit Free Press, the Lexus HS 250h is expected to retail for around $35,000 when it launches later this year.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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