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Lexus HS 250h  (Source: Toyota)
Buyers are swiftly lining up for the Lexus HS 250h

Eager to cash in on an uptick in hybrid sales, Toyota has already boosted the production of its third-generation Prius, which topped sales charts in Japan and is all but sold out in many parts of the U.S.  What Toyota didn't plan on was the very enthusiastic reception its new Lexus HS 250h luxury hybrid has also received in Japan.

Toyota was targeting a mere 500 sales a month, but in less than a month since the July 14 launch in Japan, over 9,000 orders had been placed. 

The appeal makes sense -- the Lexus HS 250h features a somewhat more conventional layout than most other hybrids such as the Honda Insight or Toyota Prius.  At $34,200 base MSRP it's expensive, but not wallet breaking for many professionals.  And thanks to Japan's hybrid subsidy (similar to cash-for-clunkers), which expires March 31, 2010, the car's price is even more reachable.  The car gets a modest 35 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway -- making it the most fuel efficient Lexus currently on sale.  It also features ultra-low emissions, receiving the distinction of being classed as a Super-Ultra-Low-Emission-Vehicle (SULEV) in Japan. 

The HS 250h comes standard with a leather interior, Bluetooth, moonroof, active front head restraints, vehicle stability control, and ten airbags.  There are plenty of tempting optional perks too, including LED headlights, Lexus' Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Hard Disk Drive Navigation System, and an LED-based Heads-up Display (HUD).

In response to the high demand, Toyota is boosting production of the vehicle.  Currently it has only produced around 2,000 vehicles, leaving about 7,000 orders unfilled.  It plans to triple production by October in an effort to keep up with demand.

Toyota is undoubtedly eagerly awaiting the August or September targeted U.S. release of the vehicle.  The Lexus brand remains one of the most well-respected brands among luxury car buying circles in the U.S.  And with its eco-friendly image, reasonable price point, and abundance of advanced features, the Lexus HS 250h just might surpass some sales predictions in the U.S., as well.



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RE: HS250h vs. Volt? Sorry GM...
By drnk on 8/12/2009 5:30:24 AM , Rating: 2
Actually hydrogen is not the greenest solution, it's "theoretically" the greenest solution.To make it really the greenest solution it will take some time and some more research.
Cars like the VW Lupo 3L are still the best fuel economy cars, I think.The VW Lupo 3L is 78 miles per gallon!!


RE: HS250h vs. Volt? Sorry GM...
By Spuke on 8/12/2009 1:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The VW Lupo 3L is 78 miles per gallon!!
78 Imperial Gallons. In US gallons, that figure would be smaller although still good.


RE: HS250h vs. Volt? Sorry GM...
By drnk on 8/12/2009 2:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
No, they are not Imperial Gallons, they are US Gallons.
In its name (VW Lupo 3L), the "3L" stands for "3 litres per 100 kilometers".
So that's 33 kilometers per litre and it's equal to 78 miles per US Gallon or 94 miles per Imperial Gallon.


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