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
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
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.
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.