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Dark green the new black for Lexus

Closer: The Lexus HS250h is being engineered for Australian release.

Lexus entry-level hybrid sedan to target ‘dark greens’

23 Feb 2009

LEXUS Australia is drawing inexorably closer to announcing the local arrival of the much-anticipated HS250h hybrid, a medium-size petrol-electric sedan that would neatly fill a gap in the local Lexus range and help drive sales in what is expected to be a lean year in the Australian car market.

Lexus Australia chief executive John Roca would not be drawn on a prospective local on-sale date for the new model, but he did say that Japan was now focussing on getting the model complied for the Australian market.

"The chief engineer for that particular vehicle said he would now look at it given that it is available in right-hand drive,” he said. “And that’s about as fresh as a week ago.”

31 center imageLocal Lexus executives only began negotiations for the HS250h at Detroit in January, when they learned that the model - previously thought to be left-hand drive only – would be produced in right-hand drive as well.

The HS250h is keenly anticipated and will neatly fill a price gap in the existing range, Mr Roca said.

“It would sit between the IS and the GS range – and the size of the vehicle says that as well. It would be perfect for us, as there is a big gap between the two.

“Also on that car, you get your greenies, but you've got your 'light greens' and 'dark greens' and we've got some 'dark greens' driving Prius that can afford a Lexus but won't because the engine is a 5.0-litre hybrid or a 3.5-litre hybrid your 'dark greens' want a Prius hybrid, but with a Lexus badge, so for us it would be perfect.” As reported by GoAuto early in this year, the HS250h had its global unveiling at the 2009 North American International Motorshow in Detroit. The HS250h shares the Prius “multi-car” floorpan, which also has some components in common with the existing Corolla.

The front-wheel-drive HS250h has a new 139kW 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with VVT-i variable valve timing – part of the company’s Hybrid Drive System that includes an electric motor and a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Read more:

Detroit show: Lexus HS steps aside for 'baby'

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