August 6, 2009
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Lexus HS 250h Causing Internet Buzz
Lexus HS 250h
by Bill Kwong
The internet is buzzing with Lexus HS
250h excitement and observations, and it has been reported that
the HS 250h is a Lexus version of the Toyota Prius. That is far
from the truth.
All Toyota and Lexus hybrids use the
series/parallel hybrid system, but that’s where the similarity
ends between the Toyota Prius and the new Lexus HS 250h. So,
let’s look at some of the differences.
The HS 250h is based on the European
Toyota Avensis platform and uses a 2.4-liter four-cylinder
gasoline engine compared to the Prius, which is on another
design platform and uses a 1.8-liter engine. The hybrid
transmission, motor generators and electronic control systems
are also different.
Specially designed for the luxury
buyer, HS 250h has a double-wishbone rear suspension while the
Prius uses torsion beam. All components of the front suspension
are different too.
The HS has more spot welding and has
anti-vibration front and rear suspension members for a quieter
and smoother ride.
Compared to Prius, HS 250h has premium
standard and optional features including Remote Touch, Wide-view
Front monitor, intelligent high beams, Heads-Up Display, Lexus
Enform™ with Safety Connect™, a 40- gigabyte hard disk drive
navigation system with Voice Command casual language voice
recognition system, streaming audio via Bluetooth® and Mark
Levinson® Audio Sound system.
In addition, as Lexus’ first dedicated
hybrid, HS 250h offers the Lexus customer experience, which
includes Roadside Assistance, complimentary dealer loaner
vehicles, valet parking at dealerships, and other benefits and
Compared to its competitors in the
entry luxury sedan segment, HS 250h is priced thousands of
dollars less. It has the best combined EPA-estimated fuel
economy ratings, at 35 mpg, of any luxury or diesel luxury
vehicle in the U.S. In addition, the HS 250h emits 70 percent
fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new car and is
eight times cleaner than any clean diesel.
(July 23, 09)