Lexus HS 250h

Despite it’s somewhat concept-like looks, thanks to so many car manufacturers releasing concept cars that are near production models totally changing our opinion of what a concept model looks like these days, the new 2010 Lexus HS 250h is a production model that will debut in late summer this year. But despite being a production model apparently specifications are still preliminary, though it’s very likely most if not all of what’s been released at the Detroit show will make it into the car in the showrooms this summer. It will slot in between the ES and the IS as an entry level hybrid car.

Lexus HS 250h

The new Lexus HS 250h is a front wheel drive sedan which has similiar proportions to the UK’s Toyota Avensis in terms of height, width and length, and in fact it shares the same 2,700mm wheelbase. In comparison, the Lexus ES/Camry’s wheelbase is 2,776mm while even the wheelbase of the IS is longer at 2,730mm. It’s amusing how a luxury American C-segment car can have a longer wheelbase than an European D-segment car, but the latter have traditionally been smaller than its American counterparts anyway. I guess that’s how superminis survive/thrive in Europe. I believe the HS is classified as a front-wheel drive non-sporty hybrid counterpart to the IS in the Lexus range, just like what the ES is to the GS (but the ES does without dedicated hybrid engine). Frankly I wonder if this is just a reskinned Euro Toyota Avensis with the Camry Hybrid’s powertrain thrown in, with the interior then loaded up with high-specs.

Lexus HS 250h

The drivetrain in the HS 250h is lifted from the Toyota Camry and thus retains its 2.4 litre Atkinson cycle engine, the electric motor, front wheel drive layout and CVT transmission. The engine and electric motor combination puts out a combined total output of 187 horsepower, but no torque figures have been released at this time. The engine is rated as a SULEV engine thanks to low emissions even on 87-octane gasoline. The combustion engine uses cooling piston oil jets, an optimized balance shaft rate for improved NVH properties, and a hot-air venting system mounted behind the radiator. An exhaust heat recovery system reduces the amount of time it takes to warm the engine up, thus enabling earlier activation of auto-start-stop functions.

Lexus HS 250h

As hybrid screams futuristic, it’s not surprising to know the interior has a decent amount of “innovations”. For one, the interior uses plant-based, carbon-neutral “Ecological Plastics” or bio-plastics in specific interior areas, or approximately 30% of the interior and luggage area. The in-car entertainment system features Bluetooth, sat radio, HDD-based sat nav, voice recognition, USB and iPod connectivity, a high-contrast multi-info display, the new Lexus “Remote Touch” iDrive-like controller, a heads-up display, a class-leading 10 airbags, and a lane keep assist system which detects lane markers on the road and adds steering torque to keep the vehicle in the center of a lane.

Look after the jump for a hi-res photo gallery of the new HS 250h.

[zenphotopress number=99 album=71]