Toyota SAI

When the Lexus brand was finally introduced back in its homeland of Japan, it marked the end of the Toyota-badged Lexus products such as the Toyota Harrier, which was essentially a Lexus RX. The Land Cruiser and Lexus LX twins are still on though.

Or so we thought, because the new Lexus HS250h will be launched in Japan as a Toyota called the Toyota SAI, alongside the original HS250h which has already been launched in Japan, which isn’t really completely original at all, being a restyled Euro-market Toyota Avensis (platform also used for the Scion tC) with the Camry Hybrid’s gaso-electric powertrain. Boy, that was confusing!

Toyota will be positioning the Toyota SAI as a larger hybrid-only car compared to the Prius, though since they share the same 2,700mm wheelbase I don’t expect the interior space to be all that different, though rear headroom should be better.

In the HS250h, the chassis had to handle the naturally larger 2.4 litre Hybrid Synergy Drive hybrid system but some are saying that the Toyota SAI will use the 1.8 litre version thats in the Prius. There are of course also news that it will use the same 2.4 litre HSD engine as the HS250h. What it will have is a proper boot, while the Prius is a hatchback.