Contributing Monkie G Monkie
Published on May 8, 2009
A James Bond Monkie wet dream of a car. Yes, Lexus knows how to put together a luxury car. We found that out first hand, last year. So, when they revealed the 2010 HS 250h, the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle we where guessing it would be nice. But this thing is really beyond nice. It’s got everything. Camera’s, joysticks, ipod connectors, dedicated power plugs, plush seats (which might not be leather, cross your fingers), beautiful displays and beyond 40 miles per gallon range.
During the big introduction show, they wouldn’t give the official miles per gallon, but they claim it will be better than the micro size Smart Car. Which is pretty amazing for a full size luxury sedan. It also will be the first Lexus to utilize carbon-neutral Ecological Plastic materials in a new futuristic cockpit and interior design. Last year when we where given the Lexus LS 600h and GS 450 for a week to drive around, are only real complaint was all the leather. If they stripped the leather out and had eco-faux leather, the cars would have been amazing.
More videos and photos after the jump.
So, who will be buying this car and what will the street price be? Well, Lexus own research has shown that more than 60 percent of entry-luxury car buyers would have considered a hybrid if available. Which I guess means anyone who can still squeeze out a $60,000 plus loan out of the banks and loves James Bond super luxury gadget cars, which sips fuel, will buy a Lexus 250h.
Now for the details about what this car is equipped with.
This Lexus is equipped with a four-cylinder gas engine, the 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle powerplant is part of the latest Lexus Hybrid Drive System, which generates 187 total system horsepower. The highly efficient Atkinson-cycle engine, made possible by the Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) system, allows the expansion/power stroke to be longer than the compression stroke so that combustion energy can be more effectively used for production of engine power. The HS 250h sedan’s expected fuel efficiency will be more than 30-percent better than the most fuel-efficient model currently in the Lexus lineup, while earning a SULEV emissions rating utilizing regular 87-octane gasoline. Among the technologies adopted in the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine are cooling piston oil jets; an optimized balance shaft rate for improved Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) characteristics; and a hot-air venting system mounted behind the radiator.
Like the all-new 2010 RX 450h hybrid utility vehicle that made its debut in November, the HS 250h will include a new system designed to improve efficiency. The exhaust heat recovery system reduces engine warm-up time, thus allowing it to stop earlier, more often, and for longer periods. A windshield with infrared-ray (IR) reduction properties, which helps keep the interior more cool, has been adopted in order to decrease the amount of air conditioning needed to lower the cabin temperature. In addition to the exhaust heat recovery system and the IR windshield, available power-saving LED headlamps also contribute to improved fuel efficiency and emissions.
The all-new HS 250h sedan’s 0.27 drag coefficient (Cd) makes it among the most aerodynamic in its class. The under-floor covers have been optimally positioned for reduced drag, while airflow restriction in the engine compartment has been lowered by optimizing the air-duct profiles around the radiator. As is appropriate for the first dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle, the HS 250h includes proactive adoption of plant-based, carbon-neutral “Ecological Plastics” or bio-plastics in specific interior areas. Over the estimated lifecycle of the vehicle, the HS 250h will have approximately 20-percent fewer carbon-dioxide emissions as a result of utilizing the Ecological Plastic trim pieces.
The rack-and-pinion steering system utilizes a brushless Electric Power Steering (EPS) motor on the steering column, which provides improved steering feel, a reduction in harsh feedback, and better emissions by not draining engine power like conventional hydraulic systems.
The EPS is an integral part of an available lane keep assist system, a new driver assist that adds smooth steering torque to help the vehicle stay in the center of the lane. … It includes a lane departure warning feature that is designed to detect possible lane departure; it then gives the driver an audible warning and provides feedback via the steering wheel to encourage corrective action. It also has a greater couple distance (distance hip to hip between front and rear passengers) than any other vehicle in its class other than the ES.
A high-contrast multi-information display, located in the instrument panel’s hybrid system indicator gauge, is controlled via steering-wheel-mounted controls, allowing the driver to easily control various functions and information. Another key element of the modern interior is Lexus’ new available Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Navigation System, which features a retractable navigation screen that is positioned well back and up front in the dash. … Similar to the new RX, the HS system features the all-new “Remote Touch” controller that is both intuitive and ergonomic and allows for easy use of the Navigation System.
A class-leading 10 airbags will be standard on the all-new HS 250h as well as active front head rests, which help passengers in case of certain types of rear-end accidents. Using a camera mounted in the front grille, the monitor provides a 190-degree front view on the Navigation screen with the push of a button on the steering wheel.
Lexus Enform’s Destination Assist features operators who will help drivers look up points of interest such as shopping centers or other business locations like Zagat-rated restaurants, and then wirelessly send directions directly to the vehicle’s navigation system.
Lexus Enform’s eDestination service will allow customers to pull up multiple points of interest on any computer and send them directly to the car’s navigation system.
Video of HS 250h Hybrid Launch