Lexus rolls out first hybrid-only car

  • Follow Life & style

TOKYO --- Toyota trotted out its first hybrid-only Lexus luxury model Tuesday, as the world's top automaker seeks to turn itself around by pushing the increasingly popular green technology.

Toyota Motor Corp. already offers several gas-electric hybrids, including Lexus models. The HS 250h, which stands for "harmonious sedan," is the first Lexus available as a hybrid-only, just as the Toyota Prius is a hybrid-only model.

Toyota plans to sell 500 of its HS 250h cars a month in Japan, and has already received 3,000 orders, Toyota official Toshio Furutani said at a Tokyo science museum, where the new Lexus was shown to reporters.

The HS 250h goes on sale in North America in September, where Toyota is targeting sales of 2,400 a month, despite a languishing auto market.

It starts at 3.95 million yen ($42,500) in Japan, relatively affordable for a Lexus. North American prices aren't decided, according to Toyota.

Toyota said the HS250h gets 23 kilometers a liter, which translates to about 54 mpg. Mileage from U.S. testing conditions has not yet been released; it would be lower than in Japan, where city driving translates to higher economy with a hybrid.

Hiroyuki Koba, the chief engineer for the HS250h, designing hybrid-only models helps create spacious interiors and trunks. Converting a gas model to a hybrid, on the other hand, presents challenges on where to put the battery and motor, he said.

Top headlines

Post exchange construction loses 40 days to winter

The $22 million expansion of Fort Gordon's Post Exchange lost nearly 40 construction days this winter, but the project's manager said Wednesday that the new facility should be ready well ahead of ...