Seventh Addition to Toyota/Lex Hybrid Family

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Yes, here comes another one, the Lexus HS-250 (the other six are, of course, the Prius, Camry, Highlander, GS, RX, and LS). This will be the first 4-banger Lexus ever. And despite all the predictions of doom for hybrids, they've now been here for almost ten years, are made by at least five major mfrs (Toyota, Nissan, Honda, GM, and Ford) with still more coming. And no massive epidemic of battery failures. A decent looking car, at least to my eye. Generally Prius-sized, more "normal" looking, and with the more potent engine, more go. It's got the exact same 106.3 inch wheelbase as the new Prius does, but it appears to have the same 187 net hp (2.4L gas engine) drive system as the Hybrid Camry. Here's a link to the detailed Lexus press release. And here's a look: Outside And inside
 
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Saw it at the ATL auto show. The rendering above really hides its design, mainly its "nose heavy" look and the little triangle side windows like you find in a Suzuki SX4. I dunno, I wasn't all that impressed with the looks of this car when seen in person. Still, if its somewhat reasonably priced ($30-35K, same as ES350) then it'll sell to wealthy eco-trendies, who endlessly talk on their iPhone 3G's on their way to Whole Foods Market.
 

ekpolk

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 Originally Posted By: Billy007
Nice car. I just don’t know how they were able to squeeze 187 hp out of the 2.4 engine.
Actually, it's even less than that. Assuming (which may not be correct) that it's the exact same drive system as found in the hybrid Camry, the gas engine is rated at only 147 hp @ 6k rpms. The motor-generators provide the rest. Keep in mind that the MGs also provide 200 ft-lbs of torque, right from zero rpms. Remember, though this engine is the same basic 2AZ-FE engine that appears in the regular 4-banger Camry (and other models), in this application it is aggressively programmed for fuel economy, including atkinson-cycle operation, not found in the conventional version. The Hybrid Camry is good for 0-60 in the 7.5-8.0 second range (noticeably less if the traction battery is in a low charge state). Of course, this "variable performance" aspect of gas-electric hybrids is totally unacceptable to some folks. Doesn't bother me at all, FWIW.
 

ekpolk

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 Originally Posted By: c502cid
Even Pious owners need a snobbery car to show how much wealth they have accumulated. What a great step forward in the automotive world.
Ahhhh, so cynical we are. Even in "loaded" up form, the Prius is pretty basic. If you are into (and willing to pay for) luxury features and feel, but want them in a counter-guzzler, this would seem to be a viable choice.
 
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Hmmm, I may have to tell my brother about this one....he's gone back and forth between wanting an ES and an Acura TL for a year now.
 

01rangerxl

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 Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
That front end looks like Ford Fusion.
The grille is very similar to Ford's 3 bar design. I wish it wasn't trendy to mount the mirrors below the windows instead of in front of the windows. Mounting the mirrors in that location looked good in the 1960s, but it looks awful with today's chunky plastic mirror housings.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Billy007
Nice car. I just don’t know how they were able to squeeze 187 hp out of the 2.4 engine.
The Acura TSX offers 201 HP from a 2.4l inline four. I realize Lexus is going for mileage but I though 187 HP combined was a little weak. Lovely car though.
 

ekpolk

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 Originally Posted By: 01rangerxl
 Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
That front end looks like Ford Fusion.
The grille is very similar to Ford's 3 bar design. I wish it wasn't trendy to mount the mirrors below the windows instead of in front of the windows. Mounting the mirrors in that location looked good in the 1960s, but it looks awful with today's chunky plastic mirror housings.
Pete: I'm right with you on that one. And it's getting even worse, as many makers have deleted the fold feature altogether. But hey, at least they still look better than the insectoid fender-mounted mirrors of the Japanese cars from the 60s and 70s. . .
 

ekpolk

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 Originally Posted By: RTexasF
 Originally Posted By: Billy007
Nice car. I just don’t know how they were able to squeeze 187 hp out of the 2.4 engine.
The Acura TSX offers 201 HP from a 2.4l inline four. I realize Lexus is going for mileage but I though 187 HP combined was a little weak. Lovely car though.
IMO, it's all a matter of emphasis in programming. With a relatively large ICE going into a relatively small body, the designers certainly had the latitude to lean drastically in favor of fuel economy, at the expense of peak power. This is all the more so when you consider the overabundance of torque these cars can deliver, especially in contrast to the Honda designs. How many other designs are there that can deliver 200 ft-lbs of torque from the instant you start pushing on the gas pedal? That factor alone goes a long way to camoflaging any shortcomings in the peak power department.
 

JHZR2

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The lexus IS was one of the nicest cars on the road, IMO... I dont like the look of that thing... personally.
 

JHZR2

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 Originally Posted By: RTexasF
 Originally Posted By: Billy007
Nice car. I just don’t know how they were able to squeeze 187 hp out of the 2.4 engine.
The Acura TSX offers 201 HP from a 2.4l inline four. I realize Lexus is going for mileage but I though 187 HP combined was a little weak. Lovely car though.
Only if the sole metric for buying a car is a hp number... which, IMO is a stupid way to buy a car... Neither of those cars need more than 120hp to get along just fine. 187 with instant-torque is likely more fun to drive than a honda engine which needs to be at 7000 rpm to get out of its own way.
 

ekpolk

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 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Only if the sole metric for buying a car is a hp number... which, IMO is a stupid way to buy a car... Neither of those cars need more than 120hp to get along just fine. 187 with instant-torque is likely more fun to drive than a honda engine which needs to be at 7000 rpm to get out of its own way.
Precisely. It's not too smart to judge this car (or this whole class of cars) by their max output. That's simply not what they're designed for. Quite by "un-accident," they're designed to maximize other parameters. And despite the non-emphasis on horsepower, even the heavier, bigger Camry Hybrid moves very nicely with the 187 net hp drive train.
 
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