Saturday, July 11, 2009

The New Lexus HS 250h Hybrid

A new body shape tells customers this isn't just a hybrid version of an existing model. The mechanical platform (partly from the Toyota Avensis, which is marketed in Europe) provides a sophisticated wishbone-type independent rear suspension for better ride and handling, and ongoing improvements to hybrid component packaging also allow a normal-size trunk with more than 12 cubic feet of cargo space. Access to this space is through the largest trunk aperture in the Lexus sedan lineup.
Inside the HS, one finds comfortable seating in a reasonably roomy interior. Along with Lexus' striking instrumentation is the trick new remote-touch multimedia controller we first saw in the latest RX crossover models. It operates so much like the graphic user interface we all know intimately from so many days of point-and-click enterprise that it's utterly amazing nobody came up with this execution before.
The shift-by-wire drive selector is a short stalk projecting from a corner of an extended center console, and it falls conveniently to hand, even if the hard edge of the console is uncomfortably close to the right knee of tall drivers. With 30 percent of the interior's molded materials made from plant-derived plastics, the car's carbon footprint shrinks even further, driving home the new Lexus message: In the future, luxury has to be responsible and careful with finite resources.

(Inside Line news)

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