Here’s the news we just received from Lexus:
– Hybrid Car for Forward-Thinking Luxury Consumers, to Start at $34,200
– Best Combined EPA MPG Rating of Any Luxury Vehicle in the U.S.
– 70 Percent Fewer Smog-Forming Emissions Than the Average New Car
– First Vehicle to Offer Lexus Enform(TM) with Safety Connect(TM)
TORRANCE, Calif., July 20 — Lexus today announced the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the new HS 250h hybrid, which has the best combined EPA mpg rating of any luxury vehicle in the U.S.
The 2010 HS 250h, Lexus’ first dedicated hybrid and the fourth offering in its lineup, is available in standard and Premium models. The standard version will have an MSRP of $34,200, while the Premium model will carry an MSRP of $36,970. They will arrive at dealerships in late August. The MSRPs do not include a delivery, processing and handling fee of $875.
Both models, which emit 70 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new car, received EPA-estimated ratings of 35 mpg city and 34 mpg on the highway for a combined 35 mpg utilizing regular 87-octane gasoline . The HS 250h has the best combined EPA mpg rating of any luxury vehicle in the U.S. and its MSRP is nearly $10,000 less than one of its entry luxury sedan segment competitors.
“The creation of a dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle speaks volumes about Lexus’ commitment to our customers and hybrid technology,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “Forward-thinking, well-informed entry luxury consumers are seeking a social statement and technology with a clear benefit in their next car. HS 250h delivers this with its unique package and modern luxury that fits their advanced lifestyle.”
Standard features on the HS 250h include leather-trimmed seats; 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat; a 10-speaker, 137-watt audio system with a six-disc CD changer, a subwoofer and center speaker; Bluetooth((R)) for phone and music streaming capabilities; integrated subscription satellite radio (includes 90-day trial); USB/ iPod((R)) connectivity operated via steering wheel controls or the display screen; and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The HS 250h incorporates a standard class-leading 10-airbag Supplemental Restraint system and front active head rests.
The HS 250h Premium model adds heated/ventilated front seats trimmed in semi-aniline leather; 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels; rain-sensing windshield wipers; heated electrochromic exterior mirrors; genuine wood interior trim; and a new memory system that allows individual driver settings for seat, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, outside mirrors and air conditioning settings to be recalled automatically by individual key fobs.
The HS 250h utilizes Lexus’ first four-cylinder gas engine and the latest hybrid system to take advantage of the company’s continuous engineering advances to help minimize emissions and maximize fuel economy. The twin-cam Atkinson-cycle engine with Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i) alone has an output of 147 horsepower (hp). In combination with the hybrid drive motor, the HS 250h generates 187 total system hp. HS 250h has nearly zero evaporative emissions.
The HS 250h features four drive-modes: Normal, Power, Eco and EV; which can help enhance efficiency and involves driver and car interaction. Each drive-mode changes the rate of throttle opening for a given throttle-pedal angle.
The HS 250h’s forward-thinking interior design implements extensive bioplastic material, or Ecological Plastic, for parts of the interior upholstery. It covers approximately 30 percent of the interior and trunk helping to result in a reduction of carbon emissions by approximately 20 percent over the estimated life of the vehicle.
The optional sixth-generation navigation system features Lexus’ exclusive Remote Touch controller with user-adjustable haptic feedback. The innovative controller, similar to a computer mouse, eliminates the need for touch screen controls, allowing the pop-up navigation system screen to be mounted further up the center stack and away from the driver. This helps the driver benefit with a clear, high-resolution screen, improved site lines and reduced eye movement. The navigation system also comes equipped a rear-view camera. Also on navigation-equipped HS vehicles is the availability of XM((R)) Sports and Stocks, a new service that is included with an XM((R)) satellite radio subscription.
HS 250h Premium models can add an optional Wide-view Front Monitor to help enhance the driver’s ability to see in certain areas around the front of the vehicle by sending images to the navigation system display.
Standard HS 250h models can also add an optional Touring Package; heated front seats; LED headlamps with Adaptive Front-lighting System, Intelligent High-Beam with headlamp washers; and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The optional Technology Package, available only on the Premium model, includes the Heads-Up Display (HUD); Lane Keep Assist (LKA) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW); Pre-Collision System with dynamic radar cruise control; Driver Monitor and Intuitive Park Assist. HUD projects a miniature display on a small portion of the windshield in front of the driver, helping to reduce eye movement to see frequently viewed information such as vehicle speed, turn-by-turn navigation arrows, drive-assist warnings, audio information and Touch Tracer (sensors on steering-wheel switches will show an image of switch layout in the HUD). Another new feature to the Lexus line, LKA, helps drivers stay within their chosen lane and works in cooperation with the LDW function and the dynamic radar cruise control.
Other optional equipment available for the Premium model includes a Mark Levinson((R)) 5.1-channel Premium Surround Sound system with 15 speakers and 330 watts, and the Park Assist Package.
An all-new telematics system, Lexus Enform(TM) with Safety Connect(TM), available by subscription will also be available on HS 250h. Complimentary one-year trial subscriptions of Lexus Enform and Safety Connect are included with all new HS 250h purchases. One-year renewal subscriptions to Safety Connect alone will be available for $139.95 and to Lexus Enform with Safety Connect for $264.90 per year. Multi-year subscriptions will also be available. The Lexus Enform and the Safety Connect response center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – every day of the year.
Safety Connect, the cornerstone of the services, is available on both non-navigation and navigation-equipped HS 250h and offers four safety and security features: Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), and Enhanced Roadside Assistance, which adds GPS data to the already included warranty-based Lexus roadside service.
Lexus Enform, available only on navigation-equipped vehicles, includes all of the Safety Connect features and builds upon them with the premium services of Destination Assist and eDestination. Destination Assist agents are available via the on-board cellular equipment and can help drivers find a specific address, a business by name, or a type of business (e.g., gas station, movie theater, etc.), and even Zagat((R))-rated restaurants, and then send the coordinates to the navigation system for routing. With eDestination, drivers can go online via LexusDrivers.com to save and sort destinations in up to 20 folders, each holding as many as 10 destinations. Then drivers can send the locations – up to 200 at a time – to their vehicle, where they will be available for download into the navigation system. Online, drivers can create personalized location names (e.g., “Favorite sushi,” “1 PM Appt,” “Kids’ doctor,” etc.) and even list notes about their saved locations – all helping them see exactly the information they choose in the vehicle.
Lexus Insider(TM), a complimentary, opt-in service available without a subscription on all navigation-equipped HS 250h vehicles is launching at the same time as Lexus Enform. This feature offers in-vehicle audio casts that provide owners access to useful vehicle tips and event information, and insights into exclusive owners’ benefits – all designed to further enhance the Lexus experience. As part of the all-new Lexus Enform(TM) navigation platform, the HS 250h also features XM NavTraffic((R)), XM NavWeather(TM) ,( )and( )XM((R)) Sports and Stocks services. XM NavTraffic((R)) and XM NavWeather(TM) are available via individual XM subscriptions while XM((R)) Sports and Stocks is included with an XM((R)) Radio subscription. XM services offer a 90-day trial.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.