Lexus announce HS 250h and LF-Ch Concept hybrids

Lexus have announced not one but two hybrids, though we have to say there's only one of them that we'd like to find in the SlashGear garage.  The 2010 Lexus HS 250h, shown here, is the bread & butter of the range, a four-door saloon capable of 35mpg and various combinations of hybrid power.  Meanwhile the more exciting model is the Lexus LF-Ch Concept, which you can see after the cut, and which is headed to Europe to show that hybrids don't have to be slow.

That means that where the HS 250h's engine is tuned for 187 horsepower, you can expect more from what will likely end up a heavily fettled version of the same power plant in the LF-Ch.  Both can operate in full EV electric mode, or switch into "power", "regular" or "ECO" modes depending on conditions and driving style.

Options on the HS 250h include a projected heads-up display and a navigation system to which you can send destinations from any web-enabled computer or phone.  Meanwhile the LF-Ch Concept gets a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shift, iPhone docks for the rear passengers, and blacked-out B-pillars to make it look more like a coupé.

The Lexus HS 250h starts from $34,200; no word on what the production version of the Lexus LF-Ch Concept will cost, but we doubt it will be cheap.

[LF-Ch via Autoblog]

Press Release:

Lexus Introduces Drivers to its new HS and "Hello Someday"

New ad campaign launches automaker's most advanced hybrid vehicle

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Sept. 9, 2009)—This month, Lexus raises the bar once again with the arrival of the most fuel-efficient luxury vehicle in the U.S. The 2010 Lexus HS 250h hybrid sedan offers an unprecedented blend of advanced technology, luxury and sustainable materials.

"With the HS, we're bringing something to market that no one ever envisioned," said Dave Nordstrom, vice president of marketing for Lexus. "People want to do the right thing ... they want great mpg, but they also want the latest in technology, the latest innovations and a car that's fun to drive. This vehicle has it all wrapped up in one."

To launch the HS, the automaker is debuting an integrated marketing campaign highlighting the vehicle's future-forward innovations. Titled, "Hello Someday," the campaign reveals that the car of the future is now a reality.

In one of five television spots produced for the launch the voiceover reads: "Someday cars will use infrared to monitor the driver's face and alert them when they're not paying attention to the road. Hello Someday." The ad, which showcases the vehicle's available Pre-Collision System with Driver Attention Monitor, illustrates how Lexus delivers the possibilities of tomorrow, or "Someday," to the forefront of the automotive industry today.

In addition to television, the marketing campaign includes print, online, event support and mobile applications. The TV spots, which break today, will air during both prime time and sporting events on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, as well as late night and on select cable networks. Print ads are slated to run in a broad range of news and lifestyle outlets, including Clear, Dwell, Esquire, Fast Company, GOOD, National Geographic, The Economist, The Week, Playbill, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The print campaign also includes a unique partnership with Condé Nast in which ads have been customized to appeal to the interests of the readers of individual Condé Nast magazines. Three different ads have been created featuring renowned visionaries in fashion, architecture and technology—Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Richard Meier, and John Maeda, respectively. The experts share what they believe innovation and the idea of "Someday" will look like in their discipline and how the HS fits into their view of the future.

Additional highlights of the campaign include:

▪ Video Ad Pods—Four video ad pod mini-commercials featuring advanced technologies of the HS will air on ABC and NBC online.

▪ "Conan Please Blow Up My Car"—Lexus partnered with The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien to create a promotion where participants submitted their clunker in a sweepstakes for the chance to win and replace it with an all-new HS Hybrid. The winner was announced on Sept. 4.

▪ ABC's FlashForward Partnership—The HS 250h will be a featured vehicle of a key character on ABC's highly-anticipated premiere season of FlashForward, and will also be featured in the show's print, television and online ad campaigns.

About the HS 250h

Lexus is creating an entirely new category for vehicles in the marketplace with the launch of the HS Hybrid, which is the fourth in its hybrid line up. The HS is powerful yet efficient, luxurious yet responsible—the perfect blend of technology with sustainability. Engineered from the ground up, the HS 250h redefines the word "hybrid" with a multitude of advanced vehicle technologies, making this hybrid unlike any other in the world.

The HS has four driving modes: Power, Regular, ECO and EV. When it runs in the EV mode, which is purely electric power, the result is zero emissions. The optional Heads-up Display clearly projects vehicle speed and other data on the windshield. Optional Lexus Enform allows for multiple points of interest to be pulled up from a home or office computer, or any Web-enabled device, and sent via the Internet directly to the vehicle's available Navigation System. With an impressive 187 horsepower under the hood and an EPA-combined rating of 35 mpg, the HS has the best combined fuel mileage of any luxury car in the U.S. and gives new meaning to "having it all."

The HS 250h has a base MSRP of $34,200. MSRP does not include the destination fee of $875. For additional information about the Lexus HS 250h, visit

Press Release:


World debut for new hybrid power compact concept car at Frankfurt

Concept proposing the first Lexus full hybrid for the European premium compact segment

Advanced interior design with asymmetric dashboard and Remote Touch controls

Blacked-out B-pillars and concealed rear door handles create the look of a pillarless coupé

L-finesse exterior styling with powerful surfacing and hand-sculpted details

World debut at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show

Making its world debut at the Frankfurt motor show, the Lexus LF-Ch full hybrid concept is Lexus's first approach to the competitive European premium compact segment.

It reflects the growing demand for cars that are smaller and more fuel and CO2 efficient, but with no compromise in levels of refinement and driving pleasure. By next year the compact segment is expected to claim the largest share of the European premium car market.

The LF-Ch concept reaffirms Lexus's commitment to Europe, combining compact dimensions, stylish five-door, full hybrid technology and low emissions to satisfy the most demanding customer requirements and to appeal to a new, younger generation of customers.

Exterior design

The LF-Ch concept presents a powerful evolution of Lexus's L-finesse design philosophy. Rooted in Japanese culture, L-finesse is expressed in every aspect of the car, not only in the visual harmony between the interior and exterior design, but also in the combination of leading-edge engineering and technology with a user-friendly simplicity of function.

The designers focused on the careful juxtaposition of opposing major and minor elements. Intriguing contrasts are created between the powerful, machine-like overall surfacing of the bodywork and the painstaking detail of even the smallest elements, creating a synergy between technologically driven design and a fluid, hand-sculpted quality.

A new, bolder Lexus grille design sits above a deep, full-width bumper and air dam, giving a perfect balance of precision and power. The sharply sculpted, aerodynamic front wings overlap the front bumper to create deep, front brake-cooling air intakes and give the LF-Ch a powerful and purposeful wide-track stance.

In profile, the tapered side glazing, a muscular, rising beltline and a sharply truncated rear overhang project the car's premium compact character. The steeply raked windscreen, long flowing roofline, blacked-out B-pillars and rear doorhandles integrated in the C-pillar window trim combine to give the appearance of a sporting pillarless coupe.

At the rear the trailing edge of the roof overhangs the rear window to create an integrated rear spoiler. The tailgate section has a pronounced step, which flows from the muscular wheelarches and is anchored by the wraparound tail lamp design. Aerodynamic detailing of the lower bumper smoothes airflow from beneath the car and feeds ventilation to the rear brakes.

Subtle finishing touches include discreet Lexus hybrid blue badging and sharply tapering chrome mouldings. The harmonious synergy of the design is further expressed in the contrasting, lively yellow exterior finish and calming blue interior illumination.

Interior design

The principles of L-finesse are carried through to the interior where again a powerful simplicity harmonises with hand-crafted quality in the detailing to create a calm, efficient and elegant design.

The cabin features a strongly asymmetric dashboard that is firmly driver-focused with outstanding ergonomics. The driver's needs are seamlessly anticipated in several surprising elements, for example, when the car is started a greeting is presented on the navigation screen and an ambient lighting pattern appears in the headliner, creating a sophisticated lounge feel.

Extensive use of semi-aniline leather, polished aluminium, wood and soft-touch materials reinforces the theme of harmonious contrast in the dashboard, door panels and seating. The design of the seats is inspired by high quality furniture, with exposed metal frames, lightweight leather and grained black wood used in inter-related layers, shaped to reflect the intrinsic nature of each material used.

The driving position is low and well-supported, with a wide-grip steering wheel with paddle shift controls and an instrument binnacle housing large twin dials embellished with a turbine motif.

To help keep the driver's focus on the road ahead, distracting instrumentation and switchgear has been kept to a minimum by using Lexus Remote Touch controls, as first seen in the new RX 450h. Using a multi-information display on top of the dashboard, Remote Touch works like a computer mouse, letting the driver access control and customise a range of information, entertainment and vehicle set-up programmes.

As with every Lexus, hospitality is at the heart of the ownership experience. To this end, the LF-Ch's comprehensive on-board entertainment package includes iPhone docking for rear seat passengers.

Powertrain and driving performance

Allied to a wide track, long wheelbase and low centre of gravity, the LF-Ch's full hybrid powertrain is engineered to deliver all the performance customers expect from a premium compact hatchback, while at the same time returning low fuel consumption, CO2 and NOx emissions.

With the benefit of the full hybrid technology of Lexus Hybrid drive, the car can be driven in a fully electric EV mode, a power option that is not available to drivers of mild hybrids. This allows for urban driving with minimal noise and zero emissions.

Lexus LF-Ch Concept dimensions

Overall length: 4,300

Overall width: 1,790

Overall height: 1,400

Wheelbase: 2,600

Tyres (front and rear): 225/35R20