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One wouldn’t normally think of the Lexus hybrid compacts as “tuner cars”, but if there’s one thing that SEMA proves, it’s that you can make anything a “modified vehicle” by throwing wheels and other bolt-on modifications onto a car.
We highlighted the Lexus SEMA lineup earlier, but since we all know how much you love hybrids, we sought out some pictures of our own. The CT200h is actually previewing an F-Sport suite of aftermarket parts, including wheels, tires, a big brake kit and suspension pieces.
The HS250h was tuned by VIP Auto Salon, and comes with a baller-ific WALD aerokit, 20″ Work wheels, a custom exhaust system and Lexus Japan OEM-spec window visors. We can hardly contain our excitement at that bit of JDM trivia.
Gallery: Lexus HS250h and CT200h
Lincoln‘s MKZ Hybrid will be priced identical to the least expensive V6, giving consumers a strong incentive to opt for the 2.5L four-cylinder hybrid. The hybrid retails for #35,180, the same sticker as the front-drive V6 model, and a few hundred dollars less than a Lexus HS250h.
The MKZ, based on Ford’s much acclaimed Fusion Hybrid, gets 41 mpg in the city, 6 mpg better than the Lexus, while coming in a more conventional looking wrapper. The fuel economy bump is a definite advantage, but the lack of a distinct look for the hybrid may be a detriment – after all, many people choose the Toyota Prius just so they can let the world know that they are driving a hybrid.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
Lexus is recalling their 2010 Lexus HS250h hybrids because of the possibility of an excess amount of fuel leaking out of the back in the event of a rear end crash.
Readers might recall another famous case of fuel leaking during a rear end crash, and with Toyota’s recent spate of quality problems, you can bet that the company is eager to take car of this issue before it becomes any worse. Lexus claims that as many as 17,000 vehicles could be affected, and has yet to announce what it will do to remedy the problem.
Hit the jump to read the official press release:
Posting identical numbers to its sister car, the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Lincoln MKZ has garnered an identical EPA rating of 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.
This might be a snooze to some, but the MKZ Hybrid bests its nearest rival, the Lexus HS250h, by 6 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway. The MKZ Hybrid is also a much more discrete looking vehicle, which may or may not work in Lincoln’s favor. We’ll find out when the car goes on sale this fall.
Lexus‘ HS250h hybrid sedan is having trouble meeting sales targets, due to the strength of the Prius as well as demand for the HS250h in Japan. Lexus is on track to sell about 14,000 HS250h hybrids this year, well below the projections of 20-22,000. So far just 4529 HS250h’s have been sold.
In an interview with Ward’s, a Lexus executive cited increased demand in Japan for the re-forecasting of sales numbers. “Right now, there’s so much demand for that product in Japan…maybe 20,000-22,000 might be more realistic,” said Mark Templin, Lexus Div. group vice president and general manager-Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. Templin also said that the company “underestimated the power of the Prius brand,” citing the strength of Toyota’s premiere hybrid.
While the HS250h seems like a slam dunk in light of the success of the Prius, the Toyota’s distinctive shape has an eco-cachet that the Lexus’ three-box design can’t match. The typical Prius buyer (read: affluent) is also the same buyer that Lexus is going after, and you can bet that they will always gravitate towards the status symbol, especially the kind that the Prius represents.
We still have more than half of 2009 to go and already the list of 2010 North American Car & Truck of the Year nominees have been picked. That’s because the list is essentially a list of every new model for 2010.
Nominated for car of the year are: the Audi S4, BMW Z4, BMW 335d, BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Fusion, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford Mustang, For Mustang GT500, Ford Taurus, Ford Taurus SHO, Honda Insight, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Kia Forte, Kia Soul, Lexus HS250h, Lotus Evora, Mazda3, MazdaSpeed3, Mercedes E-Class, Nissan Cube, Nissan 370Z, Porsche Panamera, Subaru Legacy, Suzuki Kizashi, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Golf TDI.
The 2010 North American Truck of the Year list is only slightly shorter and includes: the Acura ZDX, BMw X5 xDrive 35d, Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Transit Connect, GMC Terrain, Honda Crosstour, Land Rover LR4, Lincoln MKT, Subaru Outback, Toyota 4Runner and Volvo XC60.
Many off these vehicles have yet to be officially released and some (like the Honda Crosstour) haven’t even been officially named yet.
Jurors will now begin the lengthy process of making a short list, with the final winners chosen at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Last year’s winners were the Hyundai Genesis and the Ford F-150.