AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Toyota-branded models sold as the Lexus GS and HS250h in North America
With all the commotion surrounding the FT-86 G Sports Concept and the collection of G Sports vehicles at the Tokyo Auto Salon, it would have been easy not to notice several other Toyota models worth a mention. Eventually we did manage to tear our eyes off the FT-86, only to discover the Japanese-specific Mark X and Sai on display.
Essentially the Toyota-branded versions of two Lexus models, the Mark X is sold in the U.S. as the Lexus GS. In Japan its offered with either a base 203-hp 2.5-liter V6 or an optional 315-hp 3.5-liter V6, both with six-speed automatic transmissions. Only the 2.5-liter models are available with AWD, otherwise, both models come standard with a rear-drive setup.
As for the Sai, it’s the Japanese version of North America’s HS hybrid but with a much more “Toyota-friendly” front end.
GALLERY: Toyota Mark X and Sai
New hybrid model is essentially a Toyotafied version of the Lexus HS250h
If the all-new Toyota Sai Hybrid looks familiar – it should. The new Toyota hybrid model is based very closely on the new Lexus HS platform. Sold as a premium Lexus luxury car in North America, the same car will be down-graded somewhat for sale in its home market. Even the design is almost identical (due to aerodynamic reasons), although the Sai does get some half-unique body panels, as well as head and taillights.
Like the HS, the Sai gets a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and battery pack in true Hybrid Synergy Drive fashion. This is good for a total of 187hp, a 0-60 mph time of 8.4 seconds and a rather incredible 54 mpg average fuel economy rating. That rating, says Toyota, puts the Sai on par with 660cc micro cars.
The Sai will go on sale soon in Japan as a slightly more up-market and more powerful alternative to the Prius.
GALLERY: 2010 Toyota Sai Hybrid
Official release after the jump: