Lexus HS 250h is the first dedicated hybrid of the luxury brand of which it aims to sell 25,000 copies beginning this summer. According to some figures, in excess of 60 percent of entry luxury sedan customers have said that they will be considering buying hybrids, a segment where no carmaker is currently at.
The only competition visible from this vantage point is the Prius. The concern here consists of the fact that the 2010 Toyota Prius is brand new and it can come with a price tag of $30,000 when it comes with options in its higher trim levels.
So buyers who are considering the HS might change their minds and settle for a fully trimmed Prius instead. Toyota is hoping that the industry could recover quickly enough to reach its goal.
There are signs though that the company has hit bottom and the move up seems to be inevitable when dealers are requesting more cars and customers are feeling good about the economy.
The luxury brand has no plans for an IS coupe in the future as of yet but says that they will be considering it. The fiercest rival of the IS model is the BMW 3-series which comes with convertible, coupe, sedan and wagon body styles.
The IS, which only comes with a sedan and convertible models is always outsold by the 3-series. For instance, for this year BMW 3-series has sold 34,525 units compared to only 12,216 IS units. To add more body styles might be the answer to the IS sales dilemma.
Lexus IS convertible leads its class in terms of coefficient of drag, with a value of 0.29 Cd. Lexus was able to achieve this by employing underbody covers below the engine (with aerodynamic steps). In addition, Lexus employed fuel-tank covers, a full floor and a rear-floor diffuser with vertical fin and airfoil. The shape of the exterior mirrors, rear lamps and high-mount stop lamps also contribute to this low drag coefficient value. Just before the front and rear tires, the new IS also has fender fairings that help reduce airflow into the wheel house, resulting to reduced air turbulence and enhanced aero characteristics.
When the top of the convertible is lowered, the car’s air conditioning system automatically adjusts for the outside temperature, enhancing the consistency of interior temperature. To achieve this, the system adjusts the air outlets, temperature as well as outflow of air from the outlets. The airflow volume is adjusted according to the outside temperature and vehicle speed. On the other hand, cabin temperature is adjusting depending on outside temperature, vehicle speed and amount of sunlight. The air conditioning system also features a variable-control compressor as well as a pollen filter.
Meanwhile, the body structure of Lexus IS convertible boasts of great degrees of strength and rigidity and strength, as made possible through structural changes as well as additions to the current IS sedan platform. Lexus employed more braces for better handling control, body durability and ride comfort. Additional brazing also helps minimize weight increase.
A number of areas in the new Lexus IS were modified or received additions. These areas include the under structure of the A- and B-pillars, rocker area; side collision crossmember, as well as upper and rear-floor crossmembers. The new IS also features underfloor braces were added both on its front and rear.