2010 Lexus HS 250h: the all new, all Lexus, all hybrid vehicle delivers new luxury and sustainable innovation

  • The World’s First Hybrid-only Luxury Vehicle Achieves Combined Fuel Consumption of 5.7L/100km
  • Standard Supplemental Restraint System with Class-Leading 10 Airbags
  • 30% of Interior Trim and Trunk Use Sustainable Ecological Plastics
There are moments of joy, moments of exhilaration and moments of inner calm… and then there are defining moments that change everything.  The 2010 Lexus HS 250h is all new, all Lexus and all hybrid.
With the introduction of the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid, the 2010 HS 250h, Lexus brings attainable, sustainable luxury to Canadian luxury consumers. In the process, the brand also elevates luxury transportation with advanced engineering and intuitive, driver-inspired design that offers excellent roominess and nimble manoeuvrability.
“Our research tells us that more than 60 per cent of those shopping in the entry luxury segment have been looking for a hybrid-powered option, and starting under $40,000, the 2010 Lexus HS 250h is the vehicle for these Canadians,” said Larry Hutchinson, Director of Lexus in Canada. “We’re confident that as the HS 250h becomes the fourth hybrid in our line up, Canadians who want the ultimate in luxury motoring with a smaller footprint will continue to turn to Lexus for the most proven hybrid systems and the greatest choice of luxury hybrid vehicles.”
Designers and engineers took the opportunity to create a truly unique luxury car that maximizes fuel economy while further shrinking its impact on the planet by using ecologically advanced materials, cleverly packaging components and eliminating waste where possible. Outstanding fuel economy is the inevitable result.
The HS 250 achieves an estimated combined fuel consumption rating of just 5.7 litres per 100km (5.6 / 5.9 L/100km, city/highway), and a Tier 2 Bin 3 emissions rating. The HS 250h delivers 54 per cent better city fuel efficiency compared to the average entry luxury vehicle.
The HS 250h makes driving more efficient, without compromise to the premium quality, performance and luxury expected from a Lexus. Features standard to all models include the following:
  • 30 per cent of the combined interior and trunk are covered in Ecological Plastic;
  • a choice of 4 driving modes: Normal, Power, Eco and EV;
  • a class-leading 10 airbags and active front headrests with whiplash protection;
  • dual-zone automatic climate control;
  • electroluminescent instrumentation;
  • the first Lexus Hybrid Drive  built around a gas four-cylinder engine, developing 187 net hp;
  • keyless entry with the Lexus smart key system with push-button start;
  • LED brake lamps;
  • a power moon roof;
  • a full suite of Lexus handling and braking technologies, including Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), and more.
The Lexus HS 250h Premium model, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $39,900, is loaded with luxury comfort and convenience features, including leather seats with 8-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats, an audio system featuring integrated XM Satellite Radio and USB audio connectivity and distinctive 17” aluminum alloy wheels.
Optional on the Premium model:
  • The Lexus HS 250h Premium Sport package, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $41,400, enhances this unique hybrid sedan with a sport-tuned suspension, 18” aluminum alloy wheels, heated seats, sport pedals, a wallet-sized smart card key, and illuminated scuff plates.
The Lexus HS 250h Premium Luxury model, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $45,300, delivers the full potential of hybrid-power in an entry luxury sedan, with heated and ventilated seats covered in premium leather and equipped with the Lexus driver seat memory system, the intuitive Remote Touch navigation tool, a voice activated navigation system with integrated back-up camera, 18” aluminum alloy wheels, power rear sunshade and auto-dimming side-view mirrors.
  • The Lexus HS 250h Ultra Premium package, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $48,750, adds a wallet-size Smart Card key, a concert-hall quality 15-speaker Mark Levinson Audio system, LED headlamps with headlamp washers, the Lexus auto levelling system, adaptive front lighting system and an automatic high beam feature.
 The 2010 Lexus HS 250h is available today at Lexus Dealers across Canada. With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at less than $40,000, Canadians in the market for an entry luxury sedan can join the growing community of Lexus guests who have chosen to pursue their perfect moments in life in the world’s only line-up of advanced, intuitive hybrid luxury vehicles.
Engine and Hybrid System
Hybrid efficiency is at the core of the HS 250h and Lexus’ first four-cylinder gas engine and latest hybrid system take advantage of the company’s continuous engineering advances to maximize fuel economy, minimize emissions and deliver driving pleasure. A highly efficient engine design, an exhaust heat recovery system, major efforts to reduce parasitic losses, a new evaporative emissions system and driver-selectable driving modes all make notable contributions. Significant efforts were also made to minimize engine noise.
An Atkinson-cycle engine design was chosen for its high efficiency and compatibility with hybrid operation in the new HS. The twin-cam engine uses four valves per cylinder and Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i) on the intake side. The engine is undersquare, with an 88.5-mm bore diameter and 96 mm stroke, and has a relatively high compression ratio of 12.5:1. Peak output equals 147 horsepower and in combination with the hybrid drive motor, the HS generates 187 total system horsepower. It also meets federal Tier 2 Bin 3 exhaust emission standards, emitting 70 per cent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new car; it is also augmented by a new system that reduces evaporative emissions to near zero.
Careful design of the intake system reduces engine pumping losses and its twin resonators minimize intake noise. The cooling system uses a modular construction that combines an aluminum engine radiator, hybrid system radiator, AC condenser and fan into a single assembly for minimal weight. Plus, the electric fan speed is controlled via Pulse Width Modulation to reduce energy consumption and noise. Careful ducting of the cooling system helps prevents hot engine air recirculation that tends to occur at low speeds and while idling, further enhancing efficiency.
One of the keys to lower fuel consumption involves heat. Similar to the Lexus RX 450h hybrid luxury utility vehicle, the HS employs an Exhaust Heat Recovery System that captures the heat of spent exhaust gases to speed engine coolant warm-up and allow the hybrid system to stop the engine earlier and more often in the driving cycle when it’s not needed, for example in low power demand conditions in city driving. Overall, the system can improve fuel efficiency by as much as seven per cent in low ambient temperatures.
Using a two-motor hybrid system, the HS 250h uses a 141 hp drive motor that combines with the 147 hp gas engine. (Note that the sum of the engine and motor power are not equal to the total system power as the operation of the engine and motor cannot be maximized in the same operation range). A second motor in the hybrid system serves as both engine starter and generator to charge the hybrid battery pack.
The efficient two-motor system also uses an electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT) that is a model of efficiency, simplicity and compact size with extremely smooth and quiet operation. A motor speed-reduction planetary gear unit helps provide high power output in this small package. The HS250h also uses an easy-to-operate shift-by-wire system that eliminates the need for bulky shift cables, saving space and weight while allowing much more design freedom in placing the shift lever in the interior.
An electric transmission oil pump eliminates another source of parasitic loss to further increase efficiency. Electronic operation allows a control strategy that invokes the oil pump only when needed, and since the oil also flows over the drive motor, overall efficiency of the motor and transmission are improved.
The HS 250h also incorporates a drive-mode switch that allows the driver to select between four modes: Normal, Power, Eco and EV. Each switch position changes the rate of throttle opening for a given throttle-pedal angle. Normal mode has an essentially linear throttle response that gives naturally progressive power. Power mode can be selected for a more responsive feel when desired. In Eco mode, air conditioning settings are adjusted and the throttle response is reduced relative to the pedal angle to emphasize fuel economy. Under certain circumstances, the EV mode can allow the vehicle to be driven short distances using only the electric motors.
The HS 250h body design received considerable attention to aerodynamics. Ambitious goals were set requiring designers to work closely with aerodynamicists from the outset to create a low-drag form in an attractive, spacious, yet compact package. Their work yielded a coefficient of drag (Cd) among the best, 0.27, which makes a considerable contribution to fuel economy, especially at highway speeds.
The low nose encourages airflow while also helping enhance vehicle dynamics. Smooth transitions along the front fender and A-pillars avoid disturbance of the airflow. Subtle front- and rear-bumper spoilers and an available rear-lip spoiler contribute to low drag and minimize lift. The body sides taper from the centre pillar to the rear where they meet the slightly kicked-out tail lamps, helping reduce drag-inducing wake turbulence. Also, a gull wing-shaped roof panel enabled designers to lower its profile to reduce air resistance and with a shape that is naturally stiffer than a conventional curved roof, engineers were able to reduce its thickness for further weight reduction.
Several measures were also taken under the car to promote airflow and reduce drag. Airflow resistance in the engine compartment was improved by optimizing the duct profiles around the radiator. Careful positioning of numerous underfloor covers plus added diffuser fins on the rear covers further reduce drag while enhancing straight-line control.
Underlying the HS 250h’s forward-thinking interior design is the implementation of bioplastic material. Known more formally as Ecological Plastic, the bioplastic uses plant sources as raw material and is used for parts of the interior upholstery in the HS 250h.
Ecological Plastics are used in a number of injection-molded, foam and board components throughout the car, including trunk compartment trim, cowl side trim, door scuff plates, seat cushions and the package tray. Overall, approximately 30 per cent of the combined interior and trunk are covered in Ecological Plastic.

Driver-Inspired Technology
From the driver’s perspective, several important developments inside the HS 250h transform the driving experience, making it easier and more enjoyable while also helping to enhance the driver’s attention to the road ahead.
The standard Lexus Premium Audio System offers a comprehensive suite that includes voice recognition, Bluetooth® technology, an integrated satellite radio receiver and USB/iPod® connectivity operated via steering wheel controls or from the display screen. A multi-information display situated in the instrument cluster keeps the driver informed of the numerous actions controlled by the steering wheel-mounted switches.
The HS 250h’s next-generation navigation system is optional and 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 centre stack and away from the driver. The driver benefits with a clear, high-resolution screen, improved site lines and reduced eye movement. These advances combined with the physical feedback provided by the controller make the system extremely easy to use.
Voice command, a casual-language-based voice recognition feature, is standard on navigation-equipped vehicles. This new technology – fully trilingual in English, French and Spanish - allows the driver to give fewer and more flexible, conversational commands in a specific order for easier access to audio, climate, and navigation system functions to help drivers focus more on the road ahead. 
The high-visibility, electro-luminescent instrument cluster offers fresh methods of keeping track of the various systems in the car and helps the driver to conserve fuel. A hybrid system indicator displays the hybrid system output and regenerative charging status, simultaneously indicating the efficiency of the system related to driving style. An auxiliary Eco Drive Indicator light further assists the driver in maintaining the most economical use of system power. In internal testing, the added driver awareness has been shown to improve fuel economy several percentage points.
A multi-information display resides in the centre of the hybrid system indicator. It uses high-contrast organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology for maximum visibility and indicates various conditions such as fuel consumption, ambient temperature and cruising range. Additionally, several vehicle functions can be customized through use of the display with the multi-information switch.
Two more items related to visibility merit mention: Over the years, changes to body structural requirements have made it difficult to keep A-pillars slender, affecting the driver’s field of vision. However, HS 250h designers were able to create a relatively slim A-pillar structure that helps improve visibility without degrading structural integrity. Additionally, the HS uses side glass with a water-repellent coating that improves wet weather visibility and aids defrosting performance.
As it is with ride, handling, noise and vibration, the body structure plays a key role in the fundamental safety characteristics of the HS 250h. To help protect the driver and passengers, the body is designed to be strong but strategically resilient to help absorb and distribute energy in the event of a crash. High tension steel components are carefully located in the body structure, doors and other areas to help ensure strength in key areas.
The HS 250h incorporates a standard class-leading 10-airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) with dual-stage airbags and knee airbags for driver and front passenger, side curtain airbags, and both front and rear seat-mounted side airbags to help protect front and rear passengers in certain types of severe frontal or side collisions. The front passenger is equipped with a twin-chamber airbag that further helps provide occupant protection.
Additionally, front and outer rear seatbelts incorporate pre-tensioners with force-limiters to help protect occupants in the event of certain severe frontal collisions. Active front head restraints are also standard.
The HS 250h optional navigation system comes equipped with a back-up monitor for additional safety when reversing.
Interior: Design for Innovation
The interior of the HS 250h was designed to communicate the high level of innovation inherent in the car with the craftsmanship expected from Lexus products. On the Ultra Premium model equipped with the feature, Lexus’ exclusive Remote Touch navigation system controller is a focal point of the interior design because of the high frequency of interaction with it.
The centre stack sweeps rearward to the Remote Touch which naturally meets the driver’s hand atop a “floating” form over the centre console. Switches and displays are neatly arranged for ease of operation and free of visual complexity, courtesy of Remote Touch.
Leather-trimmed seats are standard and special soft touch stitched details on the centre stack and instrument hood provide an extra premium touch in the cabin. Interior trim colors include Black leather, new light Water Grey leather, Parchment leather, and for the optional Sport Package on the Premium model, a distinctive Black/Water Grey two-tone leather trim. A high-finish dark gloss trim is featured on the Premium model while the Ultra Premium model has brown walnut wood trim.
Front door trim that mirrors the shape of the centre stack and armrest provide a comfortable symmetry. And the steering wheel centre pad appears to float on the wheel, surrounded by control switches that mimic the design and color of those on the centre stack.
Body Design and Packaging
Efficiency was a priority in the HS 250h body design, with careful packaging of people and components to maximize space and special attention to aerodynamics to reduce drag. But the HS 250h is also a Lexus luxury car and its designers were very intent on creating a distinctive, appealing design.
Body designers looked to the Lexus L-Finesse design language to create a new shape for their first dedicated hybrid. The silhouette displays a smoothly flowing line from front to rear; the C-pillar has a unique arrowhead shape; the grille is set low in the front with no openings to facilitate smooth airflow over the hood; there is an air inlet directly below the grille to cool the hybrid system and a larger one lower in the fascia to cool the engine and radiator. The standard projector-beam headlamps provide a focused look, while innovative, efficient LED headlamps are available. LED taillamps with a clear blue-accented frame intentionally signal “hybrid.”
Striving to create a sleek and aerodynamic shape with a roomy cabin while containing the physical footprint of the car and packaging the hybrid system components, HS 250h designers had their work cut out for them. To accomplish their goals, they used a somewhat taller profile and more forward A-pillar location than used in conventional sedans. This allowed a higher seating position for both front and rear passengers, providing improved passenger vision and easier egress/ingress, while also creating a better location for the batteries. The battery components, including the high-voltage battery pack, auxiliary battery and battery-connected devices, were carefully packaged to take advantage of this layout, resulting in a spacious cabin and surprisingly large trunk space.
The HS250h will offer 6 premium Lexus exterior colors: Matador Red Mica, Tungsten Pearl, Smoky Granite Mica, Obsidian, Black Sapphire Pearl and a hybrid exclusive color - Aurora White Pearl.
Nimble handling, excellent body control, smooth ride and low noise in the HS 250h begin with a stiff body structure. The HS body is designed with superior stiffness overall with added focus in strategically-located areas that have the greatest effect on ride, handling and noise.
Designed to balance handling, ride and NVH at high levels, the HS uses a rigid and compact MacPherson strut front suspension. The system employs a 24-mm diameter stabilizer bar plus large diameter pistons and rebound springs in the shock absorbers to help provide superior ride control. The steering rack is directly mounted (no rubber bushings) to create an unfiltered connection between it and the suspension members to help accurately communicate to the driver what is happening where the rubber meets the road.
The double-wishbone rear suspension used in the HS also balances performance and comfort and is important to its overall handling. Its compact design uses low-mount coil springs that help improve cargo space. As in the front suspension, rebound springs are used to aid both handling and ride, and all mountings and bushings are optimized to help provide an excellent combination of ride, handling and low noise.
Standard 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels on the HS 250h are shod with P215/55R17 all-season tires. Available 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels are equipped with larger P225/45R18 all-season tires. All wheels feature the direct-type Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Lexus’ experience with Electric Power Steering (EPS) continues to evolve the system. The vehicle-speed sensitive steering has been optimized to provide ideal steering feel at any speed. Inertia compensation control, friction feedback and recovery control assist in tailoring the steering feel and effort. The HS EPS system also helps improves fuel economy by reducing parasitic losses.
Like all Lexus vehicles, the HS 250h braking system is comprehensive, and as a Lexus hybrid it is augmented by regenerative braking which also helps recharge the hybrid battery back and improve fuel economy. The HS uses a newly developed electronic controlled brake (ECB) system actuator that is managed by the ECB computer and acts on the system’s hydraulic brake components.
The ECB computer also controls the interaction between the four-wheel disc friction brakes and the regenerative brake system. The new ECB actuator is smaller, lighter and consumes less electrical current than previous systems, making additional contributions to fuel economy. Enhancements in the system design also help improve brake feel and controllability.
Comfort and Convenience
When more than one driver uses the HS 250h, an available new memory system allows individual driver settings to be recalled automatically by individual keys, saving the drivers the trouble of recalling their particular setting. The system memorizes the steering-wheel position, seat position, exterior mirror positions and air conditioning settings associated with each key, translating to shorter preparation time prior to driving.
Leather-trimmed seating is standard with an 8-way power-adjustable front seat, including power lumbar, for the driver. The front passenger also receives a standard 8-way power-adjustable seat. HS 250h Ultra Premium grade receives heated and ventilated 8-way power front seats trimmed in semi-aniline leather.
Climate control in the HS 250h is designed to provide comfort and clean air for all passengers. A dual temperature control system is used for front seat occupants and a dedicated rear blower mounted in the centre console promotes quick cool down for the rear passengers. A plasma cluster ion generator, A/C clean air filter and a pollen removal mode help clean air inside the cabin. The interior gets a little extra help from the windshield, which has infrared-ray reduction properties that help keep the interior cool, allowing a smaller size air conditioning system than would otherwise be required.
A 10-speaker, 137-watt Lexus Premium audio system featuring a six-disc CD changer, a subwoofer and centre speaker is standard. The system uses two-way woofer and tweeter systems in both front and rear for rich, clear sound quality.
The HS250h accommodates a variety of music sources and includes standard auxiliary and USB inputs, Bluetooth® audio wireless connectivity and an integrated XM® satellite radio receiver. Standard voice recognition and Bluetooth technology allow phone calls to be made and received while driving. When an iPod® is attached via the USB port, information such as names for the artist, track and album is displayed on the audio or available navigation screen.
Audiophiles will appreciate the HS 250h’s optional Mark Levinson® 5.1-channel Premium Surround Sound system. Power is rated at 330 watts at only 0.1% total harmonic distortion from 20-20, 00 Hz, and the system uses 15 strategically placed speakers for outstanding audio performance and sound quality.
Noise and Vibration
As the newest member of the Lexus family and in keeping with its environmentally advanced design, aggressive noise and vibration targets were set for the HS 250h. A comprehensive and painstaking approach was taken with particular efforts directed at engine and booming noise as well as wind noise.
Component solutions on the HS include acoustic windshield glass and an extensive package of optimally positioned sound insulation materials. Measures such as dynamic dampers for the engine mounts, dual intake resonators and optimized muffler capacity were employed to achieve a smooth, linear sound quality with natural peaks and valleys.
Extensive aerodynamic work was conducted with both computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis and wind tunnel evaluation to identify noise sources, assist designers to create appropriate design elements and prove countermeasures. For example, a smoother transition between the windshield and roofline (backed by a sound-insulating inner layer) has improved air-flow and turbulence, reducing wind noise in the process. Strategically placed seals, barriers and insulation material are used throughout the HS to eliminate noise paths and insulate passengers from noise sources.
All Lexus hybrid vehicles are covered by a 96 month/160,000 km warranty on all hybrid-related components (applies to the battery control module, hybrid vehicle control module, hybrid vehicle battery and the inverter/converter). A basic 48 month/80,000 km warranty applies to non-hybrid components. Powertrain and safety restraints are covered for 72 months/110,000 km, while tires are covered for 48 months/80,000km and corrosion/perforation is covered by a 72 month/unlimited kilometre warranty. All Lexus hybrid vehicles benefit from 24-hour roadside assistance for the first 4 years (unlimited kilometres), after the original registration date.
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