• Sep 28, 2007

Lexus is the latest to join the "we're looking at performance hybrids" chat room. Now that everyone's talking about it, and rolling out concepts, we're only waiting on someone to do something about it -- as in, put one up for mass market sale.

Lexus US General Manager Jim Farley said the brand is looking gas-electric cars aimed at "enthusiast groups" outside of Lexus core buyers. Toyota already controls 78% of the hybrid market, and ironically, after Toyota recently blasted GM's Volt, the article asserts that Lexus is waiting for the customer reception to that vehicle before deciding which way it will go. We suppose they will also want to see how their LS600h does, as well. Farley did say, though, that a "super-efficient" version of Toyota's current hybrid system is more likely.

Three years ago Toyota showed off the concept pictured above, the Volta. It wouldn't look bad branded as a Lexus, and we could only hope they'd create a hybrid system with the power and frugality to match its looks. Though a hybrid LF-A wouldn't be so bad either.

[Source: Bloomberg]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      hybrids are such a scam.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Replacing batteries can be relatively green, if they're recycled. I recycle my cellphone batteries, smoke alarm batteries and so forth now.

        I've seen various studies on net impact, but none definitive enough to say that hybrids are _worse_. The one study that did imply that made some highly dubious assumptions (that all nickel came from Sudbury, Ontario; that nickel is only used in batteries; that a hybrid would only last 125K while a non-hybrid would go 300K).

        The nice thing about hybrids is that they address pollution at an important point: urban, at ground-level and from a decentralized source that sees not a lot of regulation. As someone who lived in a large city and commuted by bike, I can attest to the improvement that a reduction of pollution can make.

        If hybrids aren't your thing, sure, that's your choice. But they're hardly a "scam".
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hey Preston - what is one argument you have against a Prius' MPGs? EVERY Prius owner I know a) loves their car, b) is getting 50+ MPGs. Are you sure you actually know anything about hybrids??? You sure you have a point? You say hybrids are a scam but then your argument is something about the image you think they portray. What about simply using less gas? And from your self-righteous posts, I find it hard to believe you survive without using batteries in your life. Maybe hybrids aren't a strong topic for you to try to discuss. Sorry...
        • 7 Years Ago
        They've worked well in heavy rail for years, so perhaps there's something to them. Hybrids reduce emissions. If you don't want to reduce emissions, that's your choice.

        Fuel economy is a secondary benefit, though an important one. "Low fuel economy" and "green" are not synonymous.: hyrbids are "green" in that they have low emissions. Diesels, though they have good fuel economy, are very much not green.

        The cheif benefits of a hybrid are to:
        Abstract the generation of power from the drive wheels, allowing the most efficient power generator to drive the car
        Recapture wasted energy (braking) and allow it to be used as kinetic energy
        Stop the generation of power when it's not needed (idle-stop).

        These are good things for a vehicle to have, regardless of ideological bent.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Disposing of batteries is not clean anywhere. Also, the car may emit less emissions if it is a hybrid, but it takes more resources to put into and manufacture a hybrid. So far, hybrids only seem to externalize the problem. Perhaps they are less detrimental to the environment overall, but until a good measure is around, please do not call hybrids better without actual evidence.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hybrids is a conspiracy.
        Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, GM, and Ford are all in on it.

        Car companies want to charge us more money by giving us gimmicks.

        We need to write to our Congressmen to pass a law that forces automakers to sell those overpriced trucks and SUVs at $12,000.

        Screw the conspiracy. I know my Chevy Tahoe is worth no more than $12,000.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Recycling the batteries? What about the chemicals they use to break them down? As green as recycling may sound, it itself is somewhat of a deception.

        Hybrids are usually used to promote a green image, or an image that they will save the owner money. It would be very easy to argue a case against them doing either, and in fact adding to the problems they are being marketed as a solution for.

        So i will quit calling them a scam when everyone quits calling them green.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, thats great considering Lexus's other hybrids weren't geared towards performance over efficiency...
      • 7 Years Ago
      yeah, article doesn make any sense... Lexus was company that originally started looking at performance hybrids and only one that has products on the market and selling...

      are we rewriting the history again?
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Lexus is the latest to join the "we're looking at performance hybrids"

        It could be me but in this sense, I believe "latest" means the most recent. Perhaps not rewritten history but bad grammar.
        • 7 Years Ago
        thats what I thought... but how can they be first and most recent at the same time? :-).

        Lexus always emphasized performance over economy. That has been stated million times before.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota will wait for GM to pour the crap load of R&D money to get series lithium-ion hybrids to work.

      A battery that is drained more has a much shorter lifespan.
      The parallel hybrid constantly attempts to recharge the battery, and the battery is limited to only 10% discharge at any time.

      Add to that, Li-ion batteries only have a life span of 3 years, (ex: your cell phone battery), unlike NiMH's 15 years.

      Toyota is wise to let GM pour all the money getting Li-ion series to work, and just build off of GM's concept, if it ever works.
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