Gasoline-electric powertrain aside, part of what makes the Toyota Prius get such good mileage is the stripped-out interior and itty-bitty wheels. Put in a leather interior, power everything, premium entertainment system with DVD players and LCD televisions and big wheels – features that Lexus customers (even those in hybrid models) have come to expect – and the purpose teeters on the brink of defeat. But that's what looks to be shaping up.
Our report from last month seems to be picking up speed – in typically slow Prius style – that Lexus will get its own version of the next-generation Toyota Prius. The initial reports were spurred by an announcement from Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe that the Japanese motor giant would come to Detroit next year with two dedicated hybrid models – one for Toyota, and one for Lexus. While the Toyota will likely retain its hatchback form, the Lexus is expected to take on a "lifestyle wagon" bodystyle. Whatever that means, it should give poseurs enough space to carry around enough cargo to vanquish that purpose altogether.