We're starting to develop a bit of a complex. Why is Toyota holding out on us? Yesterday we showed you the handsome second-gen Toyota Mark X, the Lexus GS-based rear-wheel-drive sedan that seems a perfect fit for buyers on these shores. But no, Toyota says that model isn't coming Stateside. If it had been a one-time thing we might have forgive and forget, but no, Toyota's doing it again. The Japanese automaker just unveiled another model that is not intended for these shores – The 2010 Toyota Sai Hybrid.
The Sai is based on the Lexus HS250h hybrid, a vehicle designed for people who want a more premium hybrid experience than they would get in the Toyota Prius. The Sai would seem to fit somewhere in between. It offers the same powerplant as the HS, but not quite as many luxury features. It's basically an HS with different nose, tail and interior detailing.
The folks who do get a shot at the Sai will be rewarded with a DOHC 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing. The engine puts out 147 horsepower on its own, but 187 hp when the electric boost from the 245-volt battery pack kicks in. It's good for an 8.4-second dash from 0-60 and an impressive 23.0 km/l, which roughly equates to over 54 mpg (a huge advantage over the 35 city/34 highway mpg rating of HS250h here in the U.S., mind you) if this handy dandy converter is to be believed.. Think of it as a more powerful Prius with a more conventional body, or a poor man's HS250h. Either way, think of it from afar.