Detroit '09 Preview: Lexus-branded Prius to debut

Last month, we brought you the words of Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe who announced that at next year's NAIAS in Detroit, his company would be unveiling a pair of dedicated hybrid models: a replacement for the lamentably iconic current Toyota Prius, and a dedicated luxury hybrid from Lexus. The latter would be the first standalone hybrid model from the luxury brand, which until now has made a name for itself producing gasoline/electric versions of its standard models.

Emerging reports now suggest that the Lexus hybrid Watanabe-san alluded to in Detroit will actually be a rebadged luxury version of the next-gen Prius, taking on a "lifestyle wagon" design based on the more basic Toyota. While the notion of a lightweight Prius being laden down with Lexus-grade luxury equipment may seem at odds, somehow we doubt the Hollywood crowd will be bothered.

[Source: Motor Trend]

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