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Toyota, Lexus, Hybrid Cars, Sedan
#1 of 35 Future Toyota/Lexus Hybrids (Prius 3.0, Camry, Lexus 600h, etc.)
Apr 20, 2007 (7:40 pm)
With the underwhelming performance of the Lexus LS600hL at Inside Line recently, it maybe time to give a real accessment of where Hybrid technology is, how successful it has become, and where can it go from here.
For Lexus, the Hybrid is not proving to be an effective alternative, as the 400h has been the most successful, but without a power benefit vs. the RX350.
The GS450h and LS 600hL are not building a strong case for power-hungry buyers, and economy in the low 20's won't attract business, regardless of how fast the vehicles can move.
It appears power AND economy are not desirable, as the Honda Accord Hybrid has found out. Notes should be compared.
At least for Lexus, the Hybrid needs to be rethought as a corporate asset technology. It can be, but is still a work in progress.
#2 of 35 The Hybrids seem much more successful at Toyota
Apr 20, 2007 (7:45 pm)
With the Camry Hybrid selling as many as 5000 a month, and thee Prius setting sales records after 3-4 years on the market.
The next Prius is expected to get more than 50% more efficient, not all due to Hybrid efficiencies, and the Camry maybe the best iteration of the technology yet, providing more than 4-cylinder power, yet better than 4-cylinder economy, without compromising the drivability expected of a Camry.
Hybrid tech, at Toyota, isn't going anywhere.
The question is: Where should it go next?
Should Toyota continue to try to market performance iterations, or max out economy in all models?
#3 of 35 Re: Future Toyota/Lexus Hybrids (Prius 2.0, Camry, Lexus 600h, etc.) [drfil
Apr 20, 2007 (7:49 pm)
Better tread lightly. This is dangerous territory. I think your assessment of the Lexus hybrid effort is spot on. In fact the only two really successful hybrids in the Toyota fleet are the Prius and Camry hybrid. It looks like Toyota failed if they were trying to build a performance hybrid with the LS600hL. They may have banked on lighter Li-ion batteries that never materialized. It is still a question mark if they will bring the big hybrid to market. It will look bad if they rot on the lot. They could just give them to the executives and a few celebrities in an effort to attract attention.
#4 of 35 The new batteries
Apr 20, 2007 (8:18 pm)
Are said to be avaialble on the Next Prius 3.0 in a couple of years, at least according to Toyota brass.
I believe the Prius will easily set a record for 2007, and the Camry will net over 50k units itself.
How does Toyota get Lexus into the mix more effectively is more my question.
#5 of 35 FE vs PERFORMANCE
Apr 21, 2007 (6:33 am)
I have always thought that using the hybrid concept to sell PERFORMANCE was a non-starter. What would attract me would be an LS hybrid with a small V6 netting ~250HP.
Or an RXh with electric drive at the front and the ICE driving the rear. Small "boxer" I4, rear mounted(??), electric supercharger(??).
SC only to bring the HP up to the 2001 RX level.
Love the look of the Chrysler Bionic.
#6 of 35 I think the IS would be a good candidate for Hybrid power
Apr 21, 2007 (7:02 am)
Get rid of the underpowered 250, with the small V6, and turn it into a Hybrid, something along the power lines of the RX400h, and make manual transmission available on the 350.
Everyone would have something to like, economy, sportiness, luxury.
The only problem is the trunk and rear of the car are undersized already. Not much room for batteries thur.
Apr 21, 2007 (7:27 am)
How about a hybrid minivan next. It would be the first, and families would be interested. The SUV is just not an efficient package compared to a minivan.
Part of the huge success of the new Prius is that it finally became a hatchback - much more efficinet than a sedan. People looking for efficiency in mpg are also interested in efficiency of space. The two go hand in hand.
The Toyota and Lexus SUV hybrids get worse mpg than the minivans and offer less space. Where is the efficiency?
#8 of 35 Re: - [dudleyr]
Apr 21, 2007 (7:55 am)
Toyota has had a hybrid mini-van in Japan for a quite a while. Not sure why it has not made it here.
#9 of 35 Not a bad idea
Apr 21, 2007 (7:57 am)
But minivans market share continues to drop, and many makers are leaving the market altogther.
It's hard to add several hundred pounds of batteries to a vehicle already 2 tons, and then expect good fuel economy.
I don't think anything over Camry size should be considered, unless it's an SUV/CUV, because people don't expect great economy from them, so anything in the 20's is considered worthwhile.
Apr 21, 2007 (11:56 am)
The powertrain right out of the highlander hybrid would do more than fine in the Sienna, after all it has even more power. I can push 30 mpg in my Sienna on occasion if I drive carefully. The hybrid would be better still.
I would even consider the Sienna with the 4-cyl hybrid system from the current Camry. It would probably be just as peppy as a Prius. People don't buy hybrids to race.
The SUV has too much of a guzzling stigma to really have mass hybrid appeal.
The only minivans leaving the market are the bad ones. Toyota, Honda, and even Chrysler sell plenty. Maybe a nice shot in the arm like an inovative drivetrain would pick things up. I would take a diesel minivan as well.