2009 North American International Auto Show
2010 Lexus HS 250h Press Conference Remarks
Mark Templin – Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager
Irv Miller – Toyota Motor Sales Group Vice President, Environmental and Public Affairs
Good morning, everyone. Welcome to the first of two world-debut news conferences our company has planned for the show.
Over the last few months, many have asked about changes in our plans for this year's show. Well, I'm here to tell you, we're committed to this show the city of Detroit and the success of our industry.
New vehicles and technologies help generate excitement and traffic to our showrooms. We shouldn't let current economic news cloud the great product news to be announced this week. Now, more than ever, while we are so focused on the pressing issues of the moment, let's not lose sight of our future.
Nowhere is this more important than our industry's duty and commitment to provide sustainable mobility with vehicles that reduce fuel consumption, our carbon footprint, and overall greenhouse gases. And while Toyota is investing heavily in such things as fuel cells, plug-ins, and battery electric vehicles, we believe that gas-electric hybrids will be our core technology for many years to come.
Sometime early in the next decade, we plan to sell one million gas-electric hybrids per year. To accomplish this we will launch as many as 10 new hybrid models between now and then in various global markets. To tell you more about the first example of this ambitious effort, it is my pleasure to introduce Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager, Mark Templin….
Thank you, Irv, and thank you all for coming this morning. As Irv mentioned we weren't going to miss this show for anything.
Not only do we want to support the industry, but we weren't going to miss our anniversary. Twenty years ago we chose the North American International Auto Show to debut our very first Lexus cars, the LS 400 and ES 250. I'm truly honored to be able to stand on this stage today, on our 20th anniversary, and introduce the latest all-new vehicle from Lexus.
From the beginning, Lexus has found alternative ways of looking at vehicles. We've worked hard to give new perspective to luxury, value, quality and innovation.
In 20 years, Lexus has gone from question mark, to benchmark, leading to a landmark series of hybrid vehicles, including the vehicle we're debuting here today, the first ever dedicated luxury hybrid.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, the all-new 2010 Lexus HS 250h….
We're so excited about this car. Did you know that more than 60 percent of entry-luxury car buyers would have considered buying a hybrid if one had been available?
They also want a car that is kinder to the environment with outstanding gas mileage and low emissions, as well as one that offers advanced features, the latest electronics and one that delivers exceptional comfort.
So, we have created the hybrid powered HS sedan. As I mentioned the HS is a dedicated hybrid, it's not sold with any other powertrain.
The HS will be the most fuel efficient Lexus. While EPA numbers have not been finalized, we expect it will offer the best combined mpg of any luxury vehicle in the U.S. In fact, its city mpg should be higher than the two-passenger Smart micro car. The HS is the first Lexus equipped with a four-cylinder 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle engine that produces 187 horsepower.
As many of you know, Atkinson-cycle refers to sophisticated valve-timing made possible through the use of our VVT-i system that significantly increases an engine's efficiency.
But that's not all this engine has going for it. Just like our next-generation RX hybrid, the HS features an exhaust-heat recovery system to aid in engine warm-up and help enhance fuel economy. And here is an added plus, it can run on regular-grade, 87-octane gasoline, which last time I checked costs a lot less than diesel fuel.
Now, the HS is a little longer in overall length than the IS, and about the same width. The HS slots nicely between the IS and ES and really complements our near luxury line-up.
Utilizing a front-wheel drive platform, the HS has unexpected roominess thanks in part to the slim, advanced design of the front seats.
Like all Lexus models, the HS body is designed for excellent NVH performance. We've designed special engine mounts and applied special coatings to dampen road and engine noise. We've reduced vibration thanks to careful work on the shape and thickness of the suspension mounting points, and we've engineered other measures, some very subtle but collectively, very effective. As a result of our attention to detail, the HS offers a very quiet cabin.
At 0.27 it offers an excellent coefficient of drag thanks to a standard front spoiler, a rear under-spoiler, under-trays and diffuser fins. It also has a unique gull-wing shaped roof that allows air to easily slide over the top. The HS is equipped with MacPherson struts up front, a double wishbone independent rear suspension, with coil springs all around and antiroll bars front and back.
The steering is rack-and-pinion, but with a few clever twists. The HS steering system utilizes a brushless electric motor built on the steering column. This not only improves the steering feel, but helps emissions by not draining engine power like conventional hydraulic systems do. There's a lot more here than meets the eye because this electric motor is also part of our new optional Lane-keep Assist feature.
This new technology is designed to alert the driver of an unintentional lane departure and adds steering torque to help the vehicle stay in center of its lane. The feature can also be turned on and off at the driver's discretion. We've designed a very futuristic and advanced, yet comfortable, cabin that offers standard 10-way power leather seats, a moonroof, and premium audio systems.
The driver can receive information not only through the instrument panel, but in three other ways….through the multi-information display, the available navigation screen, which is positioned back at the top of the dash to improve the driver's sight lines, or through an optional heads-up display. The heads-up display helps reduce the need for excessive eye movement. It shows so bright you can even read it in direct sunlight.
The HS also allows access to and control of information through the steering-wheel-mounted multi-information switch, and through our all-new remote navigation device first introduced on the all-new RX, which people are discovering is both intuitive and fun to use. A good deal of thought went into the controller's positioning. Sitting in the front seat and lowering your hand to the controller is as natural as sitting at your computer reaching for your mouse. You can even control the tension on the cursor by adjusting the amount of feedback you prefer.
We have a couple of demonstration kiosks in our display so you can experience for yourself just how easy the controller is to operate.
Now, the HS features our new multimedia package as standard. It includes our improved Bluetooth, integrated satellite radio, voice recognition, and a USB iPod connector that is easily controlled by steering wheel buttons or the display screen via the controller.
The navigation system includes a new, upgraded casual speech voice recognition program, XM NavTraffic featuring real-time traffic updates with rerouting, and up to the minute on-screen weather, stock and sports information. The XM NavWeather feature allows customers to get live weather updates while driving in more than 150 cities.
The HS will also feature our next generation telematics which includes the all-new Lexus Enform and Safety Connect systems. While Safety Connect provides automatic collision notification, a stolen vehicle locator and 24/7 emergency and roadside assistance, Lexus Enform includes much more. Such as access to operators who are able to send destinations directly to the car's navigation system.
Lexus Enform also allows customers to pull up multiple points of interest from their home or office computer, or any web-enabled device, and send them via the internet directly to the car's navigation system. Let's say you are planning a road trip and have several points of interest you want to make sure and hit. You can send those directly to the car, in fact you can select and send up to 200 destinations. Now this is all usable technology that gives HS drivers choices to accomplish different tasks using their favorite means.
Similar to the system on our topline LX 570, the HS also offers a wide, 190-degree front view monitor. The monitor utilizes a camera located in the grill so the driver can easily check hard-to-see blind spots. Like those you'd find exiting a parking garage in a busy urban area.
The new HS offers an optional Pre-collision System which can alert the driver to potential emergency situations. But unfortunately collisions can't always be avoided, so just in case, we've included a class-leading 10 airbags.
We've also included active front seat head restraints to help reduce whiplash injuries, standard LED tail lights and available LED head lights.
So I think you get the idea. We've put a lot of thought and a lot of comfort and safety systems into the new HS. But we've also made sure that the HS gives back.
We've used plant-based eco plastics in upholstery and luggage trim and trunk panels, as well as in foam and injected molded parts. In total, 30 percent of the interior and cargo area utilizes eco plastics. In fact, 85% of the HS, including the battery, can be recycled.
So there you have it, the first dedicated luxury hybrid, the 2010 HS 250h, a car for buyers who want luxury, high mileage, low emissions, usable technology and value.
Ladies and gentlemen I am very pleased to have with us today the person most responsible for the development of the all-new HS, Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba.
Every year since we showed the first RX hybrid in 2005 we've introduced a new luxury hybrid. And this year we're debuting the first-ever dedicated luxury hybrid. To date Lexus has sold more than 157,000 hybrid vehicles worldwide. No one has the experience with luxury hybrids that Lexus does.
We're excited that the HS is one of three launches this coming year. In addition to the HS, the all-new RX starts arriving at dealerships next month. The IS convertible will hit showrooms in late Spring. The IS C will give us a convertible coupe in the entry luxury segment for the first time ever.
You know, we started out twenty years ago relentlessly pursuing perfection, we got passionate about it, and now we are pursuing perfection and innovation in ways our customers never thought possible. The HS 250 is the anniversary present we are sharing with you today. The HS is all hybrid and all Lexus and we can't wait until it goes on sale late this summer. Now at this time I'd like to give the photographers in attendance a chance to take pictures of the HS. After that I invite you all to come up and take a closer look.
Thank you and please enjoy the rest of the show…