Wednesday, 28 October 2009

New Car: 2010 Toyota SAI

The Toyota SAI is the latest entry into Toyota’s ever growing family of hybrids.

Launched at the Tokyo motorshow, the long rumoured SAI, which at one point was being considered for Europe, slots in above the Prius as Toyota’s new 2.4 litre, front-drive hybrid saloon.

Essentially, a reworked version of the Lexus HS250h that’s already on sale in the U.S and Japan, SAI has the same overall profile with those long, sloping A and C pillars and broad shoulder lines running along the top of the doors, but is 4 inches shorter and 70kgs lighter than the HS 250h. The SAI gets a revised front fascia, rear doors and windows. The interior includes redesigned air vents, gauges and steering wheel.

Power comes from the same 2.4-litre hybrid system as the HS. This sees the 2.4 litre VVT-i 4 cylinder engine, with 150bhp (now with Atkinson cycle) team up with an electric motor and reduction gear, with nickel-metal hydride battery pack mounted beneath the boot floor. Combined power is rated at 187bhp. However, although it’s smaller and lighter, the SAI achieves the exact 56-65mpg as the plusher HS250h in Japan’s economy cycle, while C02 is an equally low at 101-107g/km.

Inside, the SAI is more dull and plainer than its HS 250h counterpart. Sales start in December with prices starting at ¥3,380,000 (£24,000/$37,275). Standard equipment includes a 10 speaker sound system w/ retractable LCD touch screen and HDD navigation, leather interior w/ heated front seats and memory, wood & leather steering wheel, x4 electric windows, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and more.

2010 Lexus HS 250h

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