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Dedicated hybrid car for Lexus

2007-06-29 15:17
Toyota is planning to launch in 2009 the first dedicated hybrid model for its Lexus luxury line, Automotive News reported on its website.

Citing Lexus UK Director Steve Settle, the industry journal said the model was expected to be priced between IS sedan and the RX400h hybrid sport utility vehicle, making it the cheapest hybrid under the Lexus brand, it said.

The petrol-electric powertrain is available on three Lexus products, and the hybrid derivatives account for more than 70 percent of the brand's sales in the UK, Lexus' biggest market in Europe, it said.

Settle said the new Lexus hybrid would be sold in Japan and Europe, but was not certain about a launch in North America, according to Automotive News.

Earlier this week, the Nikkei business daily reported that Toyota was planning another dedicated hybrid car by 2009 following the international success of the Prius.

The world's biggest automaker has said it wants to double the number of hybrid models it offers from the current seven to help it reach a goal of selling 1 million units of the fuel-efficient vehicles annually soon after 2010.

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