The world's first dedicated hybrid only luxury vehicle will hit the market next year. The 2010 Lexus HS 250h utilizes a hybrid powertrain  with similarities to the Prius, but wraps it into the fancy interior and exterior of a luxury vehicle and charges a significant premium for the luxurious touches found throughout.

The cost for this upmodel Lexus is $34,200.  At this price, it comes in around $14,000 more than a base Prius and could be a hard sell for the company.

Lexus notes many distinctions that set this vehicle apart from other luxury vehicles.  The Lexus offers the best EPA combined mpg rating of any luxury vehicle sold in the U.S. at 35 mpg.  It also emits 70 % fewer emissions than an average car.  But all of the pluses do not add up to a vehicle better than a Prius, they only create a vehicle that is more luxurious than a Prius.

The 2010 HS Lexus 250h will become the fourth hybrid in Lexus's lineup of vehicles and all Lexus models carry a premium over their Toyota counterparts.  The price listed above will get you a standard model, for the Premium model, the price escalates to $36,970 plus the standard $875 delivery fee.

The vehicle is rated at 35 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.  The numbers are a significant improvement over other luxury vehicles, but far behind the numbers posted by a Prius.  Lexus hopes that luxury car buyers will consider this hybrid model and did not want to leave their buyers searching for a hybrid luxury vehicle.

As Lexus vice president Mark Templin said, "The creation of a dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle speaks volumes about Lexus' commitment to our customers and hybrid technology.  Forward thinking, well informed entry luxury consumers are seeking a social statement and technology with a clear benefit in their next car.  HS 250h delivers this with its unique package and modern luxury that fits their advanced lifestyle."

Let's hope that Lexus has its thinking right and that luxury buyers are seeking a dedicated hybrid model.  At a significant premium over a Prius combined with a lower mpg rating, this vehicle could be difficult to sell in these trying times.

For interested buyers, the 2010 HS Lexus 250h will hit dealerships this August.

Source: PR Newswire