Given some of the questionable vehicles that have filled local lots in recent years, it may be hard to believe that getting a design past layers of corporate approval is a daunting task. Just take a look at all of the concept cars unveiled during a single year of auto shows, and then compare that with what actually makes it to production. For the models that do get the green light, you can be sure that someone has made a very strong business case.
So it is with the 2010 Lexus HS 250h, the first mainstream luxury hybrid vehicle that exists as a stand-alone model, meaning that it's not simply a gas/electric variant of an existing Lexus sedan. It seems that luxury hybrids are here to stay, as indicated by Mercedes-Benz's consideration of a hybrid-only S-Class lineup in the years to come. Proven by the HS 250h, these cars deliver a level of quality and refinement not found in your run-of-the-mill Insight or Prius, even if the available features are much the same and fuel economy less impressive.
Photos courtesy of Lexus.