Luxury hybrids are quickly emerging to be the biggest thing since sliced bread (with caviar), but the company forging the trail can barely keep up. After launching the world's first dedicated luxury hybrid – that is, a vehicle designed specifically as a hybrid and offering more amenities than the average Prius – Lexus has found that demand is not just exceeding supply, it's towering over it like a midget at a basketball game. The HS250h just recently launched in its home market of Japan, and while Toyota expected to sell just 500 examples each month, in its first month on the market some 10,000 orders were placed. That's 20 times as many as they expected to sell. Aside from the usual difficulties of increasing production so drastically, Toyota can't get the batteries for the gasoline-electric motors built fast enough, all of which could mean that we'll have to wait a little longer before we can place our orders on this side of the Pacific.
Against the backdrop of such unprecedented success, Lexus is also preparing another luxury hybrid, pictured in the rendering above. Expected to be called the CT series, the new Lexus will be much smaller, around the size and price level of the Volvo C30, Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series, only with hybrid powertrain. The new compact luxury hybrid is expected to be launched at the Frankfurt motor show next month in Germany.
Gallery: Lexus HS250h