Wait, didn’t Lexus just kill off the HS? Despite that fact, it’s been spotted roving around the extreme environment of Death Valley, California. The interesting part is that it was accompanied by a hydrogen fuel truck. What this must mean is the HS is Lexus’ new guinea pig.
Even though the HS is dead, that doesn’t mean the pokey little hybrid can’t still be useful. The little hybrid in this case is likely being used as test bed for an new hydrogen drive-train. Toyota’s gas-electric hybrids are their bread and butter, but the promise of hydrogen power is still an enticing prospect. This goes double for their higher end models, due to the uniquely attractive aspects of electric power. Instant torque with no emissions, noise, or gas? For someone looking at a Lexus (or any luxury car for that matter), that sounds like the holy grail.
It’s not like they’ve been quiet about it either. Lexus mentioned they’ve been working on a hydrogen powered sedan earlier this month. According to CAR magazine, it’s due to launch sometime in 2015. It certainly won’t be in the body of the HS. However, something like a hydrogen powered CT200h makes a lot more sense. It wouldn’t even be that difficult to make the jump from the HS chassis to the similarly packaged CT200h.
All-in-all a hydrogen powered future seems promising. Honda’s proved the viability of the concept with the FCX clarity. If you’re worried about power, that car made 189 ft-lbs of torque when it debuted 2 years ago. That’s like a real car.
The main issue in widespread adoption is the lack of hydrogen refueling stations. Though, hopefully that trend will change as manufacturers like Toyota and Honda push for the adoption of the tech. Even Mercedes is getting in on the hydrogen action with their B-Class. Will we be ready by 2015? Time will tell.