Toyota Sees 30% Fuel-Economy Boost With Hybrid-Only Lexus Sedan


Toyota Motor Corp., expanding its gasoline-electric auto offerings, said its first hybrid-only Lexus will deliver at least 30 percent better fuel economy than any vehicle in the luxury brand’s lineup.
The 2010-model HS 250h sedan will reach dealers later this year, Toyota said today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Adding a seventh hybrid model is part of the effort by Asia’s largest automaker to keep its lead in hybrid sales as rivals such as Honda Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. prepare competing vehicles. Honda unveiled its revamped Insight hatchback in Detroit today.
HS sales should be about 30,000 a year, said Greg Thome, a spokesman. The car, larger than Toyota’s Corolla compact and smaller than a midsize Camry, has nickel-metal hydride batteries, rather than lighter, more powerful lithium-ion packs planned for plug-ins from Toyota, GM and Nissan Motor Co.
Like Prius, the HS will be available just as a gasoline- electric model. The hybrid version of Lexus’s RX sport-utility vehicle is now the brand’s most fuel-efficient auto, averaging 25 miles (40 kilometers) per gallon of gasoline in city and highway driving, Thome said.
That suggests the HS may average about 33 mpg, though Thome said Toyota hasn’t yet made a final estimate.
U.S. hybrid sales for Toyota City, Japan-based Toyota have reached almost 1 million since 2000, though the top-selling Prius slid 12 percent in 2008 to 158,884 units. Toyota’s share of the U.S. hybrid market was 76 percent, down from 78 percent in 2007.
U.S. deliveries in that industry segment fell 11 percent last year to 316,013, the first such decline, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The U.S. auto market shrank by 18 percent, the biggest drop since 1992.
Lexus, the top-selling U.S. luxury brand, is based in Torrance, California.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Ohnsman in Detroit at

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Microsoft Delays Windows 7 Beta Due to Traffic


Windows logoImage via Wikipedia

Microsoft has delayed the Windows 7 public beta, due to traffic issues on the Microsoft Web site, according to a Friday afternoon post on the Windows Team blog.

"Due to very heavy traffic we're seeing as a result of interest in the Windows 7 Beta, we are adding some additional infrastructure support to the properties before we post the public beta," Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc wrote. "We want to ensure customers have the best possible experience when downloading the beta."

As of 4:55 PM, the main Windows 7 page was not showing a link to the beta. The TechNet page was also reporting that the beta had been delayed: "Thanks for your interest in the Windows 7 Beta," the site reads. "The volume has been phenomenal -- we're in the process of adding more servers to handle the demand. We're sorry for the delay and we'll re-post the Beta as soon as we can ensure a quality download experience.

It's for reasons like these that the BitTorrent protocol was invented. Why not let your customers share the bandwidth burden, Microsoft?

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