Lexus will introduce a hybrid wagon, based on the hybrid architecture of the next-generation Prius, at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, according to a report from Motor Trend. The new report offers few details about a Lexus hybrid wagon, but in recent years there have been a number of rumors about Toyota adapting the highly-successful Prius into a line vehicles ranging from a subcompact to a crossover SUV.
Several factors give credence to the report about a Lexus hybrid wagon. There are currently no wagons or minivans available with a hybrid drivetrain—a clear gap in the current market. Lexus hybrids have not performed nearly as well as Toyota hybrids. And the next-generation Prius technology, along with a model redesign, is due in 2009. The four-door hatchback design of the Prius has become a core feature of the vehicle. A “lifestyle wagon” from Lexus would give the company a distinct hybrid offering, and allow Toyota to leverage its investment in hybrid technology.
Aside from body style changes, the concept will differ from the Prius by offering higher-end amenities and an overall upscale interior, both trademarks of Lexus. Those upgrades will obviously come at a higher price. Details about the vehicle, including price and a release date, have not been confirmed by Toyota.