Toyota Motor Corporation has just announced the launch in Japan of the partially redesigned “Sai” hybrid sedan. Sales began on August 29 through Toyota dealerships across Japan.

Based on the Lexus HS250h, Toyota first launched Sai in 2009 – a model dedicated to the home market. We are glad it was only locally available, as the uninspiring design would have only solidified our view of the Toyota “granny” stile it usually employed on its models.

We are not so sure about the new Sai, as the “partial” redesign has been not so partial: it looks far more aggressive than the predecessor, with updated front fascia with a revised grille and LED headlights. The good things continue to the back end, as the sporty style touched the rear bumper, the trunk and the taillights, that are now full width.

Also, improved body rigidity and aerodynamics provides superior, lighter handling as well as better ride. Sai achieves a new fuel economy of 22.4 km/L (4.4 L/100km / 52.6 mpg US / 63.2 mpg UK) and C02 emissions of 104 g/km under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism JC08 test cycle. Moreover, use of recycled materials has also been greatly expanded with approximately 80 percent of the interior surface area made from Ecological Plastic.

Power comes from a 2.4-liter (2,362cc) engine that develops 150 HP (110 kW) and 187 Nm (138 lb-ft) of torque, backed by an electric motor that produces 143 HP (105 kW) and 270 Nm (199 lb-ft) of torque. The combined output is only 190 HP (140 kW), though.


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