Lexus HS etymology: What does its name mean? What do its letters stand for?

The Lexus HS is a mid-size hybrid-only luxury sedan that went on sale in 2009, but has since been withdrawn from the US. What do its name and letters mean?


Despite the fact that it was the first hybrid-only sedan in Lexus’ range, the letters don’t stand for Hybrid Sedan, but rather they’re short for Harmonious Sedan.

Toyota had hoped that the Lexus HS would become a green cult hero, like the Toyota Prius. The HS has a 2.4-litre 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor for a total system output of 139kW (187hp).

Paired with the JDM only Toyota Sai, the Lexus HS has found moderate success in its homeland, but was deemed a failure in the US, where customers preferred the cheaper and larger Lexus ES sedan. The Camry and Avalon-based ES isn’t sold in Japan.


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Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Editor-at-large — Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]