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Lexus on Wednesday inadvertently announced the price of its new hybrid sport-utility that goes on sale April 15. The 2006 Lexus RX 400h will sell for a suggested price of $48,535.
News of the price, which was e-mailed to those who had expressed interest in the gas-electric vehicle, known as ``hand-raisers'' in auto-industry parlance, forced Lexus' Southern California public relations staff to scramble.
The price is $11,000 more than the all-wheel-drive version of the gasoline-only RX 330, and $12,500 more than the front-wheel-drive RX 330.
Lexus will sell the RX 400h as both fuel-stingy and high performance. The customer e-mail said the RX 400h would go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds and get 30 mpg in city driving. That's more fuel-efficient than any gas-only SUV on the market, but less than the Ford's Escape hybrid that gets 36 mpg in city driving.
Well, the RX 400h is all-wheel drive, which instantly means less efficiency. The RAV4 is also a tiny SUV... in fact I've always wondered why people bother buying it. You have no more room in that thing than you do in a sedan.