Lexus has confirmed that its all-new HS 250h dedicated hybrid won’t go on sale in Europe because its carbon-dioxide emissions are already close to the similarly sized IS 220d diesel sedan. In its place, however, an IS-based hybrid could be in the works.

News of the IS hybrid, which originates with Autocar, is surprising given that the same arguments that apply to the HS 250h's exclusion would likely apply to the IS. On the other hand, the IS is positioned differently in Europe than it is in the U.S., and that would mean that the HS and IS would compete directly with each other.

Making a hybrid option available in the IS and Toyota Avensis (a wagon-like five-door) could make sense for buyers looking for lower running costs - the hybrid powertrain would require only less expensive 87-octane petrol, potentially making it competitive in terms of overall cost-savings with diesel powered vehicles.

Toyota’s chief of marketing communications in Europe, Serge Gachot, revealed to Automotive News back in January that the HS 250h was never intended for Europe. According to an inside source, Lexus expects the 187hp (140kW) HS 250h to offer similar performance to the IS 220d, which is sold exclusively in Europe.

Lexus still plans to offer hybrid versions of its GS, LS and RX model as none of these vehicles are offered with a diesel option yet.