Lexus GS Hybrid Luxury Review
On a Hy

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
9 Sep 2012
 

Lexus gives the impressive new GS the hybrid treatment. Raymond Lai checks out the new GS450h if it is any of an improvement over its predecessor.

Introduction, styling

It wasn’t long ago that a hybrid car would represent green, environmentally friendly motoring and low fuel bills to most. Well, that’s what early hybrid models like the original Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid were all about after all. In the case of Toyota, they are the leaders in hybrid technology, having first introduced a mass produced hybrid car way back in 1997.

Toyota’s Lexus luxury division though, takes a rather different approach to hybrid models than its parent company. Instead of the usual emphasis on economy and green credentials, Lexus’ hybrid models are all about performance and luxury. The first Lexus hybrid introduced here was the RX400h in 2006. The hybrid SUV proved popular with buyers here since its launch. Following the RX400h was the flagship of the Lexus range, the LS600h limousine.

In 2008, the Japanese luxury brand introduced its third hybrid model, the GS450h. the CT200h and the second gen RX Hybrid, the RX450h soon followed and recently, Lexus launched the second iteration of the GS450h. With the 3.5-litre GS450h, Lexus claims that it will match the performance of a similarly sized saloon with a much larger V8 drivetrain, hence its ‘450’ moniker.

On the outside, there aren’t many distinguishing features to differentiate the GS450h from non-hybrid GS models. The subtle and minor differences include ‘Hybrid’ logos on the sills below the rear doors, a ‘GS450h’ badge on the trunk lid, distinctive headlamp lenses that feature full LED technology as well as Lexus emblems with blue inserts.

Compared to its predecessor, the new GS Hybrid has a completely different look thanks to the latest iteration of Lexus’s L-finesse design philosophy. While the old car features more curves and softer lines, the latest GS features tauter and crisper lines and angular forms for a more assertive and even sportier look. Especially distinctive is the ‘spindle’ radiator grille, which gives the new GS its own identity somewhat.

The GS450h is available in either Luxury or sportier F Sport trim variants with the former tested here. The F Sport features a sportier looking exterior with its alloy wheels finished in dark metallic grey, a mesh radiator grille as well as a more aggressive front bumper.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 3456cc
Engine Type V 6
Compression Ratio 13.0:1:1
Bore x Stroke (94.0 x 83.0)mm
Power 345bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 352Nm @ 4500rpm
Power to Weight 189 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 5.9s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 16.1 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FR

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4,850 x 1,840 x 1,455) mm
Wheelbase 2,850 mm
Turning Circle 5.3 metres
Kerb Weight 1825 kg
Boot Capacity 465 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 66 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs