Tech talk

...the GS really feels quick – in fact, it feels like there’s an invisible hand at the rear to push the car towards the horizon!

Like the one seen in the LS600h, the large touch screen LCD display in the GS450h shows both an energy monitor diagram and an average fuel consumption graph. The good thing about having this is the latter tends to make you want to drive conservatively – just so you can better the numbers from the previous readings.

Rear passengers enjoy a commendable amount of space at the rear, with reasonably good leg and headroom. The boot also has a well-shaped loading area and will gobble up your golf clubs rather easily.

To differentiate the hybrid GS from the petrol version, Lexus equipped it with unique 18-inch alloy wheels, “Hybrid” moniker placed along the lower edge of the rear doors and last but not least, Lexus emblems with blue surrounds. 

Even for the base model, the GS450h is generously equipped. As an example, it comes with Xenon headlamps, trip computer, reversing camera, factory leather, keyless operation and auto wipers. But a major gripe is the dealer fitted reverse sensors – they beep exactly like the ones on an Altis.

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.

Previously, the only GS variant available here was the GS300. With a 245bhp 3.0-litre V6, it was by no means a slouch - the GS300 will accelerate to 100km/h from rest in 7.8 seconds.

The GS450h though, is on another level in terms of performance. This executive saloon will accelerate to 100km/h from rest in a scant 5.9 seconds – almost 2 seconds quicker than the GS300.

Its “normal” engine is a 292bhp 3.5-litre V6, and together with a pair of motor generators, forms the GS’ really clever Lexus Hybrid Drive system. One electric motor acts as an engine starter, while another more powerful motor with 197bhp sends drive to the wheel. Together with the petrol engine, the total system output is 339bhp.

When you accelerate off the line at low throttle openings, only the electric motor will propel the car at speeds below 40km/h. Mash the right pedal to the floor and the V6 wakes up to work in sync with the motor to deliver maximum acceleration. At this point, the GS really feels quick – in fact, it feels like there’s an invisible hand at the rear to push the car towards the horizon! With so much torque available on the move, overtaking other traffic is a real cinch. The way it accelerates while on the move might sometimes even catch slower traffic unaware.

So by now you might think that a performance hybrid like this won’t be able to be a miser at the pumps eh? Well, actually, the GS is pretty economical - I drove the car for over 300km and it averaged about just over 10 litres per 100km, which is usually the average figure for a 2.0-litre sedan.

 


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Engine

Engine Capacity 3456cc
Engine Type V 6
Bore x Stroke (94.0 x 83.0)mm
Power 292bhp @ 6200rpm
Torque 368Nm @ 4800rpm
Power to Weight 157 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 5.9s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 12.7 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FR

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4850 x 1820 x 1430) mm
Wheelbase 2850 mm
Turning Circle 5.2 metres
Kerb Weight 1860 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 65 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs