Blog: Lexus GS450h
Dave Leggett | 16 May 2006
I've 24 hours in southern Spain from tomorrow looking at, hearing about and driving the new Lexus GS450h - h is for hybrid. At first sight, it strikes me the model is positioned in an interesting way: you can have performance with green credentials; have your cake and eat it, as it were.
But I'm not sure that the green thing is all that significant now; it serves more as a technological differentiator for a premium marque. All the Lexus hybrid variants are well specced up and top-of-the-range.
In the RWD (a hybrid first) GS450h there's a 3.5-litre V6 mated to an electric motor that gets you from 0-60mph in under 6 seconds. Lexus claims it is equivalent to a 4.5-litre V8 with more than 300 hp. And, if you are interested, there's fuel consumption along the lines of a typical 2-litre 4-cylinder engine. Saves gas and hauls ass. But it is far removed from a Toyota Prius and Lexus is clearly pitching GS450h to people attracted to the performance in the first instance.
Something I have just read suggests that Lexus sees a selling point also on fuel filling-up time: one trip to the petrol station a week rather than two. Time is money and all that.
Not a car for saving the planet perhaps (ask Dave Cameron). And maybe the main point is to sell more Lexuses rather than sell more hybrids.
With the European launch of its GS450h petrol-electric hybrid model, Lexus is hoping to enhance its brand image and further increase sales in the European market. The GS450h is the second petrol-elect...
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....