Print 22 comment(s) - last by SilthDraeth.. on Sep 13 at 1:18 PM

Lexus GS 450h

Lexus GS 350 interior
Lexus hopes to turnaround sales slump with new models

Toyota's Lexus division has been having a rough year. For starters, the product line is aging and lacks the visual "punch" of many of competitors from Germany. As a result, both BMW and Mercedes have surpassed perennial luxury sales leader Lexus this year in sales. Part of this can be attributed to the devastating earthquake in Japan that hampered production, but the loss of momentum can mainly be blamed on the lack of new blood for the brand.

After teasing the LF-Gh concept in April, Lexus last month unveiled the first in a multi-pronged attempt to claw back at the luxury market. The 2012 GS 350 rides on an all-new platform (the engines are mostly carryover), and features an impressive new interior. Today, Lexus has unveiled the hybrid counterpart to the GS 350: the GS 450h.

The second-generation GS450h gets its motivation from a 3.5-liter V6 engine (Atkinson Cycle) and a water-cooled permanent magnet electric motor. Total system output is 338hp and is good enough to push the 4,190-pound midsize luxury sedan to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. 

Interestingly, Toyota is still sticking with a NiMH battery pack for the GS 450h instead of lighter, and more powerful lithium-ion batteries like its competitors. Toyota is usually at the forefront of hybrid/battery technology, so we're assuming that the company decided to maximize cost cutting instead of maximum performance/efficiency.

“The all-new GS 450h will provide our customers with an exciting blend of performance and precision in a new hybrid package,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager in the U.S. “With its dynamic exterior styling, roomy interior and advanced technology features, the GS 450h further demonstrates Lexus’ mastery of the luxury hybrid.”

Lexus will not only be battling diesel and hybrid models from Germany with the 2012 GS 450h, but it will also be battling the M Hybrid which has total output of 360hp and EPA ratings of 27/32/29 (city/highway/combined). Lexus has not yet released EPA numbers for the new 2012 GS 450h, but the existing model is rated at 22/25/23 (city/highway/combined).

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make it really green
By MadMan007 on 9/12/2011 11:04:43 PM , Rating: 2
*sigh* So a 'fuel-efficient' hybrid that can do 0-60 in 5.6 seconds is where the luxury hybrid movement is going? At least people shopping in that price range are willing and able to pay the asking prices, unlike trying to push $35k+ mid-size hybrid Chevys, but if they really wanted it to be 'green'-ish they wouldn't have such jacked up horsepower and would instead make a *gasp* 7-8second 0-60 car that gets truly great fuel efficiency.

The green-ness of this and other hybrids of its ilk is purely status, I suppose that matches the cars themselves but still...too bad cars are sold on ego inflating emotion and not logic.

RE: make it really green
By Spuke on 9/13/2011 12:23:30 AM , Rating: 2
The GS450h is a luxury car. That's its purpose. You want a car compromised towards fuel efficiency? Buy a Prius. That's its purpose. If I'm spending Lexus money, I don't want slow. Tons of other cars fill that niche.

RE: make it really green
By Landiepete on 9/13/2011 3:38:18 AM , Rating: 2
The 450h also fits a niche. The niche with all the folks that want to convince other folks they're doing something about the environment, but actually only care about the government tax break you get.
If Dodge sold a car with a 8L 600 horse V10 and 2 2A 1.5V rechargable NiMH batteries that qualified for a tax break they'd sell lots.

RE: make it really green
By MadMan007 on 9/13/2011 9:12:12 AM , Rating: 1
7-8s only seems slow because of the silly horsepower wars that have been going on for the last 15 or so years. Wtf do people need sub-6s 0-60 times in a 2 ton luxury sedan for? It's pure penis stretching. 15 years ago 7-8s 0-60 time was 'hot hatch' territory, reducing the horsepower of today but still keeping things reasonable is a completely obvious way to increase fuel efficiency. Egomaniac emotional car buyers keep this from happening.

RE: make it really green
By Spuke on 9/13/2011 12:04:48 PM , Rating: 2
7-8s only seems slow because of the silly horsepower wars that have been going on for the last 15 or so years.
Look, I owned 7-8 sec 0-60 cars until my present one. They were fun to drive but they were cheap. It was what it was and I'm not angry about it. But, if I'm spending Lexus money (once again), I don't want a car that's ANYTHING like I was driving before. Otherwise, I'd just continue to drive the same type of car. What's the point of Lexus or any other luxury brand if they're just Sentra's with leather seats? YOU are FREE to drive the Prius or any other car compromised towards fuel economy. The luxury buyer wants a car compromised towards LUXURY and fast is a luxury. To address needs, seriously, who NEEDS a car? And don't give me that crap about going to work. Walk or ride a bike, take public transportation. If you're too far from work, live closer. Cars are luxury items in themselves and we all justify owning one but they are FAR from being a need.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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