The Lexus GS 450h hybrid sport sedan emphasizes performance over fuel efficiency, with its gasoline engine and hybrid motors combining to make 340 horsepower, which about matches the 342-hp V-8 engine in the GS 460. The GS 450h has no hybrid competitors.
The hybrid is a smidge faster than the GS 460. Lexus says the GS 450h can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, while the GS 460 takes 5.4 seconds. The GS 450h's combined city/highway gas mileage is 23 mpg. That means it sips gas on par with the V-6-powered GS 350. There's a more compelling case when it's compared with the V-8-equipped GS 460, which has a lower combined city/highway estimate of 20 mpg.
New for 2010
Sharp-eyed fans of the GS 450h will notice a slightly restyled grille, clear tail light covers and special 18-inch wheels. A power rear window shade is optional.
Virtually identical to the GS 350 and GS 460 sedans, the GS 450h sports Lexus' familiar face with its angular headlights and grille. An adaptive suspension continually senses road conditions to modify damping appropriately. A Sport mode incorporates tighter damping, and an optional active stabilizer system mitigates body roll even more.
- High-intensity-discharge headlights
- Rain-sensing windshield wipers
- Special 18-inch wheels
An electric-power meter replaces the tachometer in the leftmost instrument pod, while a dashboard information screen displays energy consumption statistics and an animation of real-time power routing. Otherwise, the GS 450h's interior is identical to other GS models. Because of intrusion from the hybrid system's batteries, trunk volume shrinks.
- Standard heated leather seats
- Standard ventilated front seats
- Standard dual-zone automatic climate control
- Available electric rear sunshade
- Standard 10-speaker audio system
- Available navigation system
- Available 14-speaker audio system
Under the Hood
The GS 450h's 3.5-liter V-6 engine is shared with other Lexus models.
- 3.5-liter V-6 makes 292 hp, not including the electric motors
- V-6 teams with two electric motors — one to start the gas engine, the other to boost acceleration — for a combined 340 hp
- Regenerative braking to charge the batteries for electric motors
- Engine shutoff when car is at a standstill
- Can move solely on electric power during light-load situations
- Continuously variable automatic transmission
A full complement of electronic safety features centers around Lexus' Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system, which is standard.
- Electronic stability system
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic brakes
- Adaptive front lighting system swivels the headlights several degrees during turns to better illuminate corners
- Side-impact airbags
- Side curtain airbags
- Available adaptive cruise control can sense impending collisions and alert the driver