2008 Lexus GS 450h 2008 Lexus GS 450h hybrid test drive …

24 Фев 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2008 Lexus GS 450h 2008 Lexus GS 450h hybrid test drive … отключены
Lexus GS Electric Cars

The high class muscle hybrid

If it s true that the engine is the heart of a performance car, then we deem this stout Lexus hybrid powertrain the soul of the GS 450h sport sedan. This package musters better than 340HP for silly amounts of giddy-up and thrills galore and all at once brings it on with how-can-you-complain-about-it fuel mileage. Base: $54,900, as tested: $61,250.

EPA estimates: 22 city/25 highway/23 combined (9.4/10.6/9.8 km/L). Warranty: 48 month/50,000-mile basic, 72 month/70,000-mile powertrain, 8 years/100,000-mile hybrid components.

Initial Impression

Christine: An eye grabber from my first glance. The low slung sport style was the look I like in a car from the cat-like stance to the slide-in-and-drive-awhile leather wraparound seats, it sure looked like our next week s drive was gonna be a good time. Now to check out how the hybrid package handles on the road.

Scott: Lexus has a way of putting lots of snarl and attention-grabbing looks into their sports sedans, and that ability shows up in spades in the GS 450h. I really couldn t help myself this car got under my skin nearly instantly as she sat in the driveway. A peek inside at the gated sport shifter really got my trigger finger itching.

But of course my job is to stay objective so I squished down my school boy love-at-first-sight-giddiness and commenced to put the high-winding engine and big electric drive motor to the test.

Look feel

Independently controlled front leather seating.

Adrian Gable

For the second year running, the GS 450h remains the only hybrid performance sedan in its size and segment. The Lexus goal? To meld together performance, luxury and that ever-important eco-friendly hybrid reputation and V-8 performance from a V-6.

The 450h continues what Lexus calls its L-finesse design it s all about long and low. a long hood with a shorter rear deck laid out over a 112-inch wheel base.

And on the interior. it’s nothing but luxury appointments. It was a treat to slide into the supple perforated leather seats that are independently heated, cooled and power adjustable. The outstanding front and rear seating in this car primes your pump for a little self-indulgence.

When we buckled in we could almost feel the ahhh escape our lips. How d they do it from the deep-set gauge cluster to the real wood trim surrounding the performance shifter. it s the perfect mix of seat-of-the-pants sports car and ohh-la-la luxury car.

Ride, handling, even engine power choices they re all just a flip of a switch away to match your driving mood. Cruisin in the town or city, keep her in gentle normal mode. Got a hankerin for performance, flip her to sport to stiffen up all four air-adjustable shocks.

Doesn t stop there either: flip to power mode to make those rear wheels really chew into the pavement. And yes indeedy, there s nothing like the dog-with-a-bone bite of rear-wheel drive when it comes to channeling torque and power to the terra-firma.


For those who love to shift gears, the Lexus sport-shift automatic is the next best thing. Manually saw through all 6 speeds one-by-one to take advantage of the hybrid drivetrain s peak torque at each ratio; conversely, it s just as fun to ratchet down one-by-one using sequential torque braking that both slows the car and throws a little extra juice (regenerative braking ) back to the battery.

The hybrid package helps this 3.5-liter V-6 perform like a 5-liter V-8. The big boost in power that makes it all possible is a 147 kW electric drive motor that feeds from the nickel metal-hydride battery parked behind the rear seat. We like how Lexus has designed their hybrid drivetrain.

They actually use two motors (they call them motor-generators)—the aforementioned powerhouse that drives the car, and a secondary one that acts exclusively as a generator for recharging the hybrid battery, as well as moderating engine speed and starting the engine when it comes out of engine-off mode (ie. light cruising when the electric drive motor completely powers the car).

Though we blather on, it s not all performance the 450h has an economical side too. Driven lightly while giving the electric motor ample opportunity to be the primary power source, this car can easily return fuel mileage in the high 20 s. We actually averaged 27.8 mpg through our week long test drive, and that even included some wild throttle-stabbing episodes.

Lexus GS Electric Cars

This car is so much fun that it really is hard to behave use all that horsepower with any regularity and your mileage is gonna suffer.

When it s all said done

Even with all the giddy-up that this hybrid drive train package can put out, we were still able to pull in the illustrated 32 mpg with hypermiling during our test drive week.

Adrian Gable

Curves, horsepower and pretty decent fuel economy, the GS 450h practically does it all. We ve piled on accolades, but of course it s not perfect. For a car this large and luxurious, we were disappointed in the tiny 7.5-cubic feet of stowage space. Yeah, mini-trunk, but if you re looking for cargo space, this car s not gonna be on your radar anyway.

That s where the Toyota Highlander Hybrid would fit the bill.

Of course there are hybrids that are much more fuel efficient, but this car fills a niche for a luxury sport sedan buyer with an eco-conscience. The GS 450h sits at a price point where payback periods and apples-to-apples value comparisons are of secondary importance. It s a way to have the performance of a true sport sedan with a little less self-conscious guilt by reducing tailpipe emissions and delivering a little more fuel economy for the same amount of luxury and fun.

And yes, the 450h is a bit like having your cake and eating it too.

A comparably equipped and performing GS 350 has a price tag of $47,805. At $55,800, the 450h has just a few more amenities not available on the 350. So does that $7,995 price premium for the hybrid seem equitable?

Probably not. According to fueleconomy.gov, annual fuel savings rings in at $119 in fuel over 15,000 miles surprising and disappointing for a hybrid. So if you re looking for a reasonable payback period, it s not in the cards but if you have to crunch numbers, then this is not the car for you anyway.

At this level in the car buying game, it s more about prestige and luxury than economy and ecology.

Lexus GS Electric Cars
Lexus GS Electric Cars
Lexus GS Electric Cars
Lexus GS Electric Cars
Lexus GS Electric Cars

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