The Lexus GS 450h will go on sale in Australia in the second half of 2012, following the launch of the GS 350 and GS 350 F Sport variants, which are both expected in the second quarter of next year.
The 2012 GS 450h will be capable of running in electric-only, petrol-only and combined hybrid modes. The 3.5-litre V6 engine is teamed to an electric motor, with both powerplants driving the rear wheels. The combined power of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system is unchanged from the current model at 254kW of power.
Lexus has kept fuel consumption and emissions data a secret for now, but insists a number of enhancements will see the new model improve over the current GS 450h’s averages 7.9 litres/100km and 186g/km CO2
Lexus’s engineers say the engine’s high 13:1 compression ratio, new mid-port intake tumble generator, and the implementation of the brand’s latest D-4S direct-injection technology all lead to improved efficiency. Revisions to the hybrid system’s Power Control Unit, the range of the regenerative brakes, and the electric motor’s lighter mounts and reduced friction also contribute to greener figures.
Lexus says refinement work on the engine has lead to noticeable reductions in NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) levels. A new stacked battery configuration means the new hybrid model also has a larger boot than the previous petrol-powered GS.
The 2012 Lexus GS 450h will be available with the brand’s new Dynamic Handling system, which includes four-wheel steering. At speeds below 80km/h, the front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions to improve turn-in response, rear grip, vehicle stability and overall cornering agility. At speeds over 80km/h, the wheels turn in the same direction.
Like the GS 350, the standard safety package includes 10 airbags, while a pre-collision safety system designed to reduce the severity of crashes will be available as an option, along with head-up display, blind-spot monitor, lane departure warning and other preventative features.
From the outside, the GS 450h can be distinguished by its unique three-lamp headlight assembly, concealed exhaust pipes and signature blue hybrid badging.
Inside, it features a hybrid monitor, as well as a bamboo steering wheel, further emphasising the car’s green credentials.
Full Australian pricing and specification details will be revealed closer to the launch of the 2012 Lexus GS 450h in the second half of next year.
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