Eco for the business class
Lexus is launching the fourth generation of its GS series in Germany with two models. The Japanese carmaker completely redesigned both the body and interior. The expressive front section and the striking diabolo grille now give the rather straight-line sports sedan a more dynamic look.
If you get behind the wheel and press the start button, you hear nothing. The extremely comfortable sedan starts moving silently. After just a few kilometers you can see how good it is GS 450h not only pits potholes and bumps on the road, but also masters evasive maneuvers. High stability and comfortable driving behavior can be seen as trademarks of the sporty hybrid vehicle. Thanks to the new geometry and new software calibration, the superior power steering also provides even more feedback than before and improves stability on straight lines and in bends alike. This means that the sports sedan cuts a very good figure even when walking straight ahead. Lexus also sets high standards with modern technologies such as the adaptive variable suspension (AVS) and the "Lexus Dynamic Handling" system (LDH) with active all-wheel steering.
Appearing externally as a sporty business type, the Lexus is simply perfect when it comes to the interior. Ambience, processing and materials used have a very high quality. The seating position on long-distance seats has a hip point close to the center of gravity of the limousine. The driver and front passenger seats also offer numerous adjustment options and very good lateral support. Instrument unit and operation are self-explanatory. The steering is very direct and precise, the handling of the vehicle, which is relatively large with a length of 4,85 meters, is simple and the driving stability could hardly be better. With full braking from Tempo 100, the car remains firmly on track, the braking distance in the segment's usual dimensions.
The hybrid drive system requires little maintenance. There is neither a clutch subject to wear, nor a separate starter and an alternator, but a maintenance-free timing chain and much less brake and tire wear.
All Lexus hybrids are full hybridsthat can be driven both by the internal combustion engine and by the electric motor and in a mixed use of both power sources. The full hybrid from Nippon that we tested has a very smooth-running V6 petrol unit with a displacement of 3,5 liters and a power only for the combustion engine of 215 kW (292 PS). There is also a compact, water-cooled, high-performance electric motor with 147 kW (200 PS). However, both systems cannot simply be added numerically. The overall system of the combustion and electric motor produces an output of 254 kW (345 PS).
Other components of the Lexus hybrid drive are a generator, a nickel metal hydride battery and a continuously variable planetary gear that divides the power between the combustion engine, electric motor and generator in a performance-oriented manner. In addition, a special control unit regulates the interaction of all assemblies. During pushing and decelerating, the drive motor works as a generator by converting the kinetic energy into electrical energy, which in turn is stored in the hybrid battery. With the new generation of the 450h, the recuperation of braking energy could be increased further, which leads to further fuel savings.
The standard consumption of 6,2 liters per 100 kilometers specified by the manufacturer cannot be fully achieved in practice. Our test car requires a good 6,9 liter. But that's still a remarkably good value for a vehicle like the 450h. In general: the drive of the Japanese delivers powerful 352 Newton meters of torque from 4500 revolutions per minute in the overall system. The power of both 345 PS engines allows the almost 2-ton car to accelerate from zero to 5,9 km / h in 100 seconds. The top is up to 250 km / h.
Lexus not only worked on the driving performance of the vehicle, all safety systems were also revised and optimized. The adaptive cruise control system (ACC) comes to a standstill at any speed. The optionally available systems also include an active Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), a blind spot warner (BSM), the Lexus Night View System and a head-up display with an extended display menu. The Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) or blind spot warner uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to monitor the blind spots of the exterior mirrors and determine whether vehicles are approaching in adjacent lanes.
The entry at the GS 450h forms the equipment class Line with a price of € 54.750. The next higher variant, the “Executive Line”, is available for a total price of € 61.500. These include functions such as adaptive AVs (Adaptive Variable Suspension) with driving mode switch, bi-LED headlights with automatic cornering lights and high beam assistants, hard disk navigation system (8 inches), leather steering wheel and selector lever, “easy Load” trunk lid, comfort seats in leather with lumbar support for driver and front passenger (2 ways), electrically adjustable, memory function for driver and front passenger seat, electric seat adjustment for driver and front passenger (10 ways)
At the end...
If you want to do something for the environment and still want to make sporty progress, you cannot avoid the Lexus GS 450h.
Technical data: Lexus GS 450h Executive line
|Transmission:||Infinitely variable planetary gear|
|Power:||254 Kw (345 HP) - total power|
|torque:||352 Nm at 4500 rpm.|
|Weight ready to drive:||1.985 kg|
|From 0 of 100:||5.9 s|
|Top speed .:||250 km/h|
|Consumption (NEDC):||6,2 liter|
|CO2 output (NEDC)||145 g / km|
|Emission class||EU 5|
Photos in the article and cover image: Thorsten Weigl