Why you want a GS 300h
The Lexus GS range is the marque’s second oldest, with sales of the first generation starting in 1993 just 4 years into the brand’s existence. The third iteration of the car was also the first car to use the Lexus Hybrid Drive and the first hybrid, rear wheel drive luxury car in the world.
Now in its fourth incarnation, the Lexus GS is still a compelling option in the executive car segment. With 20,000 GS models on the UK’s roads, the case for the GS 300h is as strong as ever.
The first GS used the powertrain components of Toyota sports cars and the attention to making the GS enjoyable to drive has not diminished. Improved chassis rigidity and lightweight suspension make the GS 300h agile, and backed up by the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) that combines the various safety systems of the car, it’s incredibly surefooted too.
This sporting nature is most obvious in the F Sport version, which includes a wheel and brake upgrade package developed to withstand the rigours of the Nürburgring, alongside a more aggressive styling package. If this isn’t your thing, there’s also a new Executive version, which offers the complete Lexus Safety Sense+ system – including adaptive headlights and adaptive cruise control - as standard kit.
The same weight reduction in the suspension components also improves passenger comfort – this is, after all, an executive car! Enhanced aerodynamic efficiency that increases the fuel efficiency of the car also reduces wind noise, making the cabin quieter too.
The GS also employs a sophisticated air conditioning system only provides climate control to seats that are occupied. This system also works to deodorise the seats and upholstery and, unlike ordinary air conditioning, moisturises the cabin air.
The GS 300h is powered by a 2.5 litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine. This employs an unconventional “Atkinson” cycle, aimed at improving the efficiency of combustion, but still produces up to 181hp. Backed up by a nickel metal hydride battery pack, total system horsepower peaks at 223hp, allowing the GS 300h to reach 60mph in just 9.2 seconds.
As this is a full hybrid system, the GS 300h will run in pure EV mode at up to 40mph for short distances, with zero local emissions. In conventional driving the system will always be allocating power between driving the wheels from either source or using the petrol engine to charge the battery. This helps the car achieve emissions of just 109g/km depending on your specification – equivalent to 60.1mpg. This qualifies the GS 300h for VED Band B and a 16% BIK rate.
For those after a lot more performance and a little less fuel economy, the GS range has an answer there too in the shape of the GS F super saloon. Powered along by 5.0 litre V8 engine, the GS F produces maximum power of 467hp, leaping to 60mph in 4.4s. Despite the profusion of power though, the GS F’s engine also employs a clever combustion cycle when cruising in order to maximise fuel economy when not demanding performance!