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At a Glance: 2013 Lexus GS 450h

April 14, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 119

Performance and fuel economy are not mutually exclusive with hybrid models, right? Unfortunately, that hasn't been true with most hybrid vehicles which manage to deliver excellent fuel economy, but often lack the power to stir the hearts of drivers. Lexus attempts to change all that with the 2013 edition of its GS 450h, a five passenger hybrid sedan that went on sale this spring.

New Look

First things first: the Lexus GS 450h has a new look, as it brings in the brand's current design language featuring its spindle or hourglass grille. New LED light treatments and a more athletic stance set this model apart from earlier editions.

Under the hood, a 3.5-liter gasoline V-6 engine making 306 horsepower powers the sedan. This engine is paired with a continuously variable electronic transmission that offers two-speed reduction, a snow mode and comes with paddle shifters. Yes, performance is standard and this model can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds or one-tenth of a second than the gas-only model.

Hybrid Power

The gas engine is supplemented by an electric motor that adds 32 horsepower for 338 total horsepower. Lexus Hybrid Drive features a nickel-metal hydride battery pack, allowing this sedan to run on gas power only, electric power only or both. You won't be pushing buttons to shift power sources either as the is car is engineered to look for optimum fuel efficiency at all times.

This sedan is rated at 29 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, well above the fuel economy standard sedans in its class achieve. It also takes regular grade gasoline and with its 17.2-gallon fuel tank has a cruising range of about 585 miles. That's more than enough range to take you from Denver to Salt Lake City without stopping for gas.

Important Changes

Among the changes featured in the 450h is its electronically-controlled braking system, designed to provide greater responsiveness. This vehicle also benefits from 17-inch alloy wheels set with all-season tires or optional 18-inch wheels.

The 450h is based on the GS350, but there are some important differences between the two models, no less than the hybrid system itself. Inside, the 450h offers a bamboo steering rim and bamboo interior accents, both acting as calling cards attesting to this model's green credentials.

Hybrids typically carry a $5,000 or more price premium over comparable models, but Lexus buyers seeking to advance their green cred probably won't mind.

Matthew C. Keegan is a freelance automotive writer. Matt is also a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport and affiliated websites, an aftermarket supplier of quality auto parts including Fabtech Lifts and KYB Shocks.

Source: EzineArticles
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