Following the release of the 2005 RX 400h, Lexus unveils its second luxury gas/electric hybrid, the 2007 GS 450h. Powering the hybrid GS is a completely new powertrain that combines a 3.5L V-6 engine with a new compact, high-output, permanent-magnet electric motor that drives the rear wheels. The GS 450h is also driven by its electric motors when starting, traveling slowly, and during low-load driving; the resulting noise, vibration, and harshness level is about half that of a conventional gasoline-powered engine. Inside, the GS 450h is all Lexus, trimmed in leather and wood and featuring a plethora of upscale convenience features such as rain-sensing wipers, parking assist, a power trunk closer, and ventilated seats.
Hybrid vehicles today are no longer just a political statement, but a viable way to extend your fuel dollar. While the thought of driving a futuristic-looking Honda Insight may appeal to a certain audience, Lexus brings style, form, and function to the hybrid table with its GS 450h. To get big performance from a small package, Lexus mates a 292-hp, 3.5L V-6 with a 197-hp, permanent electric motor (that drives the rear wheels and provides regenerative braking), providing comparable V-8 power while achieving an estimated 26 mpg combined fuel rating-with 80 percent fewer smog-forming emissions. In getting the power to the ground, the transmission utilizes an advanced, two-stage, motor-torque multiplication device for the Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission motor, delivering responsive and seamless acceleration with no power loss.
Standard features include electronic power steering with a variable gear ratio, an electrically powered air conditioner, a power moonroof, a power rear sunshade, heated/ventilated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, Intuitive Park Assist, 18-inch alloy wheels, and Bluetooth wireless telephone technology. GS 450h options include a voice-activated DVD Navigation System, a Mark Levinson 14-speaker, 330-watt Premium Surround Sound Audio System, the Lexus Pre-Collision System and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, an Active Stabilizer Suspension System, a rear spoiler, all-season run-flat tires, summer run-flat tires with spare, all-weather floor mats, a car cover, a cargo net, a trunk mat, and XM or Sirius Satellite Radio.
Safety amenities include dual front, front knee, front and rear side, and full side-curtain air bags; force-limiting seat belts with pre-tensioners; vehicle stability control; ABS-assisted brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution; a rear backup camera for spotting objects behind the vehicle; an adaptive headlamp system; and a tire pressure-monitoring system.
The Lexus GS-Series competes in the Midsize Premium Conventional segment, which consists of 12 models. Buyers in this segment look for quality, performance, and reliability, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Lexus ES-Series (75,987 units sold), BMW 5 Series (56,756), and Mercedes-Benz E-Class (50,195). The Lexus GS-Series sold 27,390 units in 2006, a decrease of 18.1 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize Premium Conventional segment include the Cadillac STS, Infiniti M-Series, Volvo V70, Audi A6, and Acura RL.