America is preparing for the 2014 Lexus GS 450H, a hybrid that gives style, presence, space and of course hybrid economy.
The 2014 Lexus GS 450h presents a striking dichotomy in performance and efficiency. Its Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive system delivers 338 total system horsepower for dazzling performance, yet this dramatically styled, spacious sedan also delivers EPA fuel economy ratings on par with cars half its power: 29 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined.
The fuel economy of the new-generation GS 450h represents an impressive 35 percent improvement over the previous generation GS hybrid model, a testament to the brand’s relentless pursuit of luxury hybrid leadership. Lexus was the first luxury brand to introduce a hybrid model nearly 10 years ago and today offers five hybrids, the most of any luxury car brand.
Driving a GS 450h, the driver will be struck by the uncanny smoothness of the powertrain. The Lexus Hybrid Drive system teams the output of an Atkinson cycle 3.5-liter V6 engine with a water-cooled permanent magnet electric motor through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. Independently or in parallel as needed, the gas engine and electric motor drive the rear wheels. The high performance nickel-metal hydride battery pack uses a stacked design to improve trunk space, which is greater than even the gas-only models of the previous generation GS.
Thanks to high system torque at all speeds, and a zero-to-60 mph acceleration in just 5.6 seconds, the GS 450h will feel more like a V8 to the driver. But it uses fuel like a four-cylinder engine. That’s just one element in its performance-oriented persona. Drivers looking for more control and engagement from a hybrid model will find it in the GS 450h, which comes equipped with Lexus Drive Mode selector featuring five modes.
Normal mode offers a balance of efficiency and performance response that’s ideal for everyday driving and yields the smoothest driving experience. Two of the modes focus on fuel economy. ECO mode sets throttle mapping, seat heating and climate control systems to prioritize energy conservation. When driving in ECO mode, instrument meter lighting changes to blue. The EV mode allows the vehicle to be driven short distances, under certain circumstances, using only the electric motor.
Driving enthusiasts will welcome the SPORT S and SPORT S+ modes. SPORT mode transforms the car’s personality, with sharper throttle response and transmission control that mimics the stepped shifting of an eight-speed automatic transmission (compared to six steps in the 2013 model). Instrument meter lighting changes, appropriately, to red when driving in SPORT S mode.
Selecting SPORT S+ mode also engages a sport setting for the Adaptive Variable Suspension, electric power steering system and Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM). In this mode, the GS 450h drives like no other hybrid sedan, adding a sporting edge to the handling while maintaining the classic Lexus smoothness and comfort.
Long a leader in user technology that’s easy to use, Lexus has standard integrated Siri® Eyes Free Mode, with technology licensed from Apple®, in the 2014 GS 450h. Compatible with the iPhone® 4S and iPhone 5 models forward, Siri lets you call contacts, select and play music from iTunes®, get turn-by-turn navigation through Siri and Apple maps, and much more. To help keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, Siri can read notifications, read calendar information and allow you to add reminders, calendar appointments and notes.
What’s New for 2014
- Siri Eyes Free technology licensed from Apple; compatible with iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 models
- Flush-mounted sensors for Intuitive Parking Assist
- Full-color display added to Head-Up Display
- Climate Concierge feature now included with optional heated/ventilated seats.
- Transmission Sport mode now provides eight steps, rather than six, and also adds a kickdown switch
- Available Blind Spot Monitor adds Rear Cross Traffic Alert and power-folding mirrors
- Luxury Package changes: LED foglamps, Liquid Graphite finish for 18-inch wheels, and the radio station and song title are added to the rear armrest control panel display
- Optional power trunk opener
- Lexus Night View system discontinued