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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lexus GS 450h Hybrid Driving Dynamics Review [VIDEO]

With a five vehicle hybrid line-up, Lexus reinforces its commitment to hybrid technology with the all-new 2013 GS 450h. When it was introduced for the 2007 model year, the GS 450h was the first hybrid-powered luxury sport sedan to enter the market. Today, the GS 450h is the world's first premium performance sedan to be equipped with a V6 Atkinson cycle gas engine and two-motor hybrid system, in a front engine rear-wheel drive vehicle.

The hybrid version of the 2013 GS 350 incorporates improvements to its hybrid powertrain and is equipped with a second generation Lexus Hybrid Drive system. GS 450h engineers have aimed for reductions in fuel consumption and emissions, while providing exhilarating performance.

With a total system power output of 338 hp, the GS 450h will accelerate effortlessly from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Conversely, fuel consumption is expected to be improved by more than 30 percent. The GS 450h is targeting certification as a Super-Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle II (SULEV II). The new GS hybrid also features a Drive Mode selector. In addition to the Normal mode, the driver can customize the driving experience using Eco, Sport S, Sport S+ and EV modes.

"The all-new GS 450h will provide our customers with an exciting blend of performance and precision in a new hybrid package," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager in the U.S. "With its dynamic exterior styling, roomy interior and advanced technology features, the GS 450h further demonstrates Lexus' mastery of the luxury hybrid."

Engine/Transmission/Drivetrain/Performance As with all Lexus hybrid vehicles, the new GS 450h is a full hybrid capable of operating in gas-only or electric-only modes, as well as a combination of both. Its Lexus Hybrid Drive system features an ultra-smooth running, Atkinson cycle 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a compact, high-output, water-cooled permanent magnet electric motor. The two powerplants drive the rear wheels both independently and in tandem, as needed.

In addition to the gas engine and electric motor, the new GS 450h's hybrid drive system a generator; a high-performance nickel-metal hydride battery; a power split device which, via planetary reduction gears, combines and re-allocates power from the engine, electric motor and generator according to operational requirements; and a compact power control unit to govern the high speed interaction of the system components.

Adapted specifically for the hybrid powertrain and a first for premium performance sedans, the 3.5-liter V6, DOHC engine benefits from several technical improvements including the adoption of the Atkinson Cycle engine design to optimize the fuel-efficient benefits of Lexus Hybrid Drive.

Compression is delayed in an Atkinson Cycle engine, because the intake valves close late. This creates a high expansion ratio for less compression, reducing intake and exhaust energy losses and converting combustion energy to engine power more effectively.

A high compression ratio of 13:1; a new, mid-port intake tumble generator; and the adoption of the latest evolution of Lexus' four-stroke, direct injection technology, D-4S, help the GS 450h achieve better fuel consumption.

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