Performance and 0-60mph time
The hybrid drive in the GS isn’t exclusively about economy, Lexus suggesting that the batteries and electric motors mimic the performance of bigger engines without the penalty of higher consumption and emissions. That said, the 9.2 seconds it takes for the GS 300h to reach 62mph seems a touch tardy given that the 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and electric motor have a combined output of 220bhp. The top speed of 119mph might leave you a bit embarrassed on the autobahn, too.
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The GS 450h counters with a far more convincing set of numbers. It has 354bhp from its combined 3.5-litre V6 and electric motor making for a far more respectable, quick even, 5.3-second run on the 0-62mph benchmark. It’ll reach 155mph to keep it in the running to the point where its German rivals all reach their electronic speed limiters - assuming they’ve not been fiddled with.
Perhaps more significantly here the GS 300h offers greater battery-only performance. In EV mode it can reach 46mph, which is nearly double that of the GS 450h. In neither you’ll do so for long though, as the nickel-metal hydride batteries run out of juice after just two thirds of a mile, if that…
If performance is your sole concern, the recently-launched GS F is your best option. While its rewards aren't as immediately accessible as those of turbocharged equivalents, it'll still reach 62mph in 4.6sec, and head on to an electronically-limited 168mph.