In these days of rising petrol prices would it make any sense to buy a 3.5ltr luxury petrol car?
Well, yes; sort of if you’re the kind of person who does a lot of town/city driving mixed with the odd motorway blast because Lexus have brought out the new GS and it’s mad but in a good way.
You see the GS 450h has always been a technological marvel, it’s just now it’s even more technologically marvellous because they have squeezed a 331bhp V6 engine into a luxury saloon and still managed to keep the Co2 emissions down to 180g. They’ve done it without sacrificing the feeling of driving something special, it’s a car you can’t ignore because everything is bling; from the front lights and grill to the big rear end you’ll need some sunglasses to wash the car because the blingness will blind you.
The inside is pretty much the same, what looks to be a hand stitched dashboard leads you down to a huge transmission tunnel that has more controls than the USS Enterprise. There are electric seats and steering wheel, electric windows, mirrors and a sound system that I would be happy with in my house because it’s Dolby Surround. The electronic display in the middle is controlled by a kind of mouse system, it’s a bit fiddly at first but once you get the hang of it you’ll soon find the few things from the menu that you use regularly.
The strange fact about the 450h is that it’s a hybrid, when you start up there’s no sound, no rumble from the 3.5ltr that lurks under the bonnet. You just select D and glide away serenely like a Swan on the surface of a lake. It’s not until the batteries run out or you put your foot down that you feel the sensation of petrol power and if you put your foot right down you’ll be waving bye bye to 100kph in 5.3 seconds and shortly after bidding a fond farewell to your licence as the maximum speed is 250kph all done through a rear wheel drive that can hang on with the best of them in the corners.
Once you get out on the motorway and settle down you’ll find that you’re back to serene, with the cruise control on the 450h just floats along like it’s on a cushion of air with the outside world barely audible. The seats are so comfy you’ll forget that you’re driving and imagine you’re lounging somewhere air conditioned.
The new GS really puts it up to the competition; Lexus have really tried to satisfy the luxury market while still keeping that sporty feeling throughout the car. It’s practical and useful but fun when you put your foot down, it is the kind of car that you’ll grow to love and want to look after. It’s also the kind of car that’ll still be going 10 or 15 years from now because Lexus have reliability as a key stone to the operation.
You can see and drive the new GS at Fitzpatricks Lexus in Kildare 045 533333.