Laps of lux­ury

The hy­brid limo read­ies for an­other at­tack on Euro ri­vals

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­

THE Lexus model range will be over­hauled in the next two years as Toy­ota’s lux­ury divi­sion re­news its at­tack on the Euro­peans.

Head­ing the charge will be a new GS450h, which should be in Aus­tralian show­rooms in the sec­ond quar­ter of next year. The GS450h is pow­ered by a V6 and a pair of elec­tric mo­tors for a com­bined 252kW, yet fuel use is a miserly 6.3L/100km.

The hy­brid-pow­ered ri­val to the Audi A6, BMW5 Se­ries and Mercedes-Benz E-Class has ad­dressed one of the ma­jor crit­i­cisms of the old car— too small a boot.

That’s caused by the hy­brid pow­er­train but Lexus en­gi­neers have re­designed the rear end and in­creased boot space by 50 per cent to 464 litres. The Audi wins the boot bat­tle with 565L, ahead of Benz’s 540L and 520L for the Beemer.

The lux­ury limo also uses a cli­mate con­trol air­con­di­tion­ing sys­tem that di­rects the air­flow only to oc­cu­pied seats to save en­ergy.

Those oc­cu­pants are then treated to a nanopar­ti­cleen­hanced stream of air that de­odorises the cabin— and which is said to have a moisturising ef­fect on the skin. Met­ro­sex­u­als re­joice.

Lexus says its 12-inch dis­play screen is the world’s largest and that it has im­proved the op­er­a­tion of its joy­stick-driven sys­tem for con­trol­ling the on­board func­tions.

Tick the op­tions box and the GS450h can also be­come the world’s first all-wheel steer­ing hy­brid. The 450h’s smaller sta­ble­mate, the GS300, is al­ready on sale here and has been given the X-fac­tor for both the Sport and Sport Lux­ury mod­els.

Lexus says the X pack­age is worth $10,000 and in­cludes a moon roof, five-spoke 18-inch al­loy wheels, rear lip spoiler, smart key card, clear­ance and re­vers­ing radar and X badges.

The Sport is priced at $89,900 and the Sports Lux­ury is $94,900.

Cos­seted: Oc­cu­pants get per­son­alised, de­odorised and mois­turised air

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