While Mercedes-Benz and BMW struggle to catch up on their hybrid sedan offerings, Lexus is motoring calmly ahead with its revised hybrid sedan lineup, including the 2010 Lexus GS 450h revealed in September and priced today. The car made its official debut at the Frankfurt auto show, and hits dealerships across the country later this month. Pricing for the updated GS starts from $45,000 and runs up to $56,550 for the revised GS 450h.
Sharp-eyed Lexus aficionados will note that's the exact same range of prices from last year. That's because Lexus has left the prices untouched despite updating the car's feature set. The standard 2010 GS 350 RWD still starts from $45,000, with the AWD model adding $1,950 to that price. The V-8 powered GS 460 stays at $53,470, while the hybrid GS 450h model hovers at $56,550.
Key updates to the GS 450h for 2010 include a few new exterior styling cues, plus new available colors and interior trim options. Hard-disk based navigation and entertainment systems get an update, while safety gets an upgrade with new active headrests and a revised Pre-Crash system.
The aesthetic changes are small, with a revised front grille, more emphasis on the "hybrid blue" exterior elements, revised tail lights with clear outer lenses and a new 18-inch alloy wheel design for the SE-L trim level. Inside the cabin, there's more emphasis on the hybrid theme with a blue backlit start/stop button. Venaro Grey semi-aniline leather adds a new interior surface option, as does maple wood trim.
The Pre-Crash update tweaks the way the GS handles seatbelt pre-tensioning before a crash, and also how the brake assist functions to help slow the car before impact. The inflator-actuated headrests further boost safety by helping to eliminate whiplash in a rear-end impact scenario.
Navigation upgrades include the features also found on the revised 2010 Lexus LS 600h, including a 40-gigabyte hard disk to store navigation and data. A choice of two audio systems is available: either the 10-speaker Lexus Premium Package or the 14-speaker Mark Levinson Surround Sound System, with 5.1 channels. USB, Bluetooth and auxiliary inputs are all standard on either system. Up to 10 gigabytes of the 40 gigabyte internal hard drive can be used to store music as well.
Power for the 2010 Lexus GS 450h remains the same, coming from the responsive 340-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine and hybrid drive combination. Fuel economy still clocks in at 22 mpg in town and 25 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 23 mpg, though the GS 450h does require pricier premium fuel. That much power is good for 5.2-second 0-60 mph times and an electronically limited top speed of 131 mph.