For years, hybrid automobiles were purchased by those who cared more about fuel economy than driving. While a Toyota Prius or a Honda Insight may be frugal (especially for long commutes), neither serves up anything resembling entertainment value when the road gets twisty.
Times are changing, and even enthusiast drivers are concerned about fuel economy these days. Enter the new Lexus GS 450h, a luxury sedan that (like the Infiniti M35h) tries to serve up equal portions of fuel economy and performance.
On paper, the numbers sound promising: the GS 450h returns an estimated combined fuel economy rating of 31 mpg, yet dashes from 0-60 mph in under six seconds, thanks to a hybrid drive system that produces a combined 341 horsepower. It can even be fitted with F-Sport accessories, for more aggressive styling and (we presume) further-sharpened handling.
Even the GS 450h’s 3.5-liter V-6 has been optimized for maximum fuel economy. Its Atkinson cycle design produces 12 to 14-percent greater efficiency than a traditional four-cycle engine, while the car’s enhanced hybrid drive has been tuned for better throttle response.
Our own Antony Ingram was duly impressed by the GS 450h’s capabilities, and he praised the car as having a “perfect mix of performance, luxury and fuel efficiency.” That sounds like having you cake and eating it, too, to us.