Class-leading benefit-in-kind rates for new hybrid power luxury saloon
Traditionally there is a high price to be paid by any motorist who seeks performance, prestige and luxury from his or her company car, not just in terms of the purchase cost, but also in the year-on-year tax burden. The launch of the new hybrid power Lexus GS 450h next month promises to shake up the premium executive segment with tax rates that will save drivers thousands of pounds each year compared to the bills incurred by competitor models.
More than that, the performance capabilities of the Lexus are a match for rival V8-powered vehicles, while exhaust emissions and fuel economy steal a march on the market’s leading diesels. And thanks to peerless equipment specifications, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz drivers would need to spend even more money to match the levels delivered as standard by the Lexus.
The key factors which make the financial argument for the GS 450h so strong are the low carbon dioxide emissions from the hybrid powertrain and the exceptional value its list price represents.
Emitting 186g/km of carbon dioxide, the GS 450h SE incurs a benefit-in-kind rate for company car tax of 21 per cent. With a list price of £43,920, that produces an annual tax bill of £3,672.
Owners of the BMW 550i SE, Audi A6 4.2 quattro and Mercedes-Benz E500 pay the penalty for their vehicles’ higher emissions and higher list price: consequently tax bills are between £2,469 and £2,641 a year more than for the Lexus. And there is little comfort for owners of premium diesel models either: the Audi A6 3.0 TDi quattro attracts a top-line 35 per cent rating and the BMW 535d SE 32 per cent.
The GS 450h’s hybrid powertrain combines a conventional direct-injection 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with a powerful electric motor, which together produce a maximum of 335bhp. Aided by an Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT), the car will move from rest to 62mph in less than six seconds, with rear-wheel drive and a 50:50 front-to-rear weight balance for truly sporting handling.
The GS 450h range is launched on 19 May with prices starting at £38,015.Published 29 April 2006