The New Lexus GS 450h | Part Two

Lexus GS 450h

Lexus GS

Driving Dynamics

The new GS 450h has ideal 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution and also a better moment of inertia compared to the GS 430 model, as the 3.5-litre V6 is 17 per cent lighter than the 4.3-litre V8. These aspects contribute to the car’s more dynamic, agile handling.

The Electric Power Steering (EPS) incorporates Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS), which alters the steering gear ratio according to vehicle speed. This gives minimal steering effort at low speeds, with improved feel and feedback as speed increases. The VGRS system is linked to the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and Lexus’s Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system, helping maintain stability and increasing driver enjoyment up the limit of the car’s performance capabilities.

The front double wishbone and rear multilink suspension design includes an Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system, offering Sport and Comfort settings. Sport mode increases the difference between inner and outer shock absorber damping through corners to help reduce body roll.

Safety

SE-L versions of the GS 450h feature Lexus’s Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system, which primes the front seatbelts and emergency braking when an unavoidable frontal collision is detected. This works in tandem with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which automatically matches the speed of the GS 450h to that of the vehicle ahead, maintaining a safe distance.

The GS 450h is also equipped with the latest generation of Lexus’s Vehicle Integrated Dynamics Management (VDIM), which co-ordinates the ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with the Active Variable Suspension (AVS), Electronic Power Steering (EPS) and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) to improve vehicle stability and handling, up to its performance limits.

The passive safety package includes a class-leading complement of front, knee, side and curtain airbags, augmented on SE and SE-L versions by additional rear side airbags.

Design And Refinement

The GS 450h can be identified as the high performance flagship of the GS range by its ‘Hybrid’ badging to the rear of the sills and bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels. SE and SE-L models are equipped with a discreet bootlid spoiler.

Inside the cabin, the GS 450h benefits from the same attention to detail applied to the other models in the GS range, with the design and operation of controls and features with optimum ease and refinement.

continues... | Part Three
Published 21 May 2006 Melanie Carter

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