The High Performance Lexus GS 450h is at home in the London Congestion Charge

Lexus GS 450h

Is October’s increase in the daily London congestion charge the end for high-performance cars in the capital?

Lexus says not, thanks to its GS 450h. The fast and stylish hybrid is currently exempt from the congestion charge and, from October, will attract a daily charge of only £8 compared to the £25 paid by its high-polluting rivals.

While the escalating cost of driving a premium sports model in the city may give potential Porsche, Jaguar and BMW owners second thoughts, the Lexus GS 450h is a more than credible alternative that delivers performance, elegance and luxury. Critically, the Lexus only emits 185g/km of CO2 – less even than many mass-market family saloons – and costs no more to drive down Bond Street than an everyday hatchback.

More than that, existing owners and those who buy a GS 450h before October, can drive charge-free until 2010. But that’s only part of the story.

Not only does the GS 450h’s hybrid power system give clean and fuel-efficient performance, it also delivers genuine sports performance. The combination of a V6 petrol engine and powerful electric motor produces 341bhp and maximum torque right from zero rpm, enabling sub-six-second acceleration from nought to 62mph. Those figures put models such as  the BMW 540i, Jaguar XF and Audi A6 4.2 V8 FSI in the shade and the GS looms large in the rear view mirror of performance icon, the Porsche 911 3.6 Carrera.

And none of those models comes anywhere near achieving the Lexus’s fuel economy of 35.8mpg (combined cycle), let alone its reduced CO2 levels.

Simply put, there are precious few other cars that offer such high performance and luxury without incurring the full force of the C-Charge.

GS 450h
BMW 540i
JAGUAR XF 4.2 V8 (auto) PORSCHE 911 3.6 CARRERA
AUDI A6 4.2 FSI Quattro (auto)
Max. power (bhp) 341 306 298 325 350
0-62mph (secs) 5.9 6.2 6.5 5.5 5.9
CO2 emissions (g/km) 185 232 264 270 25.7
Fuel economy (combined cycle mpg) 35.8 29.1 25.3 25.2 26.2
C-Charge until 2010 �0 £8 £8 £8 £8
C-Charge from 2010 £8 £25 £25 £25 £25

Published : 04/04/08 Author : Melanie Carter

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