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Performance hybrid

Lexus has launched its most powerful hybrid vehicle, the new GS 450h, which is on sale now.

It uses a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with a new D-4S (direct-injection four-stroke superior-version) twin injector system with Dual VVT-i. It develops 292bhp, mated to a permanent magnet electric motor that generates 197bhp.

Lexus says the combined power of 341bhp makes its new GS 450h the world’s most powerful production hybrid car.

The GS 450h can accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds and has a top speed of 155mph.

It returns 35.8mpg in combined cycle driving. Carbon dioxide emissions are 186g/km. The GS 450h SE incurs a benefit-in-kind rate for company car tax of 21%. With a list price of £43,920, that produces an annual tax bill of £3,672.

The passive safety package includes front, knee, side and curtain airbags, augmented on SE and SE-L versions by additional rear side airbags. SE-L versions feature Lexus’s pre-crash safety (PCS) system.

Lexus expects to sell 700 GS 450h models during the rest of this year, accounting for 30% of all GS sales. In 2007 the annual total is expected to rise to 750 units.

Service intervals are every two years/20,000 miles, with a health and safety inspection annually or every 10,000 miles, including an oil and filter check.

The GS 450h is covered by Lexus’s three-year/60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty, a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and five-year/60,000-mile warranty for the high voltage battery and hybrid components.

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