Friday, May 26, 2006

Lexus GS450h: hybrid luxury

A recent drive test by km77 site highlighted the remarkable features of the new hybrid Lexus GS: less fuel consumption than a BMW 535d (best 6-cylinder diesel in the world); better acceleration than a Mercedes E500…(see more stats). It is highly significant that a vehicle performs at this level both in fuel consumption, acceleration and gas emissions. But more significant is the fact that hybrid technology is applied at this level of cars: prestige RWD saloons aimed at the most demanding consumers. The performance of the GS450h is obtained in full luxury, comfort and safety. More good news: in the next 2-3 years Mercedes and BMW will present hybrid versions of some cars of their range. Thus the main players of the luxury segment will have hybrid offers.

Today there is no doubt that hybrid cars are a strong alternative until the hydrogen solution starts at full steam. In the next years several models will be presented, in different price ranges and segments. Some of these can be revolutionary for the market (hopefully the
next Prius). Honda and Toyota will present smaller models with very low fuel consumption. The luxury trio (Mercedes, BMW and Lexus) will expand their offer. But also GM and Ford will present more models. But… what about mainstream Europe? Renault, Peugeot, VW, Opel, Fiat? There is no doubt that the hybrid diesel will be born in Europe. But please, hurry up!

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