Lexus has announced that it will launch performance hybrid models in South Africa. Petrol-electric hybrid derivatives of the GS and RX will arrive here in September.
The two models destined for SA are the GS450h and the RX400h. According to Lexus both models offer the performance of petrol V8s with the economy and torque of comparable diesel models.
The benefits of full hybrid technology mean maximum torque is available from zero r/min. In both the GS450h and RX400h, Lexus Hybrid Drive combines V6 petrol engines and electric motors through a sophisticated transmission that uses just electric power, engine power or a combination of both depending on the driving demands and conditions.
The GS450h employs a 218kW 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to a 147kW electric motor that allows 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds and a top speed limited to 250km/h while averaging 7.9 litres per 100km on a combined cycle and returning 185g/km of C02.
The RX400h comes with a 3.3-litre V6 engine along with its electric motor, enabling the SUV to return 8.1 litres per 100km while delivering 200km/h performance and a 0-100km/h acceleration of 7.3 seconds. In this instance, Lexus Hybrid Drive makes use of two electric motors in conjunction with its part-time all-wheel drive system.