Frankfurt 2011: New Lexus GS 450h (2012) arrives

New Lexus GS 450h

New Lexus GS 450h arrives at Frankfurt

The hybrid version of the new GS debuts at Frankfurt, with the reveal of the 2012 Lexus GS 450h, promising better dynamics and improved economy.

As we said last month – when the 2012 Lexus GS debuted at Pebble Beach – our favourite Lexus looks to offer quite a bit more than the old GS. Perhaps even more so in the Lexus GS 450h, which has just had its world debut at Frankfurt.

Apart from the new looks on the outside, the inside gets a proper makeover too. The driver environment is more driver-focused than the old with lots of clever technology, including a new energy-saving AirCon system, a plethora of high-end sound-system options and the world’s biggest on-board multi-information display screen.

As well as a much improved interior – without, it would seem, acres of shiny, plastic-looking wood – the 2012 GS 450h gets a proper makeover under the skin.

The driver dynamics – which Lexus are making a big deal of – are thanks to a re-engineered bodyshell, all new suspension setup, bigger brakes and techno-goodies like Active Variable suspension and Dynamic Rear Steering. Which, if reports by those who’ve driven it are to believed, really do transform the on-road manners of the new GS.

Optionally, you can grab the Lexus Dynamic Handling System (it’s that ‘Dynamic’ word again) which integrates the AVS, DRS and Variable Ratio Steering to really give a proper edge to the handling.

The V6 engine is still an Atkinson lump with a two motor hybrid system, but with a tweak or three to liven things up a bit and reduce not just CO2 but our two pet hates – NOx and Particulate emissions.

Power increase by around 30bhp – cutting just 0.1 seconds off the 0-60mph – but economy is said to be a 30 per cent better than the current GS. If that’s true, it will mean headline average economy of more than 50mpg – an astonishing figure for a swift sports saloon.

It seems likely the new GS will remain our favourite Lexus by far, at least until Lexus makes good on their promise to deliver an M5 competitor in the GS-F.

Now all we need is a car to drive.

 2012 Lexus GS Photo Gallery

(32 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

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What do you think?