More Efficient Lexus GS300h Hybrid Planned

Lexus is working on a more efficient hybrid than the GS450h already on sale.  Lexus is planning a GS300h based on the same engine and motor found in the upcoming ES300h, which will have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 40-mpg and 200-hp.

Since the GS450h gets an unimpressive (by hybrid standards) 29-mpg city and 34-mpg highway with its 3.5-liter V6 engine that, along with the electric motor, makes 338-hp.  The combination of power and efficiency has long been touted as the ideal for hybrid sedans, but Lexus seems to think that a more impressive mpg number will sell more cars than the balanced approach the GS450h has.  After all, sports car buyers are impressed by horsepower numbers and hybrid buyers are impressed by MPG numbers.

Lexus hasn’t officially announced the GS300h, but expect it to cost less than the V6 powered GS450h, which starts at $58,950.  Autoblog speculates that the GS300h could get a more powerful version of the ES300h’s hybrid system, since 200-hp won’t exactly win any races in the larger GS.  Lexus will have to weigh that extra power against the dangers of lowering the fuel economy to the low 30s and alienating the mpg-conscious buyers.