Lexus Plans to Fight BMW 5 Series with New GS 300h

BMW 5 Series vs Lexus GS 1 photo
Photo: The Truth About Cars
The most important Asian Auto Show hosted a bunch of world premieres. One of them caught our eye. Lexus decided this was a good time to reveals its latest version of the GS, the 300h hybrid.
This new car is supposed to be the one to take on BMW's 5 Series and put them out of work. However, we think they might be in for a surprise, even though their cars are supposed to be environmentally friendly.

The new engine on the GS has a capacity of 2.5-liters and develops a total of 225 HP when combined with an electric motor. That is not as awesome as you might think though, because of the electric part. When going down the freeway, for example, you won't get to use that electric module for very long.

That means that you'll be stuck with a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that's not even turbocharged. That same unit is currently installed on the 2014 IS 300h and that car is a little lighter, but the performance numbers are not great (not by a long shot). It does 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds and has a top speed of just 125 mph (200 km/h).

That's understandable, especially since without the electric motor you're left with less power and you have to carry all that weight around. Now think about the GS 300h. This car is even bigger. How do you think it will stack against, let's say, the F10 520d EfficientDynamics from BMW?

We reckon that's the closest 5er to Lexus' latest hybrid. The 520d EDE has a 2-liter diesel engine with 184 HP which allows the car to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 8.2 seconds (faster than the more powerful IS 300h) and has a top speed of 231 km/h (145 mph).

Some might say that the Lexus has less CO2 emissions and that's the most important thing to remember here. Well, not quite. We're all in favor of hybrids, we care about the environment just as much as the guys from Lexus but we think even hybrids should be built in order to be useful.

The official numbers for GS 300h's CO2 emission standards haven't been released yet but the guys from the Japanese company expect them to be around 110 g/km. Looking at the 520d EfficientDynamics you'll notice that, even though it's a diesel, it releases only 119 g/km of CO2. That impressive. Not to mention that you'll also be able to use full power anytime without any kind of problems.

That being said, it's hard to perceive the Lexus GS 300h as a threat for BMW's 5 Series, no matter what model. Be it 520d EDE, or ActiveHybrid5, the German company still has the upper hand, even though Toyota sub-brand is working hard to change things.
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