This week, Dan Neil takes on hybrid doubters with a love letter to the Lexus GS450h, and a quick lesson on speaking in physics. Lest that intro sound as if we're challenging his objectivity, we ain't. Still, his usual gallons 'o prose does make us want to put foot to pedal.
The GS450h is the neon-skinned, freeway-ventilating electric eel of midrange torque. Put the Wellie to this car at 80 mph and, before you can say, "Galvani, Volta, Faraday and Tesla," the Electro-Lex is humming along at 100 mph, shoved into crass illegality by its 197-horsepower monster-magnet motor. ... The GS450h has a direct linkage between the go pedal and the rear wheels. Nail the throttle and the car surges forward on electron-greased rails while the needle on the cool-metallic "kilowatt" gauge swings to over 250kW (max output of gas and electric power is 339 horsepower). Next stop, D sseldorf.
He also confirms what we've heard about all that electric-ware reducing trunk space, but that's not nearly as much fun. More eel references please. [Thanks to Doug for the tip.]
The well-bred hybrid [Los Angeles Times]
More Dan Neil [internal]