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97% of UK Lexus sold in 2014 will be hybrids

Mon, 09 Dec 2013

Speaking during the European launch of the new Lexus GS300h – the new entry-level hybrid in the executive GS range – Lexus UK director, Richard Balshaw, revealed that 97% of all Lexus sold in the UK next year are likely to be hybrids.

The GS300h’s deputy chief engineer, Yukihiro Kito, als confirmed to MSN Cars that the return of diesel-powered Lexus vehicles is unlikely to happen any time soon – if at all.

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According to Kito-san, diesel just does not make sense for Lexus given the markets the company is chiefly competitive in, which is to say the USA and Asia.

But what about the UK and Europe? Junior executive, executive, and luxury sales are dominated by turbodiesels here.

This is where new models such as the GS300h – and smaller IS300h – come in. Combining a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor and battery pack, these now offer CO2 emissions that are directly comparable with their diesel rivals.

In fact, in the example of the GS300h, Lexus believes the petrol-electric hybrid solution is better than the traditional diesel approach, claiming more power (223hp in this case) with lower CO2 (as little as 109g/km).

With pricing starting at just under £31,495, company car drivers can potentially save up to £4,300 in Benefit-in-Kind tax by going down the hybrid route. Regular road tax is just £20 a year.

So, if you’ve been holding out for a Lexus diesel you may well be out of luck. But the alternative is no longer quite as ominous as you may have feared.

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By motoringresearch.com