Freshly unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show, Lexus has added a third model to its UK line-up of the GS range in the shape of a second full hybrid.
When we tested the all-new GSin June last year, the range consisted of a pair of V6 models - a conventional 2.5 V6 in the GS250, and the Lexus hybrid 3.5 V6 in the GS450h.
The over-ten grand price difference between the two models might have seemed a little steep, but bought you 50% better fuel economy and punchier performance from the hybrid-assisted V6.
That yawning chasm of pricing and punch has now been plugged by the GS300h. Sporting an 'Atkinson Cycle' 2.5 litre 4-cylinder engine boosted by an electric motor, the GS300h slightly improves on the power figures of the GS250 with around 220hp. It's also slated to shade the larger hybrid's fuel economy by the odd mile-per-gallon, with an impressive 47mpg.
Official consumption figures are yet to be released, but Lexus are targetting a sub 110g/km figure. That would undercut both the BMW 5-Series 520d EfficientDynamics on 119 g/km, and even the Mercedes-Benz E-Class E300 BlueTec Hybrid, with its 111 g/km rating.
There are no prices on the table yet, but expect it to slot between the existing cars when they're announced at the end of the year. With a GS 250 starting at 32,975 and GS 450h models kicking off at 45,000, a starting price of just under 40,000 seems realistic.
Fuel economy was an identified weak spot with the GS250 as competitor cars from BMW and Mercedes put it to shame, but the GS300h should plug the gap. If Lexus can keep the UK pricing down, it stands to improve yet further on the 600% increase in sales over the previous generation GS and begin to nibble at the sales of its rivals.
For more information check out our full summary of the Lexus GS alongside reviews, stats, photos and videos!