What is it?
The facelifted Lexus GS450h for 2010.
For the coming model year, Lexus has brushed up the GS with some new exterior styling tweaks, primarily a new grille, new wheels and wider range of colours to keep it fresh.
Inside, there's a 'smarter' 40GB hard disc navigation system and two choices of DAB-ready audio kit, either 10 or 14-speaker system.
The GS' Pre Crash Safety system also gets upgraded. Both front seats get new, inflator-operated active headrests to protect the head and prevent whiplash in a rear-end impact.
The changes, announced at the Frankurt motor show in September, are already out in Japan where the hybrid GS450h comes in three grades and sits above the conventional GS350 and GS460 models in the range, which is different to the UK.
The upgrade also brings new 18-inch alloy wheels but the car's sophisticated 3.5-litre V6 rear drive hybrid system stays untouched.
What's it like?
Very smooth, fast and ultra refined, just like before. The GS450h is also beautifully presented throughout with a quality finish to die for.
As ever, Lexus claims V8 level performance from the V6 hybrid package and with 341bhp on tap (from the total system) that just about stacks up, although you're never going to get lusty V8 levels of noise.
This is a luxury car that glides off the line and then whacks in serious mid-range and top end thrust if you keep the right pedal down. The 3.5-litre V6, electric motor and CVT box are like silk and this is still one of the quietest, most cosseting cruisers around.
At low speeds, yes, you can run on electric motor alone and that's good for the planet. But the hybrid battery still fills up most of the boot so it's not a total home run.
For a big car, the GS450h is pretty tidy and wieldy through the twisties but you miss the fine balance and body control of the simpler (and underrated) GS 350.