1:18 AUTOart Performance Series Lexus GS 450h
Debuting in Frankfurt in 2005, Lexus' GS 450h made a powerful impression as
the world's first performance-oriented hybrid luxury sedan. Also given high
marks for styling being much more sleek & sexy than an Audi A6 or a
Mercedes E. Technologically, the GS 450h is both extremely sophisticated
(with a 3.5 liter 340 hp hybrid V6 able to propel the two ton-plus car from
0 to 60 in under six seconds) and uncommonly luxurious. This impressive new
model is everything we've come to expect from AutoArt, with exemplary fit
and a finish whose glow (not a glare) reflects AA's mastery of metallic
paint. Every chrome piece is precisely fitted and seems sculpted to scale.
The 18" alloys and brake detail are highly realistic, proof that plastics
and metal can work together when the castings and finish are this
sophisticated. Light lensing is jewel-like and the glazing, incorporating
the windshield's sun screen and the rear defrosting element,
distortion-free. If you're still not won over, note the "hybrid" scripts on
the lower body trim! Under the insulated hood the V6 is hidden from view,
with only the cowling (inscribed with HYBRID SYNERGY DRIVE and the Lexus
emblem) and two conduit cables to the electric motor visible. But what
there is to see is crisply rendered. The chassis, too, is largely sealed,
but the dual Exhaust and rear
suspension components are convincing. The trunk is, of course, carpeted.
The interior truly instills appreciation for the car and AutoArt's modeling
prowess. The impression is one of subtle, uncompromising luxury with every
amenity you'd expect: power everything, CD player and navigation system,
fine leather seats and chaste, elegant wood accents. AA's refined detail is
everywhere apparent: plush carpeting, exemplary wood grain, real cloth
seatbelts with metal buckles, a dashboard of great depth and presence and
the perfectly scaled wood and leather wheel with the delicate Lexus logo.
The weather stripping around the door frames is remarkable. My only gripes
are the hard plastic used for the otherwise finely molded seats and (very
surprising for AA) no door sills.
Apart from the customary opening panels and functioning steering, operating
features are largely eschewed on both models in favor of crafting a visual
tour de force. And that's just fine with me.