New hybrids for the 2011 Frankfurt Motor ShowUpdated Honda Insight and Lexus GS 450h to appear

02 September 2011

Honda Insight 2012

The new Honda Insight has lower CO2 emissions thanks to some aerodynamic tweaks

Honda has reduced the Insight hybrid's CO2 emissions to 96g/km and Lexus will show an all-new GS 450h hybrid at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show later this month.

The cars are just two of the many models scheduled to appear at the show - view our Frankfurt Motor Show preview to see more.

Honda Insight: updated for 2012

Honda is reporting that is has lowered the Insight hybrid's CO2 emissions to 96g/km.

The Insight, which is powered by a 1.3-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, has previously only been able to achieve a rather puzzling 101g/km CO2 – leaving it the wrong side of the sub-100g/km car tax exemption cut-off. 

The improvement to 96g/km CO2 – which is yet to be officially made production-ready for the UK – has been achieved through revisions to the aerodynamics and improved drivetrain efficiency, including reduced engine friction and changes to the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic. Honda's engineers have also tweaked the air conditioning system so that it draws less power.

Other changes for the 2012 model-year include a new front grille, a slimmer rear spoiler (improving rear visibility), modified tailgate trimmings and a smaller rear wiper motor. The suspension has also been fettled to increase ride comfort and stability.

Pricing and availability is yet to be announced.

Lexus GS 450h

The new Lexus GS 450h will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show

Lexus GS 450h: confirmed for Frankfurt

Lexus isn't saying a great deal about the hybrid version of its all-new GS model just yet, except to say it will be at Frankfurt.

The model designation, however, suggests it will be powered by the same 3.5-litre V6 petrol and electric motor combination as the RX 450h. This achieves a claimed 44.8mpg and 145g/km CO2 emissions – not to mention 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds and 124mph flat out – and is a relatively chunky SUV; so we can probably expect the much sleeker GS 450h saloon to do quite a bit better.

It needs to be good, as Lexus hasn't yet expressed any intention of building a diesel GS, significantly limiting its appeal in most European markets. The hybrid will hope to make up some of these lost sales by appealing to the eco conscious.

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