Lexus Malaysia has just launched the new Lexus GS, which I drove it – for a very short time – not too long ago.
There were five variants launched at the event – the GS 250, GS 250 Luxury, GS 250 F-Sport, GS 350 Luxury and GS 350 F-Sport. So in all, there are three different trim levels and two engine options. The three trim levels, if you have not guessed already, are standard, Luxury and F-Sport, which I will explain later.
We’ll start with the engines. The Lexus GS gets a choice of two powerplants; both are 24-valve V6 engines with Dual VVT-i. The 3.5 litre 2GR-FSE produces a maximum power of 312 hp at 6,400 rpm and 378 Nm of torque with a 0-100 km/h of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 235 km/h. The 2.5 litre 4GR-FSE is good for 206 hp at 6,400 rpm and 253 Nm at 4,800 rpm with a 0-100 km/h of 8.8 seconds and a top speed of 230 km/h.
The engines are installed with something called a Sound Generator that raises the sound pressure of specific frequencies at the intake area to create a pleasant engine sound. This is a first for Lexus.
Both engines are paired with a 6-speed Super ECT with A.I. Shift automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. The transmission features a manual interface, the ability to enable faster shift speeds, earlier torque convertor lock-up and downshift throttle blips – all of which can be altered via the Drive Mode selector.
There are four modes to choose from – ECO, Normal, Sport and Sport +. In ECO, the GS’s throttle mapping is revised as well as the seat heating and climate control systems to give a better fuel economy. Transmission is also set for a more un-rushed drive and avoids unnecessary use of fuel. Also in ECO, the meter lighting changes to blue.
In Sport, the throttle mapping and transmission shifting priorities are set to make the best out of the engine. Needless to say, the driver will experience a stronger acceleration and more responsiveness. The meter cluster in this mode changes to red.
Sport +, which is only available in the Luxury and F-Sport variants, changes the characteristics of the engine, the transmission, suspension and steering. In this setting, the difference between the inner and outer shock absorber damping through corners is increased to cut body roll. The electric power steering (EPS) is also sharpened and optimised to give a better driving dynamics.
The GS features Lexus’ latest Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), which also integrates the newly developed Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system that calculates the optimum steering angles for all four wheels and responds to the driver’s input.
The GS 350 F-Sport’s LDH also includes a Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS). This system monitors the vehicle speed and yaw rate, steering angle and speed and lateral G and adjusts the rear wheel angle to 2.0 degrees.
The GS also gets new suspension bits. The front has a double wishbone front and multilink rear suspension system.
Back to the equipment levels. The standard GS 250 is only available with the 2.5 litre engine. The interior is finished in leather and the seats are wrapped in smooth leather. The front seat is power adjustable in 10 different ways and it’s the only seat that has a memory setting. The climate control is a dual-zone automatic system and it comes without sunshades. On the dashboard, the LCD screen size is 8 inches and the sounds come from a Lexus Premium Audio 12-channel speaker. Outside, the standard GS does not have adaptive front light, has 17 inch wheels and does not come with a Sport + mode.
The GS 250 Luxury and GS 350 Luxury are available with both engines. This variant gives you adaptive front headlights, 18 inch wheels and Sports + mode. Additionally, the interior is finished in wood and leather, the seats are wrapped in Semi-Aniline leather and the front seats are 18-way adjustable. Both front seats also have memory setting. As for creature comforts, the air conditioning is a automatic 3-zone system and there are sunshades for the rear window and rear door windows. There is a 12.3″ screen up front and the sound is hooked up to a Mark Levinson 17 speaker system.
As for the F-Sport equipped models, which you can have with either the 2.5 litre or 3.5 litre engine, you’ll get the 16-way adjustable seat for the driver and a 10-way adjustable seat for the passenger. The other interior equipment mirrors to the ones you can find in the Luxury variant. Extra for the F-Sport are exclusive front grille and bumper, rear bumper, lip spoiler, dark alloy wheels and upgraded front brakes. The change in front bumper means that the F-Sport also loses the fog lights. The front and rear suspension systems are also retuned in the F Sport to make better use of the adaptive variable suspension system, which makes the F Sport a more sport-focused machine.
The GS offers 10 airbags, including a knee airbag for driver and front passenger; rear gets protection from seat-mounted side airbags. The brakes have been tweaked as well. The brake booster power has been increased for instant response and brake-cooling performance has improved airflow to minimize brake fade.
The F-Sport gets bigger ventilated front discs. Notably, the hat section of the two-piece rotor has been fabricated in aluminium to reduce weight and suppress heat deformation – Lexus claims this is a world’s first.
The Lexus GS is built in Toyota’s advanced Tahara plant in Japan. It comes with a 3-year or 100,000 km warranty.
The price, on-the-road without insurance, for the GS 250 is RM366,200; GS 250 Luxury is RM398,660; GS 250 F-Sport is RM400,600; the GS 350 Luxury is RM456,800 and the GS 350 F-Sport is price at RM464,800.
Lexus are taking orders now. In fact, they’ve already been doing so for the past two months. Last tidbit: I heard, as I was walking to my car, a sales lady telling a potential customer that if he books the GS now, he’ll probably get it in the middle of the year. That’s a quick delivery time, isn’t it?