2013 Lexus GS 350 MotorWeek

30 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2013 Lexus GS 350 MotorWeek отключены
Lexus GS Electric Cars

Episode 3119

Lexus is on a mission, to shed their image of building cars that are very luxurious and high tech, but boring to drive. First came the compact IS-F, than the exotic LFA, and now they’re turning their attention to a car with wider appeal, the mid-size GS sport sedan. So, is the latest GS a Lexus reborn?

With the fourth generation 2013 GS 350, Lexus does appear to break from their luxury-overload mold. Not that the rear drive GS has been a snoozer. Truth be told, the previous GS was already fast, and more entertaining to drive than most people gave it credit for.

The biggest problem was electronic, with one of the most aggressive and intrusive stability control systems on the market that quickly kept you from having any real fun. So, the fix was more of a software one than hardware. Not that the hardware hasn’t changed.

The 2013’s body and chassis are all-new. And, the sheet metal is undeniably more aggressive at least from the front, with huge air intakes that widen towards the pavement, menacing HID headlights with LED running lights, and LFA inspired curves. In profile, the look is more familiar, with smooth sides and thick C-pillars, leading to a rear end that is tall with a trunk-lip spoiler, L-shaped tail lamps with lens mounted fins, and an aggressive lower fascia with integrated dual exhausts.

Feeding those pipes is a slightly revised 3.5-liter V6. Horsepower and torque are up marginally, to 306-horsepower and 277 pound feet; Lexus puts 0-60 at 5.7 seconds. There are no plans for a V8, but engineers added an Intake Sound Generator that sounds like one. The GS 450h Hybrid will boast 338-horsepower.

A revised, paddle-shift 6-speed automatic is standard. New is drive-mode selector with ECO, Sport, and Sport Plus settings. All wheel drive is once again an option.

With all this, plus endless Lexus hype, we knew the GS would outperform its predecessor. But, on our first drive even we jaded journalists were impressed with the improved handling. This new found prowess still relies heavily on electronics however, mainly a new Adaptive Variable Suspension.

To that, add Electric Power Steering, Dynamic Handling with Variable Gear Ratio Steering, Dynamic Rear Steering, and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management.

But, the most important difference for the new GS, is genuine feel and feedback, which in itself is game changing. Sure, even with the upgraded F-Sport Package, there are times when the car’s handling is not telegraphic, but also in un-Lexus-like fashion, you can turn all the electronic traction nannies off!

Looking around the inside of the new GS, its still classic Lexus, but with a nod to the best from BMW. High end leather abounds, with contrasting stitching on the dash. The wood and leather wheel features many controls, and can be heated. The Lexus remote touch central controller still manages most functions, but it now has a more convenient push-to-enter design.

Lexus GS Electric Cars

The optional nav system grows a hooded center screen from 8 to 12 inches. And, for as big as it is, it never seemed intrusive. Voice activation is included.

Gauges look 3-D with lighting that changes from ECO Blue to Angry Red in Sport Mode. Our GS Luxury was equipped with just about every amenity you could imagine, head-up display, blind spot monitoring, night vision, window shades all around, and comfortable, heated-and-cooled, 18-way power adjustable front seats. Even rear seat occupants get coddled with flip down armrest controls for heated seats, climate, and audio. Leg room is up thanks to redesigned front seats.

The trunk is also roomier, due to a more compact rear suspension. Capacity is up to 14.3-cubic feet.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings haven’t been released yet, but estimates are 19-City and 23-Highway on Premium. Nor is pricing set, but when sales start in February, expect the GS 350 sticker to start about where it does now, near $48,000.

While the 2013 Lexus GS 350 is undeniably more capable and fun to drive, it still falls short of providing the absolute feedback of European and even American rivals. The F-Sport model is more serious; but outside of wheels, tires, and brakes even it relies mostly on electronics for its increased capabilities. We’re not saying that that’s wrong, but engineering “feel” is a lot harder than engineering “performance.” So, Lexus, the new GS is a big step in the right direction.

Now, let’s take a few more.

Lexus GS Electric Cars
Lexus GS Electric Cars
Lexus GS Electric Cars
Lexus GS Electric Cars
Lexus GS Electric Cars

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