The GS enters 2016 with a bolder design, a new GS 200t EX rear-wheel drive model and new luxury finishes to take refinement a notch up. The Lexus GS continues to feature impressive agility and sporty handling for twist and turns as well as comfortable ride quality for extended highway driving.
This is no modest mid-size luxury sedan. The engaging performance and amenities make the GS 200t and the GS 350 F-Sport excellent choices for delighting enthusiast drivers as well as luxury connoisseurs.
The Lexus GS epitomises the intersection of style and refinement with a strong rendition of the Lexus signature spindle grille for 2016, framed by elegant satin chrome trim and flanked by distinctive new standard Bi-LED headlights. The night time glow is unmistakably the look of Lexus.
Reinforcing the overall roominess of the interior, the clean horizontal sweep of the dashboard has been emphasised by the adoption of a more dynamic shape to new, full-width metal ornamentation. This anchors redesigned air vents and a new analogue clock featuring GPS automatic time adjustment.
Below, the centre console instrumentation features a new, high-end audio panel with milled aluminium knobs, whilst the climate control section adopts a new, high-contrast, Electro Luminescent Display (ELD) for improved visibility of temperature settings to the GS’s three-zone air-conditioning system.
Further trim enhancements include new high-prestige metal ornamentation to the gear shift lever, steering wheel, air vents, door handles and switchgear. The seat upholstery features a new design incorporating a horizontally quilted back panel and a new side stitching pattern.
The quality of the interior lighting has been improved through the adoption of a centrally-mounted LED rear room lamp, and a change in ambient lighting hue from the current silky white to warm white. The new GS 200t EX’s contemporary, beautifully crafted, premium-quality interior is available in ivory and black, while the GS 350’s is available in F-Sport black and F-Sport red.
The new 2-litre turbo engine delivers 180kW and 380Nm, giving the GS 200t outstanding all-around performance and efficiency. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is 7.3 seconds and top speed is 230km/h.
In the GS 350 F-Sport, a more muscular 3.5-litre V6 is retained and is also paired with the eight-speed automatic. The V6’s combination of direct fuel injection and additional port fuel injectors ensures ample power and crisp responsiveness across the rpm band. The GS 350 F-Sport sprints from 0-100km/h in 6 seconds before reaching a top speed of 235km/h.
Glenn Crompton, Vice President of Marketing for Lexus South Africa says: “The GS features a range of noteworthy updates and the addition of the GS 200t EX model will deliver new levels of performance and efficiency in Lexus’s mid-size sedan segment.”
The front suspension is in the form of double wishbones with high-mount upper arms, coil
springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, while the rear suspension boasts a rear Multi-link, coil springs, gas-filled shock absorbers, stabiliser bar and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) with driver selectable shock absorber damping (Standard on F-Sport).
The double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension on updated GS have a new coil spring calibration. The shape of the free piston in the conventional and AVS damper units has been optimised to improve response. The front stabiliser bar shape and characteristics have also been refined.
The GS’s underbody aerodynamics have been improved by positioning the bottom edge of the front bumper 10mm further forward, to adjust the volume of air passing under the floor. Lexus has paid strict attention to optimising body strength and rigidity in the GS to achieve high levels of crashworthiness and durability, as well as lower interior noise levels.
A highly rigid body also provides a stable platform for the suspension, while optimising handling stability and ride comfort. The 2016 year model GS Line body has been further refined, with new design features and greater use of key body manufacturing techniques.
The new GS body has an additional 188 points of spot-welding to the frame to optimise panel-coupling rigidity – focusing on the cowl, the junction of the rocker panels and B pillar, and the rear shelf. Coupling panel rigidity has been further boosted by increased use of body adhesive.
The new GS body has an additional 22.5 metres of body adhesive. The rear of the cabin has more laser welding points, and the door surrounds have an additional 132 laser-screw welding points compared with the current body.
A performance damper has been adopted between the left and right front number two members on GS 200t EX and GS 350 F-Sport, to reduce vibration and increase stability. The GS Line upper-cowl area has been further refined by adding sound-absorbing material to enhance cabin quietness.
Lexus gave the GS models new multimedia for 2015, and now for 2016, the available 12.3-inch screen gains full-screen map capability when equipped with navigation. Other multimedia changes include enhanced voice recognition and graphics.
The screen can split into two sections to show different functions, such as navigation, audio and climate control information. New side “enter” buttons on the Remote Touch Interface controller and shortcut menu on the side of the screen make it even easier to operate climate control, audio, phone, navigation and more.
The Lexus GS also comes with standard features galore – including Drive Mode Select – making it one of the most attractive value-for-money luxury sedans in the market.
There is also a host of standard Driver Support Systems, including Tyre Pressure Monitor (With Auto Location), Park Distance Control, Hill Assist Control and Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) – which manages systems such as Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Anti-Lock Braking (ABS) and Electric Power Steering (EPS).
There is no compromise on safety either, with features such as 3-point belts for all seating positions; Day Time Running Lights (DRL); knee, side, front and curtain airbags and Anti-Theft System all coming standard.
The range-topping GS 350 F-Sport also boasts a number of signature elements, including Leather F-Sport steering wheel, Steering EPS + VGRS, Leather F-Sport seat material, 19” Alloy Wheels, Adaptive Variable Suspension, Rear Spoiler, F -port badging and Four wheel active steer.
Both GS models come with a Service Plan of 4years/100 000km and a standard Lexus Distance Plan Plus.