By September 2, 2011 Read More →

The new Lexus GS

Designing the new GS to be both strong and agile was a key focus of the engineering team. Their main objective was to provide a more engaging driving experience, utilising a new aerodynamic body; a substantially updated platform with a wider stance and stiffer structure; a transmission with quicker shifts; distinctive engine sound and exhaust notes; and better seat support.

The revised platform is more rigid compared to the current model. Engineers conducted extensive platform testing, ultimately increasing the number of spot welds and adding laser welds in very specific locations. The track, wider by 40mm at the front and 50mm at the rear, works in combination with a revised suspension design to assure a more solid stance and superior cornering performance. The new suspension system is designed to help guide the GS through corners with precision.

In the front, upper and lower control arms are made from aluminium and employ larger bushings. The rear subframe has been completely redesigned to accommodate an all-new multi-link rear suspension, using improved suspension geometry that retains tyre cornering force and enhances rear control. With the stiffer platform and lighter components, the shock absorbers can use lighter-viscosity oil, so they move easily and respond to small inputs more quickly. The use of front and rear aluminium control arms helps reduce unsprung weight and results in significant improvements in agility, roll damping, ride comfort, body control and steering precision. Overall, the suspension is lighter and stronger, allowing it to react to driver input readily, and ride quietly without harshness. Ventilated disc brakes featuring four-piston aluminum front calipers are equipped with the latest electronic enhancements to help provide braking balance and control.

GS 350

The new GS 350 is powered by an advanced 3.5-liter V6, four cams, and four valves per cylinder with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). At 306 horsepower, it is one of the most powerful base engines in the segment, as well as the only one with both direct and sequential injection. It propels the GS from 0 – 60mph in 5.7 seconds and at the same time, fuel economy has been improved. Acceleration from 30 – 50mph takes just 3.0 seconds, and improved engine sound characteristics complement the bolder, more energetic personality of the new GS. The six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission has paddle shifters and sport driving functions as standard equipment.

The transmission incorporates new features including faster shifts, earlier torque converter lockup and downshift throttle blips — to support four driving modes that can be operated by toggling the new Lexus Drive Mode select. In addition to the Normal mode, the following settings let the driver customize the driving experience; ECO mode revises throttle mapping, seat heating, and climate control systems for better fuel economy. In ECO mode, meter lighting changes to blue. The SPORT S mode revises throttle mapping and transmission shifting priorities to fully exploit the capabilities of the powertrain. In SPORT S mode, meter lighting changes to red. The SPORT S+ mode (available on some models) engages handling enhancements via a sport setting of the adaptive variable suspension, steering system, and vehicle stability control (VSC) together with the powertrain enhancements of SPORT S mode.

In Europe only the GS 350AWD version will be offered and only in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. It features an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system designed to enhance traction in a variety of driving conditions. The system can vary front-to-rear torque balance from 50/50 to as much as 30/70, depending on driving conditions, for exceptional control.

Interior

The GS provides more space for all occupants increasing the comfort of both front and rear passengers. Upgraded accommodation starts with the driver. The entire cabin was created around the driver and the driving experience. A horizontal-themed instrument panel emphasizes the spaciousness through its wide layout. A redesigned seat frame and changes to steering column architecture enable an improved driver seating position for increased comfort, better forward visibility and overall command of the road. Equal attention has been paid to maximizing space for rear passengers, adding headroom, legroom, knee room and improved foot space compared to the current generation GS.

Luggage space has been increased by almost 25 percent, and boot access is improved with a wider, deeper opening. Painstaking attention to detail was applied to the GS cabin to create a balance of luxurious and technological amenities and emotional design. The new layout of the long, sculpted dash gives the driver and front passenger a sense of roominess through its clean centre stack and new, large high-resolution center control display placed deep near the front windshield. Most of the comfort and convenience controls such as audio and climate were relocated to provide a cleaner and more sophisticated dash layout.

The interior includes a number of embedded premium upgrades as standard equipment. A new energy-saving auto climate control system called S-Flow uses the occupant-detection system to focus airflow only to the front area where passengers are actually seated, a first-in-class technology. A next-generation Remote Touch with one-push confirmation is standard on all models and enables smooth, intuitive operations control. The Remote Touch allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, optional navigation system and more. The screen menus are selected with the controller, eliminating the need to reach out. Remote touch also reduces eye movement and helps users operate functions with reduced effort and distraction. A standard rear back-up camera helps add security and convenience.

The finely crafted cabin detail is complemented further by ambient lighting that unobtrusively welcomes and guides the user into the vehicle, providing a carefully designed experience. New white LED lights are sequentially lit to illuminate the areas around the doors, center console and footwells. A new analog clock with LED indicators, carved from an ingot, adds a unique touch. Cabin materials include three types of wood specially chosen to highlight the unique flavors of the model variations. Meticulously detailed contrast stitching is used as a visual accent on the instrument panel, door trim, center console, shift knob and steering wheel to create a rich, tailored interior space.

Multimedia

Next-generation Lexus multimedia brings a host of standard entertainment and connectivity enhancements, including enhanced Bluetooth® capability with automatic phonebook download and streaming audio. GS buyers will get DVD audio and video compatibility, MP3 sound enhancement, 5.1 Surround Sound, and a high-resolution eight-inch central control display centrally located high up in the instrument panel. By adding the optional navigation system, GS owners can get an industry-first 12.3-inch, splitscreen, high-resolution multi-media display. The split-screen ultra-large display enhances visibility through the use of advanced, high-definition graphics that are easy to read and easy to use and the 12.3-inch screen is large enough to support simultaneous, split-screen viewing of a large map display, plus audio, climate or other vehicle information.

For audiophiles who insist on the ultimate in audio performance, an 835-watt, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system is available. The system provides 7.1 Surround Sound through 10 channels using a new class D Digital amplifier and efficient Green Edge™ speakers that are lighter, more energy-efficient and have less distortion. The new system produces almost three times as many watts per channel versus the previous generation.

Category: Car News
Tags: ,