The Lexus GS is a four-door sedan that was designed to provide exceptional luxury and outstanding performance. The GS series includes the 350, 460 and 450h models, which are differentiated primarily by their engine and drivetrain. The Lexus GS will comfortably seat five passengers and was originally introduced to compete with the BMW 5 series and, to a lesser extent, the Mercedes E class. With every successive generation, the Lexus GS has closed the gap with its European competitors.
The 2011 GS sedan continues its tradition of offering a smooth ride and brisk acceleration. The GS 350 comes equipped with a 3.5 liter V-6 that produces 303 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. The more powerful GS 460 has a 4.6 liter V-8 that is rated at 342 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque. The 450h is a hybrid model that includes a 3.5 liter V-6 and a high-output, permanent-magnet, electric-drive motor. The 350 and 460 models are outfitted with either a six-speed or eight-speed automatic transmission respectively. The hybrid version uses a proprietary continuously variable transmission to afford peak operational efficiency. The GS 350 offers an EPA combined 22 mpg fuel efficiency while the GS 460 has a combined 20 mpg rating. The hybrid version improves fuel economy to 23 mpg combined.
In an effort to fill the space between the ES and LS models, Lexus introduced the first GS in 1991. The exterior concept was originally developed by the well respected Italdesign Giugiaro in Italy. The GS was a groundbreaking model that required only 8 hand welds and used 4200 robotic welds. In 1998, the second generation GS was introduced and included a new V-8 model and redesigned platform. The exterior styling was completed in house and included distinctive quadruple headlights, an upgraded stereo and luminescent gauges. The third generation was produced in 2006 and introduced the direct-injection engine. The 450 hybrid was added to the lineup in 2007.
The GS is well equipped with standard features such as an adaptive suspension, keyless entry/ignition, leather upholstery, backup camera, advanced audio connectivity, dual zone climate controls and a 10-speaker sound system. An optional advanced active stabilizer system provides better control without affecting ride quality. Other available options include a 14-speaker premium Mark Levinson sound system, air conditioned front seats, laser cruise control, a power rear sunshade and an adaptive variable suspension system.
The Lexus GS was named the best midsize luxury vehicle in initial quality for 2002 through 2005. The AAA named the 2005 Lexus GS the best car in its class. Consumer Reports gave the Lexus GS an award for the highest ranked vehicle in predicted reliability in the luxury car category for 2005.
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