01 Mar 2016
Updated Lexus GS Range gets New Turbocharged Engine
01 Mar 2016
The Lexus GS has been a popular choice in the Luxury Medium passenger car segment, offering an alternative executive sedan to the German models. Now in its fourth generation, the GS continues to draw customers to the brand with a choice of 6 variants as follows:
GS 300h Hybrid
GS 350 F SPORT | GS 350 Luxury
GS 200t F SPORT | GS 200t Luxury | GS 200t Premium
Besides the usual minor changes that are done to the current generation, the model line also gets the brand new Lexus turbocharged engine in the GS 200t variants. These variants replace the GS 250 variants and though the engine size is smaller, the performance capability – thanks to turbocharging – is greater.
The 2.0-litre engine is the first turbocharged engine used by Lexus. The 4-cylinder petrol engine (coded 8AR-FTS) was developed by Lexus in-house and has a twin-scroll turbocharger which, together with an intercooler, delivers 241 hp at 5,800 rpm with a maximum of 350 Nm of torque from 1,650 rpm to 4,400 rpm. These outputs represent 17% more power and 38% more torque compared to what was produced by the 2.5-litre engine in the previous GS 250.
The 8AR-FTS engine achieves its impressive output with features such as a water-cooled cylinder head, integrated exhaust manifold, and Variable Valve Timing intelligent – Wide (VVTi-W) which allows the engine to switch between the Otto and Atkinson cycles according to driving conditions.
The innovative engine also has the D-4ST (Direct injection 4-stroke engine Superior version with Turbo) fuel delivery system which combines a high pressure fuel system for injection directly in to the cylinders with a low pressure system for injection into the ports. Injection is split between the direct and port injectors according to the engine load to help fuel economy.
All the power goes to the rear wheels via an 8-speed Sports Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission. This advanced transmission is a first for Lexus and offers refined operation with smooth transitions between gears to enhance the feel of linear acceleration. A swing damper is adopted to expand the lock-up range. This damper allows for lock-up from the low engine rpm range between the 3rd and 8th gear, thus contributing to excellent fuel efficiency and achieving a direct feel.
Excellent driveability is provided with the intelligent computerised management system which makes split-second decisions on gear shifts in accordance with G-forces (when in the Sport mode which has G-AI Shift). The transmission also has Uphill Downshift Control which selects the optimum gear for excellent drivability, while Downshift Lock-up Control (a Lexus first) maintains the lock-up condition to ensure a direct feel in relation to accelerator pedal operation.
For owners who want better fuel consumption, there is a Power Saving Control which controls solenoid valve power consumption and also the amount of power generated by the alternator. These contribute to lower fuel consumption, especially at cruising speeds.
The GS 350 and GS 300h variants continue using the same engines as before but with improvement to improve fuel efficiency. The 3.5-litre V6 2GR-FKS engine in the GS 350, with direct injector that inject fuel directly into the cylinder together with port injectors, offers a class-top level of engine performance while the intake and exhaust have been tuned for realizing enhanced output.
As for the Lexus Hybrid Drive used in the GS 300h, the 2.5-litre 2AR-FSE 4-cylinder engine gets the next generation D-4S electronic fuel injection system which operates at a higher pressure. This new system, together with other improvements, give the GS 300h top level dynamic performance, excellent fuel efficiency, and quietness in its class.
Like the GS 200t, the GS 350 also has an 8-speed Sports Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission but the GS 300h uses an E-CVT developed exclusively for hybrid powertrain It has a reduction mechanism with optimized gear ratio settings to realize high dynamic performance while also achieving high fuel efficiency.
All variant of the new GS include a DRIVE mode selector which allows the driver to choose (using a rotary knob) the engine characteristics for reducing fuel consumption or having sharper performance. For those who want the ultimate in performance, the SPORT+ mode also adjusts the suspension damping for more aggressive handling.
Except for the GS200t Premium, all variants with the Adaptive Variable Suspension now include a CUSTOMISE mode as well. In this mode, the driver can choose specific items in the POWERTRAIN, CHASSIS and AIR-CONDITIONER settings and mix them to personal preference.
For the GS exterior design, the Lexus designers chose the theme of ‘Intelligent Fierceness’ which gives it bold and aggressive styling. As with other models in the Lexus range, the front end is dominated by the signature spindle grille which was first introduced in the CT Hybrid model in 2010. Since then, it has been used for all new models and continues to evolve with the latest GS range
LED headlamps are now installed on all the latest variants. Triple-L-Shaped LED headlamps, which express the Lexus identity are fitted to all variants except GS 200t Premium which gets Bi-LED Headlamps. The distinctive arrowhead DRLs (Daytime Running Lamps) and thin, sharp main lamp emphasize the front design with the image of keen eyes.
LEDs are used for all lighting units at the rear. The L-shaped lamps, which are configured to skew upward at the inner rear combination lamps, present a dynamic, high-class appearance.
The grille molding conveys sportiness through a combination of thick outer paneling and thin plated molding. The grille inner section matches the spindle shape, thus adding a 3-dimensional feel. The gaps between horizontal bars within the grille are shaped to assist the flow of air, expressing the functionality of directing airflow to the radiator. The bumper corner, which receives the fender top,
allows the DRLs (Daytime Running Lamps) to have a stronger presence while also contributing to the visual stance of the car.
The new GS has a lower centre of gravity and this is emphasised with the lowering of the rocker molding character line by 20 mm. The line rises under the rear door, expressing dynamic motion. This also strengthens the look of integration between the molding and the front & rear bumpers. The colour of the lower rear bumper has also been changed from black to dark gravy metallic. This also accentuates the lower centre of gravity that the new GS has.
The GS 300h Hybrid conveys its clean image through having a concealed tailpipe and the rear bumper now has air stabilizing fins for improve aerodynamic efficiency.
The new GS range is available with a choice of 7 exterior colours with 3 new colours such as Red Mica Crystal Shine, Sonic Quartz, Heat Blue Contrast Layering, depending on the variant. The F SPORT variants have exclusive exterior colours – Heat Blue Contrast Layering and White Nova Glass Flake – as well interior colours which are black or dark rose with Shimamoku wood trim.
The interior of the new GS maintains the Human Design concept Oriented interior, a basic concept of L finesse. It is a space which incorporates technology that anticipates human emotions, rather than one in which humans must adapt to the technology.
Changes in the interior can be seen in the dashboard where the ornamentation starting from the centre has a dynamic form that spreads out and up to the top of the side registers. The opening of each register conforms to the shape of the instrument panel, enhancing the quality feel. To ensure a high quality feel for the high grade variants (except the GS 200t Premium) the steering wheel centre pad now has genuine leather with double stitching.
The meter illumination changes colour according to the drive mode. In combination with the metal-themed frame, which expresses sportiness, the illumination emphasizes a relaxed ambience and sense of depth.
The award-winning concept for the Remote Touch Interface knob now has a BACK function switch which allows easier switching between menus on the display screen. In addition, a newly added ENTER button has been provided which also enhances operation and selection.
The 4.2-inch colour TFT Multi Information Display allows the display of finely-detailed graphics and characters, ensuring excellent visibility. Vehicle information and warning messages are shown in fine detail and visible in all lighting conditions.
Changes have also been made to the shift knob and inside door handles. The shift knob now has genuine leather wrapping with stitching and satin-tone plated ornamentation to enhance the sporty feel and grip, while the feel have inside door handles have satin plating instead of conventional paint. The palm rest also has leather upholstery with stitching.
To emphasize the brand’s high-class image, the clock installed on the dashboard is an analogue type which adds elegance. Its detailed structure, which looks like fine metal carving, has higher illumination intensity than the instrument panel switches. It is designed to receive time signals from GPS satellites and if the car moves into a different time zone (which would typically be Thailand), the time will automatically be adjusted to that time zone.
The upholstery for the seats has been changed to simple horizontal quilting seams which enhance the shade created through the concave-convex shape, thus expressing sportiness. Accent grain has also been used for the sides of the seat and along with the fine stitching, there is a strong sense of craftsmanship which is a hallmark of Lexus.
The wood trim now has ornamentation produced by open pore surface treatment to walnut, which has a luxury image (only for Luxury variants). For the Premium variants, there is a dynamic and 3-dimensional pattern applied to the glossy black base, thus creating a high quality surface appearance film with depth.
The GS has always had a comprehensive range of safety equipment to helps the driver avoid an accident or if that cannot be avoided, then to protect the occupants from serious injuries. As new technologies become available, Lexus has always incorporated them in its models.
For the latest GS, Lexus has also added a Brake Hold Assist which activates the brakes to keep the car still after coming to a complete stop. This is helpful in city driving with frequent starting and stopping; by preventing unintended movement when stopped, the car can move off more smoothly when it is time to go again.
For this updated model, there is now a Blind spot monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), both of which are available for all variants except the GS 200t Premium. The systems address the
situations where the driver cannot see other traffic nearby. BSM will detect other vehicles in adjacent lanes and warn the driver with a flashing signal on the door mirrors. RCTA uses quasi millimetre-wave radar to detect vehicles approaching when reversing out from a parking space. The system will alert the driver with buzzer and BSM indicators on the outer mirror. This make daily driving in congested urban areas safer as the driver will be more aware of other vehicles nearby.
Tyre pressures play an important role in ride comfort, handling and safety. If they are under-inflated, there can be a negative effect so drivers need to monitor the pressures regularly. While the traditional method has been to use a tyre pressure gauge, this manual task is no longer necessary with the latest GS. The Tyre Pressure Warning display in the car will show the driver the pressure at all times and provide a warning when there is pressure difference. The tyre with reduced pressure will be highlighted by an amber colour so the driver can instantly know and taken appropriate action or drive more cautiously until the correct pressure is restored.
Lexus Malaysia provides Security & Solar Film ass standard for all variants, together with a Lexus Emergency Kit.
WARRANTY & AFTERSALES
As with all new models sold by Lexus Malaysia, there is a comprehensive factory warranty of 3 years/100,000 kms (whichever comes first after original registration). Additionally, the GS 300h battery pack is covered by an 8-year warranty with no limitation on mileage covered (terms and conditions apply). Complete aftersales support is available at 7 locations in Malaysia where there are professional technicians who have been extensively trained to care for Lexus vehicles.