Lexus Shows Reinvented GS

Luxury brands are flocking to the annual Pebble Beach Concours d?Elegance to display their latest and greatest, and that is the venue Lexus chose to roll out the all-new GS 350.? Due at Lexus dealers early in 2012 the GS will be a family of mid-size sedans starting with the GS 350 and following later with hybrid and F Sport versions.

?Today, buyers in the mid-size luxury segment want a more engaging driving experience, styling that makes a statement, and a roomier interior package,? said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. ?With the all-new GS, we?re giving them what they asked for, and more.?

Riding on a redesigned chassis with a wide strong stance, the GS sports the brand?s new signature spindle grille. The styling is more dynamic and aerodynamic inspired by the upcoming Lexus LFA supercar. ?Engineering magic left the GS with virtually unchanged exterior dimensions but dramatically increased cabin and trunk space.

The interior includes a number of premium upgrades as standard equipment like the new energy-saving auto climate control system called S-Flow uses a first-in-class occupant-detection system to focus airflow only to the front area where passengers are actually seated.

A next-generation Remote Touch with one-push confirmation is standard on all models and enables smooth, intuitive operations control.? 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.

The optional navigation system includes an industry-first 12.3-inch, split-screen, high-resolution multi-media display. ?The screen enhances visibility through the use of advanced, high-definition graphics. The screen is large enough to support simultaneous, split-screen viewing of a large map display, plus audio, climate or other vehicle information.

GS buyers will also have access to next-generation Lexus Enform?, the system that leverages mobile phone technology to provide a new level of connectivity and information management. ?Local searches can be conducted through Bing, or use voice-enabled apps to make restaurant reservations through OpenTable, get movie tickets via MovieTickets.com or tap into internet radio, including Pandora??or iHeartRadio.

There are a class-leading 10 airbags in the new GS, including a knee airbag for both front driver and passenger. Rear seat occupants have seat-mounted side airbags, and all four outboard occupants are equipped with side curtain airbags.

New Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats increases the likelihood that occupants will be in optimum position at the moment of impact, enhancing the protective effect of the seatbelt system.

Available options to help further enhance occupant safety include a pre-collision system, which uses the dynamic radar cruise control system to provide early warning of upcoming objects that might result in a collision. The system also uses a first-in-class infrared camera to monitor the driver?s eyes to check on driver status. In the event that the driver does not appear to be looking forward when a collision appears imminent, the system will initiate the warning at an earlier threshold. If the driver still does not respond and make the appropriate maneuver, the system will initiate braking intervention up to two seconds prior to impact, helping to lessen the severity of the collision.

Other available safety systems include a Night Vision System that enhances driver visibility at night; Heads Up Display (HUD); a Blind Spot Monitor that helps detect vehicles in rear/side blind spots; and Lane Keep Assist (LKA) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW).?GS is the first in its segment to offer LKA with active steering torque to provide a small amount to assist in maintaining course, while the LDW feature alerts the driver if the system detects that the vehicle is beginning to drift out of the lane.

The new GS is powered by an advanced 3.5-liter DOHC V-6 rated at 306 horsepower. ?It propels the GS from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds but with improved fuel economy over the previous generation.? The six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission has paddle shifters and sport driving functions as standard equipment.

An optional electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system is 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.

?The new GS 350 combines luxury, outstanding driving dynamics and world-class technology features in a new and bold design,? said Templin. ?We expect this car to occupy a key position both at the core of the Lexus brand and at the heart of the mid-luxury sedan segment.?