Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lexus Launches All-New GS in Manila

Photos Courtesy of Lexus
"The new face of Lexus", that's how the all-new GS is called. This is the car that will finally realign Lexus from simply being a re-badged Toyota into one that's completely engineered from top to bottom as a bonafide challenger to the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. And last night, Manila got the first glimpse of the all-new GS at its launch event at the Lexus Manila showroom.

Among the most noticeable change is the all-new sheet metal that carries the brand-new "spindle grille" design. This love-it-or-hate-it is the latest iteration of Lexus's L-Finesse design language and will slowly make its way to the rest of the Lexus line-up. Aside from the stylish grille, the GS looks strong and athletic riding on standard 17-inch rims while the F-Sport runs on 18-inch rims.

Speaking of variants, there are three GS models available. Two are immediately available at launch and one will follow soon. The GS 350 retails for P 4,238,000; the GS 350 F Sport with additional styling, handling and comfort package goes for P 4,818,000; while the GS 450h will arrive in Manila soon (price yet to be announced).

As the name implies, the all-new GS carries a single engine variant: a 3.5-liter V6 good for 312 horsepower, figures very close to the outgoing 4.6-liter V8 engine. The added power bump is thanks to dual variable valve timing as well as direct injection technology. Mated to a 6-speed automatic, the GS can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 5.7 seconds.

You can read and view more photos of the Lexus GS after the break.

Press Release
Lexus Manila Launches All-New GS 350 and GS 350 F-Sport

• A Sport Sedan with World-Class Luxury and Evocative Design Shows New Identity of Lexus 
• Outstanding Driving Dynamics and Innovative Technology Combined 
• Spacious Interior With Open, Modern Architecture 

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig, February 28, 2012 – Lexus today unveiled the all-new GS 350 and the GS 350 F SPORT at an intimate dinner held in the posh Lexus Manila showroom at the Fort. 

The new GS combines bold, dynamic styling, precise handling, innovative technology, and a spacious interior.  Along with a new Lexus signature spindle grille, the GS is a car that conveys a tangible sense of driver confidence, with a redesigned chassis and a wide, strong stance that inspires and rewards driver participation with crisp and precise handling. 

GS engineers challenged themselves to develop a more spacious interior environment. While leaving exterior dimensions virtually unchanged, they dramatically increased cabin and trunk space to create an interior that can easily transport passengers and their luggage in luxury and style regardless of distance.

Richly endowed with world-class features and premium details, the new GS is supported by advanced, performance-enhancing technology that makes it more than just a luxury car. The driver and front passenger will enjoy the clean appearance of the new high-resolution 8” Electro Multi-Vision central control display.

 A New Personality and An Invitation To Drive  

 Designing the new GS 350 to be both strong and agile was a key focus of the engineering team. They looked to the Lexus LFA supercar for inspiration and carried over some key elements to provide a more engaging driving experience, including a new aerodynamic body; a completely new platform with a wider stance and stiffer structure; a transmission with quicker shifts; distinctive engine sound and exhaust notes; and better seat support.

The new 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 almost two inches, 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 aluminum 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 tire cornering force and enhances rear control. With the stiffer platform and lighter components, the shocks can use lighterviscosity oil, so they move easily and respond to small inputs more quickly. 

The use of front and rear aluminum 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 endowed with the latest electronic enhancements to help provide braking balance and control.

Customized Driving Experience  

The new GS 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 312 horsepower, it is one of the most powerful base engines in the segment, as well as the only one with both port and direct  injection. It propels the GS from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds and at the same time, fuel economy has been improved.   

Acceleration from 30 to 50 mph can take 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 many features adopted from the Lexus IS F high-performance sedan — 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 selector. 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.
• 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.
• SPORT S+ (only available on F SPORT) mode 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. 

Innovative Lexus Design 

The GS expresses a new generation of Lexus’ design philosophy with its precisely sculpted exterior and will lead the rest of the lineup in an entirely new direction. When designers shaped the GS they visualized the flow of air around it and, like the LFA supercar, maximized aerodynamic efficiency for class-leading coefficient of drag.

The GS fuses distinctive style with engineering functionality. Fins incorporated into the side of the tail lamps and the design of the trunk area all help direct air over and past the car. The rear bumper underbody area was designed for reduced wind resistance to help keep the car firmly planted on the ground. Finally, air inlets located on the outer edges of the lower grille serve as cooling ducts.

The signature spindle grille with its trapezoidal contours evolved from current Lexus styling and fully integrates into the aggressive front bumper allowing for efficient airflow. This distinctive Lexus design feature combined with the deep-set, high-tech headlamps and L-shaped LED daytime running lamps further express the vehicle’s confident and dynamic character. The headlamps use a projector beam design, adding a strong, chiseled appearance and excellent illumination.

From the side, the GS projects the image of a spacious sport sedan with a road-hugging wider stance. The tapered lower rocker panel and the short front overhang give the vehicle a sense of motion. Width-enhancing front and rear wheel arches adds an athletic stance enhancing the vehicle’s dynamic presence. 

The rear bumper features a distinctive exhaust diffuser and centered aero fins to help control underbody airflow. Combined with the L-shaped LED tail lamps, a Lexus design cue, these rear bumper features lend a high-performance appearance. Overall, the new GS sheet metal represents a significant extension of the Lexus L-finesse philosophy that is the core of all Lexus product design.

Lexus engineers developed a new advanced coating process for Sonic Silver exteriors. The GS 350 will be the first Lexus to adopt this new coating technology. Vehicles with the Sonic Silver exterior will appear more radiant as an additional metallic texture gives both strong shading and defined, sharp highlights. This metallic effect makes subtle and defined bodylines more noticeable and the surface appear finely polished.

Spacious Interior with Premium Upgrades   

The GS provides more overall space for all occupants. With these changes, the new GS offers comfortable space for front and rear passengers.  

Upgraded accommodations start 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.  

Door openings have also been revised for easier ingress and egress. Trunk space has been increased by almost 25 percent, and trunk access is improved with a wider, deeper opening.    

Painstaking attention to detail was applied to the GS cabin as well 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 center 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 toilluminate the areas around the doors, center console and footwells. A new analog clock with LED indicators, carved from an ingot, adds a unique touch, at once both modern and traditional.     

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.  Seamless Connectivity  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 CD audio and video compatibility, USB and AUX input capability, MP3 sound enhancement, 5.1 Surround Sound with integrated sub-woofer, and a high-resolution eight-inch central control display centrally located high up in the instrument panel.    

Integrated Safety Systems 

 In addition to enhanced braking systems and an impact-absorbing body structure, the new GS offers significant advances in both passive and active safety systems as standard equipment.    

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. Standard seatbelts withpretensioners with force limiters used for front and outboard rear seats further assist occupant protection.  


In addition to the GS 350, Lexus Manila also introduced the GS 350 F SPORT. Tuned by the skunk works division of Lexus (the same group responsible for the LFA and IS F), the F SPORT package further sharpens the handling, performance and appearance of the GS 350.

The F Sport package includes exterior aesthetic changes such as: F Sport front bumper with mesh grille, F Sport rear bumper with integrated exhausts, 18-inch F Sport alloy wheel design in black, and a tilt and slide moon roof.

Interior-wise, drivers are welcomed by brushed aluminum accents and perforated sport leather in the seats and steering wheel. The power seat in the F Sport is 16-way power adjustable with memory including power adjust side bolsters, 4-way power adjust lumbar supports and power adjust thigh bolsters.

Performance upgrades also include Lexus Dynamic Handling system (LDH), which integrates the F Sport tuned adaptive variable suspension, the latest-generation stability control and, the Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) to coordinate front and rear steering to provide agile, sharp, confident response to the drivers’ every input. The vehicle also comes equipped with F SPORT-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), thicker anti-roll bars, bushing changes, and new larger front brakes with high friction pads. 

This is the first application of Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) in a Lexus vehicle. At low speeds, the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction of the front wheels for a smaller turning radius, while at higher speeds, the rear wheels steer in the same direction as the front wheels to lessen yaw rate and provide more stable and consistent handling performance.

The GS 350 with F SPORT package was designed to engage driving enthusiasts with factory engineering and the ability to take performance to an entirely new level.

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