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2012 Lexus GS 350 Sedan Review

Lexus revealed the new 2012 Lexus GS 350 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California
2012 Lexus GS 350 photo -2012 Lexus GS 350 photo -
“With its more engaging driving experience, bolder design and a more spacious contemporary interior, the new Lexus GS responds perfectly to customers’ even more demanding requirements" said Andy Pfeiffenberger, Vice President Lexus Europe.
2012 Lexus GS 350 photo2012 Lexus GS 350 photo
Richly equipped with worldclass features and premium details, the new GS is supported by advanced, performanceenhancing technology that makes it more than just a luxury car.
2012 Lexus GS 350 photo2012 Lexus GS 350 photo
Along with a new, bold, signature spindle grille, the new 2012 Lexus GS 350 is a car that conveys a tangible sense of confidence. And, with a redesigned chassis and a wide, strong stance, the new GS inspires and rewards driver participation with crisp and precise handling.
2012 Lexus GS 350 photo2012 Lexus GS 350 photo
Additionally, GS engineers challenged themselves to develop a more spacious interior environment. Whilst leaving exterior dimensions virtually unchanged, they increased cabin and boot space to create an interior that can easily transport passengers and their luggage in comfort regardless of distance.
Designing the new 2012 Lexus GS 350 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.
2012 Lexus GS 350 photo2012 Lexus GS 350 photo
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 allnew multilink 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 lighterviscosity 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 fourpiston aluminum front calipers are equipped with the latest electronic enhancements to help provide braking balance and control.
2012 Lexus GS 350 photo2012 Lexus GS 350 photo
The new 2012 Lexus GS 350 is powered by an advanced 3.5liter V6, four cams, and four valves per cylinder with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVTi). 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 sixspeed 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.
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+ 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 allwheeldrive system designed to enhance traction in a variety of driving conditions. The system can vary fronttorear torque balance from 50/50 to as much as 30/70, depending on driving conditions, for exceptional control.
2012 Lexus GS 350 photo2012 Lexus GS 350 photo
The new 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 maximized aerodynamic efficiency for an improved 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 boot 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 deepset, hightech headlamps and Lshaped 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 2012 Lexus GS 350 projects the image of a spacious performance sedan with a roadhugging wider stance. The tapered lower rocker panel and the short front overhang give the vehicle a sense of motion. Widthenhancing front and rear wheel arches add 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 Lshaped LED tail lamps, a Lexus design cue, these rear bumper features lend a highperformance appearance. Overall, the new GS represents a significant extension of the Lexus Lfinesse philosophy that is the core of all Lexus product design.
The 2012 Lexus GS 350 will feature three colors that are new to the Lexus colour palette: Crimson Red, Meteor Blue and Sonic Silver. Vehicles in Crimson Red will benefit from glass flakes incorporated into the coating that adds a high level of brilliance to the paint. Lexus engineers developed a new advanced coating process for Sonic Silver exteriors.
2012 Lexus GS 350 photo2012 Lexus GS 350 photo
The new GS 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.
The 2012 Lexus GS 350 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 horizontalthemed 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. 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 highresolution 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.
2012 Lexus GS 350 photo2012 Lexus GS 350 photo
The interior includes a number of embedded premium upgrades as standard equipment. A new energysaving auto climate control system called SFlow uses the occupantdetection system to focus airflow only to the front area where passengers are actually seated, a firstinclass technology. A nextgeneration Remote Touch with onepush 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 backup 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.
Nextgeneration 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 highresolution eightinch central control display centrally located high up in the instrument panel.
By adding the optional navigation system, GS owners can get an industryfirst 12.3inch, splitscreen, highresolution multimedia display. The splitscreen ultralarge display enhances visibility through the use of advanced, highdefinition graphics that are easy to read and easy to use and the 12.3inch screen is large enough to support simultaneous, splitscreen viewing of a large map display, plus audio, climate or other vehicle information.
For audiophiles who insist on the ultimate in audio performance, an 835watt, 17speaker 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 energyefficient and have less distortion. The new system produces almost three times as many watts per channel versus the previous generation.
In addition to enhanced braking systems and an impactabsorbing body structure, the new GS offers significant advances in both passive and active safety systems as standard equipment. There are a classleading 10 airbags in the new GS, including a knee airbag for both driver and front passenger. Rear seat occupants have seatmounted 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 with pretensioners with force limiters used for front and outboard rear seats further assist occupant protection. Available options to help further enhance occupant safety include a precollision 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 firstinclass 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; HeadUp 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 drivers if they begin to drift out of their lane.
2012 Lexus GS 350 photo2012 Lexus GS 350 photo
In addition to the GS 350, other GS models that will be launched in early 2012 include hybrid and FSport versions, with further details to be announced later this year.
“By introducing a new bolder design, a higher level o f driving dynamics and improved comfort for all occupants, the new GS will open a new chapter in the history of Lexus’’ said Andy Pfeiffenberger, Vice President, Lexus Europe.


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