Power comes from a 306hp, 3.5 V6 with dual VVT-i. The 6 speed AT can be shifted via paddles or on the console shifter. We found the power to be nice and strong, with a very soothing engine roar coming through to the cabin. You hear the motor when you want to, and it’s very silent and sedate when you don’t. The throttle blip downshifts keep up very nicely and allow the car to be driven aggressively and with confidence. The 4pot, 14” brakes do a great job of hauling the car down from speed and there doesn’t seem to be much fade.
The F SPORT suspension is 4 way adjustable via a round knob in the console. Beyond Normal, there is an Econ setting and 2 Sport settings. Econ is obviously very sedate, and sport kicks the suspension into a much stiffer setting. Sport+ on the other hand stiffens the suspension up further and seems to tighten the steering up as well. Understeer feels to be improved and the car just tightens up and feels as it is on a rail.
All new aluminum suspension components, a 2″ wider track and increased body rigidity through additional spot and laser welds, make this improved GS a pleasure to drive hard. The F SPORT includes Adaptive Variable Suspension, thicker roll bars and special suspension tuning. Our car was equipped with the optional Lexus Dynamic Handling that features Dynamic Rear Steering, Variable Gear ratio Steering and Electronic Power Steering.
|Quite possibly the most innovative feature in this entire car!
A couple of the “Hey, Cool!” features of the car:
In between the front seat and the console Lexus has placed a cushion there to keep change, gum, whatever from falling out of your pocket and getting lost in the Bermuda triangle under the seat.
The Blind Spot Monitoring system is very useful for driving California freeways. A bright yellow icon lights when a car is present in your blind spot, and flashes when you have the turn signal on as an additional warning. BUT, if you’re driving next to a wall it will remain illuminated. (OK, maybe that’s not a “Hey, Cool)
There is an accent light above the dash gauges, and when you are in Normal or Econ modes, it lights blue. Switch to either of the Sport modes and it changes to red.
There is a map button on the console that always brings the screen back to map mode and shows you where you are currently. Get to messing around, get lost on the screen and BAM!, you’re back to a nice starting point.
With this new GS 350 Lexus has shown they clearly plan to remain a key player in this segment. The GS F SPORT mixes a potent powerplant, fantastic transmission, adjustable suspension and plenty of technology to keep their target market extremely happy. We found the F SPORT to be very easy to drive everyday, and sporty enough to carve canyons or enjoy a day at the track, while still looking like the elegant sport sedan that it is. The interior is very supportive, looks fantastic and the controls and displays are very easy to read and intuitive. With the availability of a hybrid motor and AWD, the GS should prove to be a popular choice for those in the market.