Lexus GS Models Rev Up Mid-Luxury Field
The Lexus GS 300 and GS 430 sedans combine traditional Lexus luxury and quality with edgy design and performance that makes them the “big brothers” to the IS 300 sport sedan. For 2003, Lexus further enhances the value of these models by making the one-touch power moonroof and a six-disc in-dash CD changer standard equipment. The V8-powered GS 430 gains standard perforated leather-trimmed seating and heated front seats.
Dramatic design that echoes performance capability sets the Lexus GS sedans apart from the mid-luxury crowd. The heart of the rear-wheel drive Lexus GS sedans is their performance. While competitive models may have to add an optional sport package to enhance driving pleasure, the GS sedans were designed from the start with this characteristic.
The GS 430 is powered by an all-aluminum, double overhead-cam, 4.3-liter V8 engine that produces 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission, this powerplant can propel the GS 430 from 0-60 mph in only 5.8 seconds and through the quarter-mile in just 14.3 seconds, making this model the quickest vehicle in the Lexus fleet. Along with this performance comes Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) certification.
The GS 300 continues with its 220-horsepower inline six-cylinder engine (a configuration long cherished by sportscar aficionados) – also coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission – that can whisk it from 0-60 mph in 7.8 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds. Similar to the IS 300 automatic transmission sport sedan, the GS 300 features E-Shift controls on the steering-wheel spokes. E-Shift allows the driver to let the transmission shift automatically, or for a more engaging driving experience, control gear shifting with the buttons.
The engines in both GS models perform as if they had another half-liter of displacement, due in large part to continuous Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). This innovative system optimizes valve overlap throughout the engine’s speed range (not just at one or two set speeds) and in all operating conditions, eliminating the traditional compromise between low-end torque and high-rpm horsepower.
Pure Lexus Luxury Plus An Audiophile Dream
Even with their sharp focus on performance, the GS sedans present the luxury design and details that have defined Lexus from its inception. Luxury details for both GS models include an electronic compass, water-repellent front door glass, and interior wood trim. The GS 430 also features a standard leather wrapped steering wheel with controls for the audio system.
The GS models, along with most other Lexus models, offer the industry’s only OEM installations of Mark Levinson audio systems. Audiophiles have acknowledged Mark Levinson as a leader in high-end home audio components since the early 1970s. The 10-speaker Lexus system features discrete amplifier design with ultra-low crossover distortion. All occupants enjoy optimal sound quality, no matter where they’re sitting in the car.
The available touch-screen Lexus Navigation System employs DVD-based map data, and a high-speed navigation computer provides very fast route calculation (average time: five seconds). The system’s LCD display screen also provides control functions for the audio, automatic climate control systems, and the trip computer. Lexus was the first company to offer DVD-based navigation systems across the board. The Lexus system stores mapping for the contiguous United States and major cities in Canada on one Digital Versatile Disc (DVD).
High Performance Designed In, Not Added On
The GS models were designed as performance sedans from the start – they’re not just luxury cars with stiffened suspension and big tires. The performance-optimized platform features double wishbone front and rear suspension, large-diameter four-wheel disc brakes and 16 x 7.5 inch alloy wheels. Both models are fitted as standard with V-rated 225/55R16 Michelin Pilot HX MXM summer tires, the GS 300 upgraded for 2003 from 215-section tires.
On the GS 430 only, customers can upgrade to optional low-profile Z-rated 235/45R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE030 performance tires on 17 x 8-inch wheels. At no extra cost, GS customers can substitute V-rated all-season tires in the standard sizes. No matter what tires the customer chooses for either GS model, a matching spare wheel and tire is included.
Advanced Driving Dynamics
Lexus equips the GS 300 and GS 430 with two advanced systems that can help the driver in emergency situations and poor driving conditions. The Brake Assist feature is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped hard enough on the brake pedal to engage the ABS, the system applies maximum braking power until pedal pressure is released.
The Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) system helps keep the vehicle going on its intended course by detecting front- and rear-wheel slide during cornering, and attempting to control either condition with torque intervention and/or by braking individual wheels. The VSC system integrates traction control, and both VSC and Brake Assist employ the sensors and actuators of the standard anti-lock brake system (ABS).
Safety From the Inside Out
Safety in the GS sedans starts with front and rear energy-managing crumple-zone body construction, a strong passenger compartment and three-point seatbelts for all seating positions. The Supplemental Restraint Systems include dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, and side curtain airbags for the driver and front passenger. The front seatbelts incorporate pretensioners, force limiters and height-adjustable anchors.
Both Lexus GS models feature impact energy-dissipating upper interior trim and child restraint seat (CRS) top tether brackets. Daytime running lights help make the GS sedans more visible to other drivers under diverse lighting and weather conditions. High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights, which enhance visibility for night driving, are standard on the GS 430 and available as an option on the GS 300.
Luxury that Performs
The GS driver faces a performance-oriented three-pod instrument cluster, complete with optitron instrumentation. Panel brightness adjusts automatically according to ambient lighting conditions. The dual-zone automatic climate control system features soft-touch controls, an activated charcoal micron filter and a “smog” sensor. When the sensor detects certain levels of hydrocarbon pollution, such as from a vehicle traveling in front, it switches the system into recirculation mode. Rear seat passengers benefit from air conditioning vents in the back of the center console, while all seating positions include a height-adjustable headrest.
The multi-function remote entry system allows the driver to open the front and rear windows and the standard moonroof, an especially helpful feature for ventilating the interior before entering the car on a hot day. The system includes an elegant in-key remote control, eliminating the need for a separate vehicle key and remote control unit.
Standard Equipment Highlights
· 10-way power front seats
· Auto-dimming rear view and driver’s side view mirrors
· Dual-zone automatic climate control with “smog” sensor
· Electric trunk and fuel filler door releases
· Genuine California walnut wood trim
· Heated front seats (GS 430)
· Heated outside mirrors
· HomeLink® programmable garage door opener
· Immobilizer anti-theft system
· Individual front and rear reading lamps
· Leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio system controls (GS 430 only)
· Lexus premium audio system with in-dash 6-disc CD changer
· Memory system for driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors (optional for GS 300)
· One-touch power moonroof
· One-touch up/down power windows with pinch protection
· Outside temperature gauge
· Perforated leather seating and trim (GS 430)
· Power tilt/telescope steering wheel with automatic tilt-away for easy exit
· Remote keyless entry
· UV-absorbing tinted glass
Look for more from Lexus' 2003 product lineup here in Press Pass at http://www.motorsportscenter.com/