Hands-On With the 2013 Lexus GS 350 and GS 450h
The 2013 Lexus GS 350 and GS 450h hybrid is ready to tear up the roads. We aren’t talking about the Lexus GS of yore, no this new baby has got the muscle and looks to make you tingle with excitement. The best of both worlds have collided with the GS, there is horsepower, a new intense suspension system, and connectivity that bridges the tech world and automotive world together. As a result, both gear heads and techies alike will love the new GS 350 and GS 450h.
The entire chassis of the GS has been redesigned to enable better handling when performing some intense maneuvering. The GS is available in rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations, and can be equipped with the available Premium, Luxury or F SPORT packages for greater personalization. The GS powertrains have been enhanced to allow for better fuel economy as well as responsiveness, and are powered by a 3.5 liter V6 engine. This bad boy will have your hair in a whirl as it can accelerate from 30 to 50 MPH in just under 3.0 seconds, and we can attest to that.
The real meat of the new GS for car fans however, is the ability to toggle a drive selector. A driver can toggle between three different settings in the base model, but if you opt for the F Sport or lux packages you get one more choice to toggle too. All of which give you a different experience behind the wheel.
• 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 with F SPORT and Luxury packages) engages handling enhancements via a sport setting of the adaptive variable suspension, steering system, and Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) together with the powertrain enhancements of SPORT S mode.
• NORMAL mode is just what it says it is …the plain vanilla GS in all its glory without the extra juice and hugging of the road.
In all honesty once you toggle to Sport S/S+ you can never go back. We had a chance to get behind the wheel of the LEXUS GS 350 this weekend, and boy was it a ride! We did a timed obstacle course to see how the suspension handled on tight turns and high speeds. We also took it for a ride on the Las Vegas Speedway and the Sport S+ mode didn’t disappoint our designated driver and former Nascar racer Scott Pruett, who really pushed the GS 350 to its limits on winding laps.
But safety is key to Lexus and the GS 350 and 450h respectively come equipped with not 2, but a total of 10 airbags. There are knee airbags, for both the driver and front passenger, side curtain airbags, and seat-mounted side airbags. The front seats are also designed to lessen the effect of whiplash if you get into an accident. So if all this added protection doesn’t hint to the fact the new GS “corners like it’s on rails” – nothing will.
The GS also features Dynamic Radar Cruise Control System which provides warning of oncoming objects that might result in an accident.
Furthermore, the GS 350 and GS 450h don’t only become one with the road, but with you as well. The newly designed seats conform to your body, making it even smoother for drivers who take their turns seriously. The seat adjusts and fits people of all body types comfortably.
The all new GS will be arriving in Lexus showrooms this month and will start off with a base price of $46,900. It is also having its big coming out party tomorrow during the Super Bowl with a brand new commercial. Check out the commercial below, along with our in-car squeals from when we took the GS 350 for a spin!
Lexus GS Photos
Please note, that in accordance to the FTC Guidelines and WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that Lexus has covered my travel, accommodations and costs related to our visit to the Las Vegas Speedway.