The Lexus GS sport sedan series has overturned the status quo in the mid-luxury segment by delivering greater performance and value than "established leaders," along with a strong dose of extroverted "attitude."
For 2000, the GS high-performance luxury sedans add the advanced Brake Assist feature to their arsenal of safety technology. Brake Assist interprets a quick, hard push of the brake pedal as emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped hard enough on the brake pedal to activate the anti-lock brake system (ABS), Brake Assist supplements the applied braking pressure.
Brake Assist joins the already-standard Vehicle Skid Control system (VSC), which helps maintain traction under demanding conditions by detecting and helping to correct for wheel spin. VSC uses a variety of sensor inputs to determine if the car is losing traction, then applies the brakes to individual wheels to help the driver maintain control. The VSC system integrates traction control, and both VSC and Brake Assist employ the sensors and actuators of the standard ABS.
Also new for 2000, the GS 300 gains Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) certification and an engine cover like that of the GS 400. New colors for both models include Crystal White and Millennium Silver Metallic.
With the GS sedans, Lexus designers combined the rear-wheel drive platform preferred for high performance models with interior space efficiency usually associated with front-wheel drive cars. The GS models provide greater passenger and trunk volume than some competitive cars, yet without casting a larger "footprint."
A super-sleek 0.29 coefficient of drag (Cd) proves the efficiency of the design and helps minimize wind noise.
Several design features contribute to the athletic stance of the GS sedans, including radically short front and rear decks, 16-inch wheels with low-profile tires and a dramatic headlight treatment inspired by the Lexus SC coupes. High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights are optional.
High-Performance From The Wheels Up
The luxury GS forms a solid platform for high-performance with double wishbone front and rear suspension, large-diameter four-wheel disc brakes and wide 16 x 7.5 inch alloy wheels. The GS 300 rolls on 215/60R16 tires.
The GS sedans offer two distinct performance levels and characters. They differ most, of course, under the hood. The GS 300 shares its high-output 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine with the SC 300 sports coupe. With 220 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and a substantial 220 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,800 rpm, the GS 300 sprints from 0-60 mph in just 7.8 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds.
The engines in GS models perform as if they had another half-liter of displacement, thanks in large part to a system called 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. Dual exhaust systems complete the performance package, and a large 19.8-gallon fuel tank gives both GS models long driving range.
Safety With The Fun
The GS sedans help protect their occupants with an array of safety technology, starting with front and rear energy-managing crumple-zone body construction and a strong passenger compartment. Inside both models there are three-point seatbelts for all five seating positions as well as dual front airbag and front seat-mounted side airbag Supplemental Restraint Systems. Mounting the side airbags in the seats keeps them properly placed no matter the position of the front seats.
The front seatbelts include pretensioners and height-adjustable anchors, along with force limiters that help reduce forces to the upper torso in a serious collision. All five seating positions include a height-adjustable headrest. Improved soft upper interior trim helps reduce head injuries in an accident. New child restraint seat (CRS) top tether brackets comply with the phase-in of the CRS Anchorage Point Regulation. Daytime running lights help make the GS sedans more visible to other drivers under diverse lighting and weather conditions.
While the GS sedans are priced thousands of dollars less than competitive performance luxury sedans, they offer the kind of luxury found in flagship models. The driver faces a performance-oriented three-pod instrument cluster, complete with the Lexus-signature Optitron lighting, which silhouettes the gauge pointers and markings. The panel lighting adjusts automatically according to ambient lighting conditions.
The automatic dual-zone climate control system features soft-touch controls, an activated charcoal micron filter and a smog sensor. When the sensor detects pollution, such as from a vehicle in front, it signals the system to switch to recirculation mode. Rear seat passengers benefit from air conditioning vents in the back of the center console.
A premium 215-watt audio system features five amplifiers and seven speakers, including a 10-inch subwoofer mounted in the rear package shelf (the trunk serves as an infinite baffle). The GS sedans come pre-wired for a Lexus six-disc CD changer. The optional Lexus/Nakamichi 280-watt audio system includes the six-disc CD changer, which is conveniently located in the glovebox.
The luxurious interior features a sporty leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel (perforated leather on GS 300), genuine California walnut wood trim and elegant stainless steel doorsill scuff plates with the Lexus logo.
The multi-function remote entry system allows the driver to open the front windows and the optional moonroof, especially helpful for ventilating the interior before entering the car on a hot day. The map light integrates a standard HomeLink programmable garage door opener, which can program 98 percent of garage door frequencies on the market.
When customers order the optional Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) navigation system, it comes with a touch-screen LCD display that also provides control functions for the standard audio system, climate control system and trip computer. The navigation system provides turn-by-turn guidance by voice and on-screen prompts. Unlike some GPS systems that require inserting a CD-ROM disc to operate, or purchasing additional CD-ROM discs, the Lexus system houses a map database for nearly 90 U.S. metropolitan areas and all major national highways on a 2.0-gigabyte hard disk.
Extensive Standard Equipment
Dual-zone automatic climate control with smog sensor
10-way power front seats
Memory system for driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors (optional)
One-touch up/down power windows with pinch protection
Power tilt/telescope steering wheel with automatic tilt-away for easy exit
215-watt premium audio system
Heated outside mirrors
HomeLink programmable garage door opener
Outside temperature gauge
Variable intermittent windshield wipers with mist feature
Remote keyless entry (controls front windows, trunk and opt. moonroof)
Engine immobilizer security system
Electric trunk and fuel filler door releases
Individual front and rear reading lamps
UV-absorbing tinted glass