Lexus has introduced the newest version of its GS luxury sport sedan range for 2008, the GS 460 with a new 342-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 and eight-speed automatic transmission. The GS 460 replaces the GS 430, providing more power and performance yet with similar fuel efficiency. Revised exterior styling details and enhanced interior luxury mark the GS range for 2008, which also includes the V6-powered GS 350 model and the only hybrid gasoline-electric in its segment, the GS 450h.
The 2008 GS 460 offers some of the brand’s most advanced dynamic handling technology in conjunction with its new, more powerful V8 engine. The available Active Power Stabilizer system, for example, automatically and seamlessly counteracts body sway to improve cornering performance. The GS 460 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds.
"The 2008 GS 460 demonstrates our commitment to delivering the performance expected in the mid-luxury segment without compromising the sensibilities that have made Lexus the leader in the luxury category in the U.S. market," said Jim Farley, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "We believe the GS models deliver the ideal balance of performance and luxury that customers seek in this segment."
All GS models are distinguished for 2008 by revised front fascia styling, including a new front bumper and lower intake design and a new chrome grille surround. All models gain side-view-mirror turn signals, and all GS 460 models offer new wheel designs. Inside, the 2008 GS instrument panel has been revised, and a new brushed-aluminum shift plate surround and wood-trim door switch plates accentuate the interior elegance. New interior choices include dark gray Bird’s-eye Maple wood trim and new light gray leather trim.
Two Levels of Performance
The GS 460’s V8 produces 342 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 339 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,100 rpm. The GS 460 is available as a rear-wheel-drive model and, like the V6 GS 350, achieves the EPA’s Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV-II) certification. Lexus has been setting standards for powertrain smoothness since its inception, and the GS 460’s new V8 and eight-speed transmission continue that tradition with even better rotational balance and reduced friction. The GS 350 and GS 460 both maximize performance with automatic transmissions that feature a sequential manual-shift mode.
Ultra-Advanced Dynamic Handling Control
The Lexus GS combines proven chassis systems with advanced dynamic handling technology. The double-wishbone front suspension and multilink rear suspension systems feature geometry optimized to virtually eliminate unwanted wheel-angle changes during suspension movement. The result is a natural, confident feel that’s also spirited.
An Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system, standard on and exclusive to the GS 460, provides four settings, including "sport" for tighter, more precise control. AVS can automatically select appropriate suspension damping for driving conditions.
The GS 460 also offers the advanced Active Power Stabilizer system that reduces body sway and enhances vehicle control during cornering. This fast-acting system uses electric actuators, rather than slower hydraulic actuators used in most competitors’ systems. An Electronic Control Unit (ECU) calculates the force needed to counter excess body sway, which is then applied to the stabilizer bars by the front and rear actuators.
The GS 460 provides the performance enhancements and advanced vehicle control of the Lexus Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system. VDIM integrates and manages a host of handling technologies more quickly than previous dynamic handling technologies could. Combining input from a variety of sensors, VDIM is designed to anticipate the onset of a vehicle skid or slide and then help correct the situation with a combination of braking, throttle, and steering control in a way that is essentially transparent to the driver.
VDIM integration helps to provide precise management for the Electronically Controlled Brakes (ECB), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS), Electric Power Steering (EPS), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), and engine torque via the electronically controlled throttle. The GS also allows the driver to disengage the VSC and traction control via the "Trac Off" switch when the situation warrants doing so. Aluminum-alloy 18-inch wheels are standard on the GS 460.
Electric Power Steering
Electric Power Steering (EPS) in the GS 460 provides precise electric power assist using a DC motor built into the steering gear housing, rather than hydraulic assist. Eliminating the hydraulic steering pump reduces engine drag, and the simplified steering system is lighter, more compact and eliminates waste hydraulic fluid, as well.
Also in the GS 460, Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) can vary the steering from 2.7 turns lock-to-lock for low-speed maneuverability to a slower 3.2 turns lock-to-lock for highway-speed stability. VGRS also provides differential steering control, which helps correct for a delay in steering response, something that occurs in all vehicles, to help enhance driving feel during lane changes and other transitional maneuvers.
Intelligent and Powerful Brakes
Enhanced braking performance in the GS sedans begins with mechanical components that significantly increase brake friction and improve stopping power, while effectively eliminating brake fade in normal driving conditions. Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) help form a powerful safety front. EBD optimizes brake pressure at each wheel to help minimize body dive or sway during hard braking and cornering. Brake Assist is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to activate the ABS, it will apply maximum braking force until pedal pressure is released.
The GS 460’s Electronically Controlled Brakes (ECB) is a brake-by-wire system. ECB translates brake pedal pressure into electric signals that, via computer control, help provide precise and optimized braking. Electronic control provides quick brake response when needed, helping the GS 460’s VDIM system to anticipate and help correct skids before they occur. The ECB system is backed by conventional hydraulic brake control in the unlikely event of electronic failure.
Controls: Elegant and Easy to Use
Lexus designers strive to keep controls simple and intuitive, avoiding needless complexity. The SmartAccess keyless entry and push-to-start ignition allow the driver to keep the access fob in a pocket or purse. Audio and climate-control systems are easy to understand and operate. New for 2008, the fuel filler door and trunk releases have been moved to a more convenient location on the dash.
The unique instrument panel lighting system relies on variable-transparency glass to minimize reflections from the gauge faces and to help optimize visibility in all lighting conditions. A comprehensive interior lighting system provides just the right amount of light where the driver and passengers need it. All four windows offer one-touch up-and-down operation with jam protection. Both electrochromic auto-dimming side mirrors are power-retractable and feature automatic tilt-down to aid in parking when reverse gear is selected. A power trunk closer provides an added convenience on this extremely well equipped car.
Advanced Safety Systems
The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) in the GS sedans includes variable-force front airbags for both driver and front passenger. The GS features standard seat-mounted side airbags for the front seats, knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, and front and rear side-curtain airbags.
The optional Pre-Collision System (PCS) in the GS models can help the driver avoid an accident. A millimeter-wave radar sensor helps detect obstacles in front of the car, while vehicle speed, steering angle and yaw-rate inputs help to determine whether a collision is unavoidable. In such a situation, PCS switches the Adaptive Variable-air Suspension to sport mode for optimal chassis response, preemptively retracts front seat belts, and pre-initializes Brake Assist so that increased braking will be applied the instant the driver depresses the pedal. The active-braking feature will automatically apply the brakes up to a deceleration rate of 0.3 g if the driver fails to react to system warnings.
Technology for Safer and Easier Driving
The 2008 GS models provide multiple systems to help enhance driver safety and enhance the overall behind-the-wheel experience. The Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS), standard on the GS 460, helps illuminate a curve as the driver steers into it. A Tire Pressure Monitoring system can detect a critical loss in pressure in one or more tires and alert the driver.
The available Intuitive Park Assist (IPA) system uses ultrasonic sensors to detect objects close to the car’s front and rear bumpers and alerts the driver accordingly. A steering-input sensor helps to better judge changes in distance to objects. The rear back-up camera, available in conjunction with the optional navigation system, automatically projects an image of what its lens can detect behind the vehicle onto the navigation screen when the vehicle is in reverse gear.
Indulgent Luxury, Passionate Design
The current generation GS sedans introduced the brand’s L-finesse design language. A 112.2-inch wheelbase, long hood, pulled-back cabin and short rear deck create a confident, powerful stance for the GS.
A sloped, vertical grille surrounded by four independent headlamps visually connects the current GS sedans with the previous-generation models while signaling the brand’s design progression. The boldly styled lower valance features integrated fog lamps, and a low 0.27 coefficient of drag (Cd) helps to minimize wind noise.
The passenger compartment is designed to be intimate without feeling confining. Ultra-premium wood, polished-metal accents and leather trim endow the GS interior with a lavish yet high-precision feel, with touch points that convey quality and controls that respond fluidly. The GS customer can choose from among three interior leather color combinations: Light Gray leather with Dark Gray Bird’s-eye maple wood trim, Cashmere leather with Brown Bird’s-eye Maple wood trim, or Black leather with Walnut wood trim. Each combination includes a matching wood and leather-trim steering wheel and shift knob.
The GS sedans continue the Lexus tradition of providing luxury that envelopes the occupants without introducing unnecessary distractions. The standard Regency leather-trimmed, heated, 10-way power front seats (perforated leather trim on GS 460) are supportive and comfortably contoured for support on long trips.
Ventilated front seats are standard for the GS 460 and available for the GS 350. A power-tilt and telescopic steering wheel helps ensure a comfortable driving position. The standard dual-zone climate-control system filters the air, and a standard rear power sunshade adds to passenger comfort on warm days.
Premium Audio Choices
Lexus long ago established an elevated standard for mobile audio systems, and the GS models uphold this tenet with a standard system that features an AM/FM/cassette stereo and a 6-disc, in-dash CD changer. The system plays through 10 premium speakers while an Automatic Sound Levelizer (ASL) maintains consistent sound levels at varying vehicle speeds.
Within the ultra-quiet Lexus GS interior, all styles of music come to life with the optional 7.1-channel Mark Levinson® Premium Sound system. Featuring 11 channels of amplification with a total of 330 watts playing through 14 speakers, the system allows users to play both CDs and DVDs. DVD movies can be viewed on the color seven-inch touch screen when the parking brake is engaged.
Lexus Navigation System
The optional Lexus DVD Navigation System allows the driver to enter a destination by voice command. Visual support is greatly enhanced with a central screen featuring a high-resolution 800 x 480 pixel display in 32,000 colors. On-screen details are crisp and clean, and maps and roads include 3-D shadow effects. Text display options include English, Spanish and French, with the user able to select the language preference at system start-up.
The DVD map database contains more than five million Points of Interest (POI). The database for Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and New York includes a building footprint-display feature that can show graphic representations of buildings and structures to help the driver identify surroundings. System functions include multiple route calculations, route preview, simplified highway junction graphics, and a dual-map screen mode.
Bluetooth® wireless technology integrates with the navigation system to allow the transfer of personal phone books to the navigation system. The driver can also make hands-free phone calls via its touch-screen control panel.
All new Lexus vehicles come with a 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48-months/unlimited miles. Powertrain and restraint system coverage is provided for 72 months/70,000 miles. Corrosion perforation protection is covered for 72 months, regardless of mileage.