|02/01/2005 Torrance, CA
Lexus elevated the bar once again, with the launch of the next-generation 2006 GS 300 and GS 430 performance sedans. With the start of production, the all-new GS is ready to deliver using the latest in advanced design and technology to raise performance, comfort, safety and luxury to new levels. The new GS is also the first in a new wave of Lexus products to reflect a new, more passionate direction in styling.
"We think the new GS' engaging, emotional design by itself will create strong desire for the car," said Denny Clements, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "And the unexpected levels of performance, luxury and comfort will surprise and delight anyone that drives it."
The newly expressive GS family combines available all-wheel drive (GS 300 only) for the first time in a Lexus passenger car, with a powerful new 3.0-liter V6 engine, new dynamic and safety technology and a long list of comfort and luxury features in a right-sized package. A new 6-speed automatic transmission is used with both the new V6 and the proven 4.3 liter V8, which accelerates from 0-60 mph in only 5.7 seconds.
New Lexus Design Direction
The interior of the new GS has a precision, luxury feel with ultra-premium wood, polished metal and leather accents. Everything inside the GS is designed and styled to create a haven for peaceful comfort and harmonious interaction, with touch points that convey quality and controls that respond with confidence.
A secure and distraction-free setting allows the driver to get the most from the considerable performance of the car. A new gauge cluster was developed that features machined aluminum facings. In order to minimize reflections from their faces, a unique lighting system uses variable transparency glass to help optimize visibility in all lighting conditionsï¿½from bright sun to dark of night. The gauges also feature a quick-response tachometer that moves more directly in concert with changes in engine rpm.
A hidden but easily accessed dash panel on the left side of the steering wheel reveals buttons and switches that are not frequently needed when driving in order to simplify the driver's view. Multi-adjustable front seats feature standard heating and optional fan ventilation, while an electronic tilt/telescoping steering wheel helps ensure a comfortable fit. The standard Regency leather-trimmed seats are supportive and comfortably contoured for long trip support.
First All-Wheel Drive Lexus Passenger Car
An Adaptive Variable Suspension in the GS 430 automatically selects appropriate suspension damping for driving conditions while allowing the driver to select a sport mode for a tighter, more precise feel. The new GS 430 offers the performance enhancements and advanced vehicle control of the Lexus Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system. VDIM is an all-new system that integrates and manages a new Electronically Controlled Brake system (ECB), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS), Electronic Power Steering (EPS), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), ABS, Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and engine torque via the electronically controlled throttle.
Monitoring a variety of sensors, the system 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's essentially transparent to the driver. Data is gathered from more sources and processed earlier and faster than previous designs, helping to make VDIM less obtrusive yet highly effective.
Intelligent and Powerful Brakes
V6 Performance Redefined
Measures to reduce internal friction such as chain drive for the camshafts and roller rockers to operate the valves, contribute its superior fuel economy of 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. The new V6 also achieves an EPA-certified Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) emissions rating.
New 6-Speed Automatic
New Intelligent Luxury Sport Sedan
A rear back-up camera is also added for 2006, helping to provide an extra margin of confidence when reversing the vehicle. Available in conjunction with the optional navigation system, it automatically projects an image of what the camera lens can detect behind the vehicle onto the navigation screen when the vehicle is in the reverse gear. The GS will also be available with Intuitive Park Assist which uses ultrasonic sensors to detect the presence of objects close by and warn the driver of their proximity.
Although currently available in the Lexus LS 430 and LX 470, the GS takes the idea a step further by adding a steering input sensor to help the system better judge changes in distance to objects. "With the new GS we took all that was good in terms of technology and found ways to make it more intuitive, more intelligent and more relevant to the needs of its driver," said Clements.
Advanced Safety Features
In addition, the new GS gains new knee airbags for the driver and front passenger as well as front and rear side curtain airbags as standard equipment. The Supplemental Restraint System in the new GS also includes variable-force front airbags for both driver and front passenger. Sensors determine the severity of the accident and in turn the force with which to deploy the front airbags, helping to provide an appropriate level of occupant restraint.
"Nearly every feature on the GS makes this sports sedan more manageable and more engaging to drive," said Clements.
Mind-Expanding Audio Systems
Music aficionados will appreciate the newest generation of the optional Mark Levinson audio system in the new GS. Using a 7.1 channel speaker architecture, this leading-edge design uses 11 channels of amplification with a total of 330 watts playing through 14 speakers to bring a major new dimension to automotive audio systems.
The Mark Levinson audio also takes advantage of DVD audio and video technology, allowing users to play both conventional CDs and DVDs. DVD movies can be viewed on the color 7-inch touch screen when the vehicle is parked.
Luxury Alive in the Details
An upgraded navigation system offers more than 6 million points of interest (POI). The multi-information display makes key information readily available and easy to see.
Rich new exterior colors and interior wood and leather selections coupled with the Lexus' boldest design to date make choosing the right GS luxury sport sedan more intriguing than ever before.
The all-new 2006 Lexus GS luxury sport sedans go on sale in early March. Prices begin at $42,900 for the GS 300, $44,850 for the GS 300 AWD, and $51,125 for the GS 430.
Credit: Lexus USA