Performance, ride and handling

The GS350’s V6 engine is a direct injection unit that delivers a healthy 316bhp at 6400rpm, making it more powerful than rivals like the Mercedes E350, BMW 535i and the Audi A6 3.0 TFSI. The Lexus bent-six though, isn’t as torque laden as the forced aspirated lumps in the BMW and Audi. Moreover, the GS350’s 378Nm peak is produced at a relatively high 4800rpm, making it feel not as effortless as its super and turbocharged European competitors at low to medium speeds.

On the road, the 3.5-litre V6 can certainly feel lazy at lower speeds. Only at above 4000rpm when it’ll start to ‘wake up’ to deliver the goods. At higher revs, the V6’s urge certainly feels punchy and strong. On the whole, straight-line performance is remarkably good – Lexus quotes a 6 seconds flat 0-100km/h time for the GS350, which means it sits between the 306bhp 535i and the impressive A6 3.0 TFSI quattro when it comes to off the line performance. The GS350’s 235km/h top whack though, is down on its competitors’ electronically limited 250km/h terminal velocity.

While the previous generation GS300’s V6 performed its duties with uncanny refinement and quietness, the new GS350’s bent six is tuned to sound sportier, hence making the drive feel more engaging and involving overall. Taking a leaf out of the IS F, the V6 employs a resonator within its air intake to produce a soulful and sporty V6 roar whenever it is revved beyond 4000rpm or when the driver fully opens the throttle. Traditional Lexus fans might find it a tad too vocal for their own liking but we rather like the noise as it sounds pretty glorious and intoxicating. The V6’s excellent soundtrack also makes it closer in charisma to the second generation GS’s 3-litre straight-six.

Like the old model, the V6 sends its power to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. The improved gearbox incorporates many features adopted from the IS F’s eight-speed box — including faster shifts, earlier torque converter lockup and downshift throttle blips — to support four driving modes that can be operated by toggling the new Lexus Drive Selector that was first seen on the CT.

The GS’s new platform is more rigid when compared to the outgoing model’s. The front double wishbone suspension features upper and lower control arms that are made from aluminium and larger bushings are used while the rear subframe has been completely redesigned to accommodate an all-new multi-link set-up. The result is unsurpassed improvements in dynamics when compared to the previous model.

The GS’s handling certainly feels much more dynamic and sportier than its predecessor – the sharp and responsive steering inspires confidence like no Lexus before this, the IS F included while body control is exceptionally tight even with the Drive Selector set to ‘Normal’ mode. Set the Drive Selector to ‘Sport +’ and the GS350 transforms into a genuine sports saloon – the adaptive dampers firm up further, the throttle sharpens, the gearbox shifts more aggressively and the VDIM systems are recalibrated for maximum dynamism. The GS’s new found dynamism certainly makes it a much more rewarding drive when compared to its predecessor.

Despite the sportier handling, the new GS hasn’t lost the impressive ride quality of its predecessor. In fact, the new model’s ride feels even more controlled and well judged than in the old model.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 3456cc
Engine Type V 6
Compression Ratio 11.8:1
Bore x Stroke (94.0 x 83.0)mm
Power 316bhp @ 6400rpm
Torque 378Nm @ 4800rpm
Power to Weight 191.5 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 6s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 235 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 10.3 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FR

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4850 x 1590 x 1455) mm
Wheelbase 2850 mm
Kerb Weight 1650 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 66 L

Brakes