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LIONHEARTED

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Thu, Mar 27, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

© All photos by Harvey Schwartz

LIONHEARTED By Harvey Schwartz

The new 2008 Lexus GS luxury sport sedan is the perfect-sized Lexus - not as large as the LS, yet very comfortable for four adults. The big news for 2008 is that the GS gets the LS460's more powerful 4.6 liter V8. The 4.6 liter V8 in the new GS is detuned to 342 horsepower, while the LS gets 381 horsepower from the 4.6 liter V8. The LS has a curb weight of 4,244 pounds verses the GS460's 3,945 pounds, enabling both to get to 60 mph from a standstill in just 5.4 seconds. That's very fast for any mid-size luxury sedan. Also, the GS460 V8 is mated to the LS460's exclusive 8-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission, making the new GS460 the only mid-size luxury sport sedan on the market to feature an eight-speed automatic. The 4.6 liter V8 comes with VVT plus intelligence, giving it a very wide torque band with plenty of low-end power to quickly move you when you want it and need it. The AA80E 8-speed sequential shifter transmission is so smooth, so quiet, and like the new V8 engine, so very responsive.

The solid unitized steel body/frame structure is anchored with the same front double wishbone suspension with high-mount upper arms, coil springs, gas-filled shocks and stabilizer bar. The independent rear features a multi-link setup with high-mount upper arms, coil springs, gas-filled shocks and stabilizer bar. This unique and responsive suspension also comes with an Adaptive Variable Suspension system where you can select the type of setting-Sport or Comfort-depending on how fast you want the car to react to your inputs and the road surface. You can also select how you want the engine to response to your foot pushing against the throttle. Select Power for higher gear ratios, Normal when you want the regular gear changes, and Snow when driving during the colder winter months. These two systems enable you to refine how the GS460 will react to you driving, taking it easy and enjoying the drive, or quickening your heartbeat as you challenge steep curving roads at higher than normal speeds. You precisely guide the GS460 with Lexus' new electric power steering system which features speed-sensing rack & pinion with electric power assist that is integrated with the VDIM, (Lexus's Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management System), which controls the ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Brake Assist, Stability Control and Traction Control systems. Sensors at all four wheels help you stay on your chose path, all working in concert. This electric power rack & pinion system gave me more than adequate feel for the road and good on-center feel. With both buttons pushed the reaction felt similar to that of a racecar. As soon as I moved the wheel, the front end moved where I wanted it to go. Braking is excellent with Lexus's electronically controlled brakes which is a brake-by-wire system that features large 13.1-inch vented discs, clamped with four-piston calipers, up front, and 12.2-inch solid discs, clamped with dual-piston calipers, in the rear. These brakes gave me the confidence to take the new GS460 to the edge of it's adhesion on the pavement.

The new GS460 rides on high-performing 245/40ZR18in summer tires that are wrapped with five-spoke, 18x8 aluminum alloy wheels that give it a more aggressive look. The GS460 style is long, sleek and sexy with a modern design featuring classic Lexus elements including a long hood and pulled-back cabin with sling-shot rear side windows and a revised front bumper and lower intake area and front grille with chrome-plated surround. The lower hood, lower overall height and wider rear tread help create a more aggressive appearance. The front lower valance with integrated fog lamps further enhances the more aggressive look. The four independent headlamp design, with High-Intensity Discharge headlamps, conveys the GS heritage. In the rear are large, wraparound, LED combination lamps, and large, polished stainless steel, dual exhaust tips, that let drivers behind you know that it might be difficult to pass. Also new outside are color-keyed exterior mirrors with turn signal lights, ultraviolet and infrared ray-reducing tinted glass for all windows. Lightweight asphalt sheets reduce interior noise and a flat underbody improves aerodynamics and further reduces outside noise. The new 2008 GS460 cuts through the air with a low 0.27 coefficient of drag. Inside is where Lexus really shines on the competition with superb comfort, ergonomics, luxury, convenience and safety. The front leather seats are 10-way powered and feature heating and cooling elements. The wood and leather trimmed steering wheel and shift knob felt great in my hands. New this year is wood trim on the door switch plates that add to the elegance. Aluminum ally 'Lexus' stamped scuff plates are featured at all door sills. There are grab handles above each door, thick-cut pile carpeting with floor mats, fabric sun visors and headliner and a fully carpeted trunk with integrated hooks for the cargo net.

Instrumentation and controls are top-notch with a three-pod analog instrument cluster with Electro Chromatic Device variable transparency glass feature for high visibility in varied light conditions with revised instrument panel font and appearance, a combination meter and revised shift-plate surround with brushed aluminum trim that is new this year. The steering wheel has audio and multi-information display buttons, the 7in. multi-informational touch screen is easy to use and features the Lexus Navigation system, combined LCD climate control function and temperature display, electronic digital odometer/twin trip meters, electronic digital clock and to the left of the steering wheel is a drop-down panel that contains switches for outside mirrors, meter brightness, odometer/trip meter reset, headlamp washer, rear sunshade, park assist, AFS off, interior lamps and this year the fuel lid opener and trunk release are located on the lower dashboard to the left. To the right of the steering wheel is the aluminum start and stop push button that is so easy to use. Convenience features include Bluetooth wireless telephone technology, soft-touch automatic climate control with dual-zone temperature control, auto-recirculation feature with smog sensor and micro dust/pollen removal filter, power tilt/telescope steering wheel with automatic tilt-way, three-position Lexus Memory System for driver and front passenger seats. Also standard is one-touch up/down function for all four windows, trunk pass-through, power door locks, cruise-control, EC rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink, retained accessory power feature, rear A/C vents on the back of the center console, integrated, retractable coat hooks, individual front/rear reading LED reading lamps, and a pull-down rear center console with dual cup holders. The standard Lexus AM-FM/CD audio system has 134 watts of power with ten speakers, MP3/iPod/WMA audio input plug. Standard safety features include driver/front passenger airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, seat-mounted front airbags, driver/front passenger knee airbags, force-limiting, three-point seat belts with pretensioners for driver, front passenger and both outboard rear seats, padded instrument panel, highly rigid cabin, impact-dissipating upper interior trim, front/rear energy-managing crumple zones, tire pressure monitor system, daytime running lights, and adaptive front lighting system.

Security systems include an engine immobilizer and remote window-down feature, vehicle theft deterrent system and headlight off delay feature. Factory options include the fantastic Mark Levinson Premium Sound System with 330 watts of power, 14-speakers, and DVD audio/video capability, Navigation system and rear backup camera, intuitive parking assist, pre-collision system with dynamic radar cruise-control, active stabilizer bar rain-sensing wipers/washers, cooled front seats, rear sunshade, and a rear lip spoiler. The new, updated 2008 Lexus GS460 luxury sport sedan has it all-the elegant, aggressive looks with the power and performance to back it up; and an interior that is comfortable, with easy to use switches and controls; and all the luxury and safety that you can find in mid-size luxury sport sedans that cost much more to purchase. © Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz For more information about Lexus products, go to lexus.com. More photos from Harvey Schwartz can be found at www.autofotos.com

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2008 Lexus GS460 Price of vehicle: $56,200.00 Engine type: 4.6 liter DOHC 32-valve VVT-i all-aluminum V8 Horsepower: 342 at 6,200rpm Torque: 339lb.ft. at 3,600rpm EPA mileage: 17mpg/city, 24mpg/highway Drive configuration: Front engine/rear-wheel-drive Transmission type: 8-speed sequential-shift automatic Front suspension: Double-wishbones with high-mount upper arms, coil springs, gas-filled shocks, stabilizer bar Rear suspension: Multi-link with high-mount upper arms, coil springs, gas-filled shocks, stabilizer bar Wheels/tires: 18X8in. aluminum alloy wheels, 245/40ZR18in. Summer tires Brakes: Front-13.1 vented discs Rear- 12.2 vented discs ABS, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, brake-by-wire system Overall length: 190 in. Overall width: 71.7 in. Overall height: 56.1 in. Curb weight: 3,945 lbs. 0-60 mph: 5.4sec.

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