Ever since its arrival in 1993, the Lexus GS has been a main competitor in the ever-popular luxury midsize class. Sportier than most, the GS was designed by world-famous ItalDesign and featured elements of both the LS and SC with an added aerodynamic edge. The model was directed at being Lexus' first rear-wheel drive sports sedan. The first generation, known as the Lexus GS 300, was outfitted with a 3.0L inline 6 capable of 226 horsepower and 210 pounds-per-foot of torque. It ran on a 4-speed automatic transmission and also featured traction control. Other notable details involved the interior parts, which showcased leather upholstery, wood trim dash accents, and a premium Nakamichi stereo system as an option. In its first year on the road, the Lexus GS 300 took home a great deal of recognition, including being named to JD Power and Associates' Top Ten List (1994).
The second generation of the Lexus GS premiered in 1997 for the 1998 model year. The Lexus GS was now known as the GS 400. Instead of the first series' inline 6 was a V8 engine with the ability to throw out 300 horsepower and 310 pounds-per-foot of torque. It also received a 5-speed automatic transmission. The GS 300 was offered with the original 3.0L inline 6 engine upgraded to 228 horsepower. It sold over 30,000 units during the first full year alone and was named Motor Trend magazine's Import Car of the Year (1998). In 2001, the GS saw some changes. The interior parts were updated with added wood trim accents and steering wheel shift buttons. HID headlights became optional for the inline 6 model but standard on the V8. A limited edition Lexus GS 300 SportDesign model was also offered through 2004. The SportDesign GS 300 was equipped with the same suspension as the GS 400 with alloy wheels, and Michelin Pilot tires.
2006 ushered in the arrival of the third generation Lexus GS. Showcasing more changes than the previous series of updates, the GS now featured a dynamic and contrasting body style more in-tuned with performance sedans. Engine options were similar to the second generation, with a 4.3L V8 as well as a 4.6L V8 being the main power configurations. Other wrinkles got added to the mix such as LED taillights, keyless entry, push-button start, and a 7" touch-screen display in the dash console. The Lexus GS 450h is the hybrid version of the vehicle. It runs on a 3.5L V6 engine married to an electric motor with continuously variable transmission. And like other hybrid Lexus models, it also uses the Lexus Hybrid Drive system, which combines both motors. The third generation of the GS has garnered its fair share of awards. JD Power and Associates recognized the model as the Best Midsize Car in initial quality in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. AAA also named the third generation GS 300 as the Best Car In Its Class (2005).
Drivers who seek out Lexus know what it is they're looking for. The breathtakingly stylish exterior parts, a fancy and comfortable interior, and of course, highly-capable performance. The latest and greatest example of this lies within the GS. Proudly backed by a 3.5 liter V6, the GS delivers more dynamite than any of its predecessors without skimping on the classy refinement that made this badge notable. Each version of the GS series is elegant and stunning. The GS just takes the legacy to another level with up-tempo performance that leaves the competition in the dust.
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