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Thanks to Lexus GB for a great day out yesterday at Mar Hall, Bishopton, nr Glasgow.

The fantastic surroundings provided an excellent backdrop to a half days events including unaccompanied test drive of the new GS300, which lasted 25 miles and an unaccompanied test drive of the new GS430, which lasted about 12 miles.

Both cars were fantastic. The 430 was especially quick, and smooth, not to mention almost whisper quiet. I think the attention to detail is unsurpassed in this area of the market. The build quality is again, unbeatable compared to the German equivalent.

A professional demonstration of the new driving features of the GS was also given and their new anti-skid/spin system, a world first, is remarkable. The car actually independantly steers itself, to correct a possible spin! Its even more obvious when you get the demo in the 5 series to compare.

After all that, a good range of food was on offer as well as use of the spa area. You also got a wee bag of goodies when you leave.

I really do wonder why anyone who has this amount of money to spend on a car in this range, would buy anything other than the GS. Whilst the 5 series is a stunningly agressive looking car on the exterior, the interior is cheap, dark and plasticky. The Audi, is hugely overpriced, and lets face it, everyone has one. The Jaguar is nice, but its finish and build quality is poor in comparison.

If this is what the GS is like, we should all look forward to the new IS.

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Thanks to Lexus GB for a great day out yesterday at Mar Hall, Bishopton, nr Glasgow.

The fantastic surroundings provided an excellent backdrop to a half days events including unaccompanied test drive of the new GS300, which lasted 25 miles and an unaccompanied test drive of the new GS430, which lasted about 12 miles.

Both cars were fantastic. The 430 was especially quick, and smooth, not to mention almost whisper quiet. I think the attention to detail is unsurpassed in this area of the market. The build quality is again, unbeatable compared to the German equivalent.

A professional demonstration of the new driving features of the GS was also given and their new anti-skid/spin system, a world first, is remarkable. The car actually independantly steers itself, to correct a possible spin! Its even more obvious  when you get the demo in the 5 series to compare.

After all that, a good range of food was on offer as well as use of the spa area. You also got a wee bag of goodies when you leave.

I really do wonder why anyone who has this amount of money to spend on a car in this range, would buy anything other than the GS. Whilst the 5 series is a stunningly agressive looking car on the exterior, the interior is cheap, dark and plasticky. The Audi, is hugely overpriced, and lets face it, everyone has one. The Jaguar is nice, but its finish and build quality is poor in comparison.

If this is what the GS is like, we should all look forward to the new IS.

I went and saw the GS 300 at Jemca Edgware Roadon the launch day. The car is nice but I currently drive the GS 300 sport and as a 30 somehting year old, I do like something that looks sporty. In the past I have bought cars that I have had to add something to it to get it to look diffrent/sporty. I do not want a Lexus that looks like every other lexus and whilst BMW as the M sport division and Mercedes has AMG, Lexus is shooting itself in the foot not to offer a sport version. I really do not feel like getting rid of my sports to get a normal Lexus.

In the past Lexus has been criticised as having an old man look, but with the sports alhtough the engine etc.. has not being changed it has been hard for people to put that criticism at me.

In addition my freind who has an 02 Lexus SE always looked at my older MK II sport and felt somehting was missing from his.

If a sport edition had been available i owuld be discussing finances and not if or when I would get one. I would hate to get rid of my sports and drive the new one and see someone pass with a sport and I have to look at it.

I dearly wish a sport version to come out otherwise when I am chnaging my car it may not be a Lexus that i buy and i do not want to go there.

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Glad you enjoyed it.

I popped in for a wee while and saw your car there.

You should be selling; want a job?

Thanks to Lexus GB for a great day out yesterday at Mar Hall, Bishopton, nr Glasgow.

The fantastic surroundings provided an excellent backdrop to a half days events including unaccompanied test drive of the new GS300, which lasted 25 miles and an unaccompanied test drive of the new GS430, which lasted about 12 miles.

Both cars were fantastic. The 430 was especially quick, and smooth, not to mention almost whisper quiet. I think the attention to detail is unsurpassed in this area of the market. The build quality is again, unbeatable compared to the German equivalent.

A professional demonstration of the new driving features of the GS was also given and their new anti-skid/spin system, a world first, is remarkable. The car actually independantly steers itself, to correct a possible spin! Its even more obvious  when you get the demo in the 5 series to compare.

After all that, a good range of food was on offer as well as use of the spa area. You also got a wee bag of goodies when you leave.

I really do wonder why anyone who has this amount of money to spend on a car in this range, would buy anything other than the GS. Whilst the 5 series is a stunningly agressive looking car on the exterior, the interior is cheap, dark and plasticky. The Audi, is hugely overpriced, and lets face it, everyone has one. The Jaguar is nice, but its finish and build quality is poor in comparison.

If this is what the GS is like, we should all look forward to the new IS.

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I have always wondered what Sport actually means.

The new 430 had a subtle spoiler, 18 wheels, sports mode suspension. No it didnt have a whaletail spoiler or twin 6 inch exhausts protruding out the back, but if I wanted that, I'd buy a Subaru. No thanks.

Lexus doesnt have an equivalent M, RS or R series, but then again thats not the market its aiming for. Nor is it priced anywhere near those markets.

I asked the Pro Driver what he preferred - the GS430 or the 5 series. For everyday use, the GS, for a track day the 5. Its good to be different, thats why we all chose the IS.

I do agree though that the GS in basic form can be a little old-mannish.

For individuality look at the GS and test drive a 430 if you can. Then go back to a 5 series or A6 and tell me you werent impressed.

I used to drive the new 5 series at work and it was as dull as dishwater.

Besides what other manufacturer would take you on a day out to Mar Hall?

Ian - does this qualify me for a job?? :winky:

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I dearly wish a sport version to come out otherwise when I am chnaging my car it may not be a Lexus that i buy and i do not want to go there.

why not just add the bits that make it a sport?

its only a trim level effectively - wheels and kit (oh - and some sports decals).

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I used to drive the new 5 series at work and it was as dull as dishwater.

I had a 530d for a bit - and was remarkably underimpressed.

The MKII GS is a nicer car in my opinion.

The only thing the 530d had going for it was that it was rapid.

The handling was just off - I dont know if my expectations were too high, but you hear things like the 5 series being one of the best handling cars - and it wasn't.

The GS is not the greatest handling car in the world - but then, no-one evers says it is.

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I used to drive the new 5 series at work and it was as dull as dishwater.

I had a 530d for a bit - and was remarkably underimpressed.

The MKII GS is a nicer car in my opinion.

The only thing the 530d had going for it was that it was rapid.

The handling was just off - I dont know if my expectations were too high, but you hear things like the 5 series being one of the best handling cars - and it wasn't.

The GS is not the greatest handling car in the world - but then, no-one evers says it is.

:) I drove the BMW 3.0 diesel sport and A6 3.0 diesel back to back with the GS300se, IMO the GS was best by far, quiet and refined much more for your money, and as fast if not faster than the others, so I bought one, comes on thursday. My mate has covered 2900Miles in his 5 series diesel 3.0sport cost him with extras ( up to GS standard) £43700.00, and economy is 28MPG. whats that, it's crap, and he regrets buying it. :P

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Sorry but can' help not to add my bit.

in terms of marketing, Lexus/toyota are shooting themselves in the foot. Again, if they want o be head to head with the big 4 (BMW, Merc, Audi and VW) they have to have a sport division. In fact they do have one, except it is not available through the main dealers in the UK> I mean of course their twin turbo engines on the Supra/Vertex.

If they make these engines available, they would gain much more in terms of impact on customers, and of course prestige.

beats me why they don't so far! big mistake!

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Sorry but can' help not to add my bit.

in terms of marketing, Lexus/toyota are shooting themselves in the foot. Again, if they want o be head to head with the big 4 (BMW, Merc, Audi and VW) they have to have a sport division. In fact they do have one, except it is not available through the main dealers in the UK> I mean of course their twin turbo engines on the Supra/Vertex.

If they make these engines available, they would gain much more in terms of impact on customers, and of course prestige.

beats me why they don't so far! big mistake!

:D It may be worth mentioning this to Lexus UK, they do listen to customers and they survey them regularly for improvements.

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Ian - does this qualify me for a job?? :winky:

When can you start?

...and on the subject of the Sport model, can you tell me what the GS430 is missing that would make it a 'sport', other than a badge?

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Sorry but can' help not to add my bit.

in terms of marketing, Lexus/toyota are shooting themselves in the foot. Again, if they want o be head to head with the big 4 (BMW, Merc, Audi and VW) they have to have a sport division. In fact they do have one, except it is not available through the main dealers in the UK> I mean of course their twin turbo engines on the Supra/Vertex.

If they make these engines available, they would gain much more in terms of impact on customers, and of course prestige.

beats me why they don't so far! big mistake!

VW???? Where did that come from ???? What luxury prestige high performance Sports motor car have they ever given us?? I hate VW........

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I used to drive the new 5 series at work and it was as dull as dishwater.

I had a 530d for a bit - and was remarkably underimpressed.

The MKII GS is a nicer car in my opinion.

The only thing the 530d had going for it was that it was rapid.

The handling was just off - I dont know if my expectations were too high, but you hear things like the 5 series being one of the best handling cars - and it wasn't.

The GS is not the greatest handling car in the world - but then, no-one evers says it is.

:) I drove the BMW 3.0 diesel sport and A6 3.0 diesel back to back with the GS300se, IMO the GS was best by far, quiet and refined much more for your money, and as fast if not faster than the others, so I bought one, comes on thursday. My mate has covered 2900Miles in his 5 series diesel 3.0sport cost him with extras ( up to GS standard) £43700.00, and economy is 28MPG. whats that, it's crap, and he regrets buying it. :P

Sorry, IMO there is no such thing as a diesel and a sport - you cant have your cake and eat it!! I hate diesels. Fuel economy is for VW Bora drivers....... :tsktsk:

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Ian - does this qualify me for a job?? :winky:

When can you start?

...and on the subject of the Sport model, can you tell me what the GS430 is missing that would make it a 'sport', other than a badge?

It should have a badge and mesh front grill, a slightly different bumper, probably 19 or 20" rims, different exhausts, different spoilers.

I cant change my sports for one of those lexuses and i really do like them but i would not want ot buy a brand new car or even a 2nd hand version and start to mess about with it. Furthermore it might invalidate some of teh warranty to be changing things on the car.

They need a sport I woudl love to buy a sport and I would like the choice of the sport being avalibale in the 3 litre as well.

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It should have a badge and mesh front grill, a slightly different bumper, probably 19 or 20" rims, different exhausts, different spoilers.

all of the items you listed are available aftermarket.

and - by getting them yourself, you open yourself up to a significantly larger selection. Lexus sports kits tends to just be TTE.

I cant change my sports for one of those lexuses and i really do like them but i would not want ot buy a brand new car or even a 2nd hand version and start to mess about with it. Furthermore it might invalidate some of teh warranty to be changing things on the car.

its very doubtful that any of the sports trim options would invalidate a warranty.

The only advantage to the sports model I can think of, is that the trim level is standard from the manufacturer, and therefore do not need to be declared separately as modifications.

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It is interesting to compare the model/engine variants Lexus have when compared to the likes of BMW/Audi/Merc.

However it is important to have a grounding in the history of the brand, and where the corporate strategy was initially focussed.

Essentially it stole the market in the USA, by being the best cost leader, leading the way in added value engineering that BMw and MErc had grown complacent in. They rested on their laurels and traded a great deal on brand image. ANd so lexus stole a march on them.

However over the years, the prestige companies reevaluated their supply chains,as did the whole industry, and it became increasingly difficult to secure competitive advantage based on cost leadership--imitation levelling the playing field.

Fortunately for Lexus the SUV was another massively influential and dominating model that established their position.

Obviously there are more factors such as the establishment of Specific dealerships in the USA, CRM above and beyond, reliability etc that were involved, but it is also interesting to note that Europe was almost a sideline consideration in respect of the massive usa market.

The concentration on very few variants gave better reliability/costings etc, but it is well recognised that a big factor in the limited european success was the lack of a diesel engine--hugely popular in europe, but virtually unheard of in the states.

Another factor is, of course, fortress bavaria!

Bmw has diversified its product range from the 1 series to its own suv line-up, its own M division and large model variants, notwithstanding its Mini success, and is regaining its position over Lexus. However its reliability and dealership experience still has some way to go.

With the global downturn in the fortunes of the huge carmakers, the consolidation of modular platforms (eg vectra/saab) and extremely incestuous supplier markets, lexus will have to capitalise on the hybrid technology (beating GM by quite some margin), look at the massive potential in the Indian and Chinese markets, and look at taking on fortress bavaria by offering the europeans what they want (which is a completely distinctive market to the american one).

Suggestions would be a M/AMG/Type R variant for their product line up, and diesel/hybrid extensions to stave off the impending green/oil issues.

Unlike politicians, Lexus/toyota are in a postion to think and act long term in these areas, but they need to gain european credibility, which is only gained by having a far bigger presence.

It certainly makes you wonder if Lexus GB/ Japan actually visit the LOC :ph34r: :D

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Amen to that.

they really should get their act together and make their twin turbos available in Europe.

I mean BMW has launched a twin turbo DIESEL engine!!!!!

VW have the 'GTI' as a sport concept.

The 430 is not a sport vehicle per se. It is just another V8 engine, like many others.

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:) totaly agree, the euro market seems almost a secondary consideration, the US being the main course as it were. The asian market would be considerable and if the new Hybred technology was to prove as efficent as we all hope, then why bother with diesel. Most of the larger diesels (4*4 ect) are in fact not that frugal.

Sporting versions of say the new GS300/430 would prohaps not work for Lexus, the image would change afterall lexuses hall mark; quiet, smooth unfussed, ultra reliable would prohaps be lost in the sea of models. Just my two pence. :blush:

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:) totaly agree, the euro market seems almost a secondary consideration, the US being the main course as it were. The asian market would be considerable and if the new Hybred technology was to prove as efficent as we all hope, then why bother with diesel. Most of the larger diesels (4*4 ect) are in fact not that frugal.

Sporting versions of say the new GS300/430 would prohaps not work for Lexus, the image would change afterall lexuses hall mark; quiet, smooth unfussed, ultra reliable would prohaps be lost in the sea of models. Just my two pence. :blush:

indeed, but then there is scope for limited editions/ enthusiasts versions.

i think there is also further scope for more intimate involvement with "official" mods, instead of relying on the entrepreneurial aftermarket, excellent though it is.

one could argue that niche marketing is a successful strategy, as resale values are quite strong, but i think a broader appeal will fatten the wallet in the long run (look at how well audi are doing 85% of VWs profit, every vw sold is a loss maker!).

Also i bought the IS200 because it looks aggressive, and people have commented on how well it looks in the rear view, but unfortunately it doesn`t quite pack the punch you would expect from the styling----whereas an unassuming honda civic.... :driving: :D

Lexus are definately missing a trick, imho, and their marketing strategy needs to get less 55yr+(i can`t remember the ave age, but its higher than bm/merc) targeted and more focussed on the new era of relatively wealthy 30yr+--baby boomers are moving on, and we`re next! :D

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:D I'm afraid the 50+ brigade is ME, and I don't feel old before you lot start but mature I am and still partial to a sport model, be it with finish class and a bit of style. Audi and BMW (5 series) are looking a little bland, plain if you like and technology in them behind the times IMO. Merc have lost that quality something.

Lexus have got a chance now to increase the range (please change the shape of the LS430)and appeal to the euro markets, so come on Lexus show us some new inovations. :geek:

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