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Lexus GS 300 and GS 400 Wake Up Luxury Segment With New Levels of Performance, Value and Attitude

The Lexus GS sport sedan series has overturned the status quo in the mid-luxury segment by delivering greater performance and value than "established leaders," along with a strong dose of extroverted "attitude."

The GS series sedans fill the position between the entry-luxury Lexus ES 300 sedan and the prestige-luxury LS 400 flagship sedan. The series includes two models, the GS 300 with a 220-horsepower in-line six-cylinder engine and the wickedly fun GS 400 with a 300-horsepower 4.0-liter V8. Both models package their performance with renowned Lexus luxury, attention to detail and quality documented by the industry's most respected consumer survey research.

For 2000, the GS high-performance luxury sedans add the advanced Brake Assist feature to their arsenal of safety technology. Brake Assist interprets a quick, hard push of the brake pedal as emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped hard enough on the brake pedal to activate the anti-lock brake system (ABS), Brake Assist supplements the applied braking pressure.

Brake Assist joins the already-standard Vehicle Skid Control system (VSC), which helps maintain traction under demanding conditions by detecting and helping to correct for wheel spin. VSC uses a variety of sensor inputs to determine if the car is losing traction, then applies the brakes to individual wheels to help the driver maintain control. The VSC system integrates traction control, and both VSC and Brake Assist employ the sensors and actuators of the standard ABS.

Also new for 2000, the GS 300 gains Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) certification and an engine cover like that of the GS 400. New colors for both models include Crystal White and Millennium Silver Metallic.

With the GS sedans, Lexus designers combined the rear-wheel drive platform preferred for high performance models with interior space efficiency usually associated with front-wheel drive cars. The GS models provide greater passenger and trunk volume than some competitive cars, yet without casting a larger "footprint."

A super-sleek 0.29 coefficient of drag (Cd) proves the efficiency of the design and helps minimize wind noise.

Several design features contribute to the athletic stance of the GS sedans, including radically short front and rear decks, 16-inch wheels with low-profile tires and a dramatic headlight treatment inspired by the Lexus SC coupes. High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights are optional on both the GS 300 and GS 400.

High-Performance From The Wheels Up

The luxury GS forms a solid platform for high-performance with double wishbone front and rear suspension, large-diameter four-wheel disc brakes and wide 16 x 7.5 inch alloy wheels. The GS 300 rolls on 215/60R16 tires while the V8-powered GS 400 features larger, lower-profile 225/55R16 tires. Customers can choose the optional super-low profile 235/45ZR17 performance tires for the GS 400. In both GS models, the spare wheel and tire match the wheels and tires on the car.

The GS sedans offer two distinct performance levels and characters. They differ most, of course, under the hood. The GS 300 shares its high-output 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine with the SC 300 sports coupe. With 220 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and a substantial 220 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,800 rpm, the GS 300 sprints from 0-60 mph in just 7.8 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds.

The muscular double overhead-cam V8 in the GS 400 serves up 300 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and a tremendous 310 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. Capable of blasting from 0-60 mph in a scorching 6.0 seconds and through the quarter-mile in only 14.5 seconds, the GS 400 can run with – or even outrun – Europe's best.

The engines in both GS models perform as if they had another half-liter of displacement, thanks in large part to a system called Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). This innovative system optimizes valve overlap throughout the engine's speed range (not just at one or two set speeds) and in all operating conditions, eliminating the traditional compromise between low-end torque and high-rpm horsepower. Dual exhaust systems complete the performance package, and a large 19.8-gallon fuel tank gives both GS models long driving range.

The GS 300 and GS 400 share the same high-torque capacity five-speed automatic transmission, but the GS 400 adds manual upshift and downshift buttons on the steering wheel spokes. Inspired by Formula 1 race cars, this "E-Shift" feature allows greater driver involvement and provides quick-shifting performance.

Safety With The Fun

The GS sedans help protect their occupants with an array of safety technology, starting with front and rear energy-managing crumple-zone body construction and a strong passenger compartment. Inside both models there are three-point seatbelts for all five seating positions as well as dual front airbag and front seat-mounted side airbag Supplemental Restraint Systems. Mounting the side airbags in the seats keeps them properly placed no matter the position of the front seats.

The front seatbelts include pretensioners and height-adjustable anchors, along with force limiters that help reduce forces to the upper torso in a serious collision. All five seating positions include a height-adjustable headrest. Improved soft upper interior trim helps reduce head injuries in an accident. New child restraint seat (CRS) top tether brackets comply with the phase-in of the CRS Anchorage Point Regulation. Daytime running lights help make the GS sedans more visible to other drivers under diverse lighting and weather conditions.

Pure Luxury

While the GS sedans are priced thousands of dollars less than competitive performance luxury sedans, they offer the kind of luxury found in flagship models. The driver faces a performance-oriented three-pod instrument cluster, complete with the Lexus-signature Optitron lighting, which silhouettes the gauge pointers and markings. The panel lighting adjusts automatically according to ambient lighting conditions.

The automatic dual-zone climate control system features soft-touch controls, an activated charcoal micron filter and a smog sensor. When the sensor detects pollution, such as from a vehicle in front, it signals the system to switch to recirculation mode. Rear seat passengers benefit from air conditioning vents in the back of the center console.

A premium 215-watt audio system features five amplifiers and seven speakers, including a 10-inch subwoofer mounted in the rear package shelf (the trunk serves as an infinite baffle). The GS sedans come pre-wired for a Lexus six-disc CD changer. The optional Lexus/Nakamichi 280-watt audio system includes the six-disc CD changer, which is conveniently located in the glovebox.

The luxurious interior features a sporty leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel (perforated leather on GS 300), genuine California walnut wood trim and elegant stainless steel doorsill scuff plates with the Lexus logo.

The multi-function remote entry system allows the driver to open the front windows and the optional moonroof, especially helpful for ventilating the interior before entering the car on a hot day. The map light integrates a standard HomeLinkÒ programmable garage door opener, which can program 98 percent of garage door frequencies on the market.

When customers order the optional Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) navigation system, it comes with a touch-screen LCD display that also provides control functions for the standard audio system, climate control system and trip computer. The navigation system provides turn-by-turn guidance by voice and on-screen prompts. Unlike some GPS systems that require inserting a CD-ROM disc to operate, or purchasing additional CD-ROM discs, the Lexus system houses a map database for nearly 90 U.S. metropolitan areas and all major national highways on a 2.0-gigabyte hard disc.

Extensive Standard Equipment

Dual-zone automatic climate control with smog sensor

10-way power front seats

Memory system for driver's seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors (opt. for GS 300)

One-touch up/down power windows with pinch protection

Power tilt/telescope steering wheel with automatic tilt-away for easy exit

215-watt premium audio system

Auto-dimming rearview (GS 400 and 300) and side-view mirrors (GS 400 only)

Heated outside mirrors

HomeLinkÒ programmable garage door opener

Outside temperature gauge

Variable intermittent windshield wipers with mist feature

Remote keyless entry (controls front windows, trunk and opt. moonroof)

Engine immobilizer security system

Electric trunk and fuel filler door releases

Individual front and rear reading lamps

UV-absorbing tinted glass

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