According to CAR’s Editor, Steve Smith, “there’s a revolution happening at Lexus. It started with the GS, gained momentum with the IS and continues with the gorgeous RC F Coupe. We’re excited to see the next step in the Lexus reinvention.”
Justin Ryan, General Manager of Lexus South Africa, is justifiably proud of this accolade: “To be acknowledged in this way is a great reward for Lexus. It reaffirms the qualities that have always been at the heart of our brand – luxury, refinement and technical innovation – but, more importantly, it shows just how successfully we’re evolving Lexus dynamically with each new model we introduce.”
While there’s an obvious buzz around forthcoming models like the RC and RC F Coupe (due in SA towards the end of the year), Lexus has not been resting on its laurels. Two stalwarts of the Lexus range – the uber-talented GS and sporty-yet-practical RX have both come in for a spot 2014 rejuvenation.
GS 450h SE / 350
Representing a complete rethink of an executive sedan with far greater emphasis on driving dynamics, while retaining Lexus standards of interior opulence and overall build quality, the new GS has found favour with critics the world over. With a wider track, more direct steering, aurally engineered exhaust system, an automatic gearbox with paddle shifters and virtual immediate lock-up technology, vented disc brakes and generous use of aluminium the new GS is a dynamic revelation.
In true Lexus style the GS offers an unmatched list of luxury features as standard. The GS 350 offers features such as an intelligent climate control system, Lexus Premium Sound, electrically adjustable front seats and steering wheel and full high-grade leather trim. But the big news for 2014 is the adoption of the LFA-inspired 8-speed, Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) auto box from the Lexus IS F.
In addition, due to customer demand, the GS 350 will, for the first time in South Africa, be made available with the F-SPORT body kit package.
The list of extras has also just grown a bit bigger on the GS 450h models, thanks to the inclusion of full-colour heads-up display as standard. Equipped with a similar V6 petrol engine to the one on the GS 350, the 450h offers 345 Nm of torque; it is tuned for a maximum delivery of 213 kW. This is further complimented by a powerful electric motor and high voltage battery to boost total system output to 252kW. The electric motor also adds a further 275 Nm for impressive response. The drivetrain is coupled with an E-CVT continuously variable gearbox.
RX 350 EX
In 2012, the popular RX range received the new Lexus corporate identity and signature spindle grille. For 2014, the RX has been refreshed even further with a new Appearance Pack that is now standard on the RX 350 EX model. This pack comprises a re-designed bumper with larger air intakes to boost the muscularity of the front view.
Other changes include new 19-inch alloys (as opposed to the 18-inch units on the outgoing model), as well as LED-type front fog lamps. For the RX 450h SE, the latest upgrade includes the LED interior lighting package as well as the adoption of the Integrated Sport Driving system which enables the driver to tune the Drive Mode Select to Eco, Normal or Sport settings.