The GS430, introduced in October 2000, has consistently been among the very fastest cars in its class, its impressive 279bhp 4.3-litre V8 32-valve double overhead camshaft engine powering it from rest to 62mph in 6.3 seconds and capable of a 155mph top speed (where permitted). Driveability is excellent, too, with 417Nm of torque generated at 3,500rpm.

The GS300 is fettled with an all-aluminium 216bhp six-cylinder engine that moves the car from nought to 62mph in 8.2 seconds. Top speed, where permitted, is 143mph and maximum torque of 294Nm is delivered at 3,800rpm.

Power delivery is supremely smooth in both engines and is accompanied by competitive fuel economy and emissions levels. Key elements in achieving this strong balance are Variable Valve Timing-intelligent technology and advanced engine management systems for fast and efficient fuel injection and ignition timing.

Both GS430 and GS300 are equipped with Lexus’s five-speed Super-ECT (Electronically Controlled Transmission), an automatic gearbox that adapts its shift pattern to suit driving style and road conditions. On the GS300 an E-Shift system is provided as standard, allowing the driver to activate gearshifts without taking his or her hands off the steering wheel.

The new GS Sport models share the same high specification as their SE counterparts. On both the GS300 and GS430 this includes multi-zone climate control, eight-speaker Mark Levinson sound system with in dash six-CD autochanger, leather seat trim and wood cabin detailing, electrically adjustable heated front seats with memory function on the driver’s seat, cruise control, heated electric door mirrors, and electric boot and fuel filler door release.

The GS430 Sport is also equipped with High Intensity Discharge headlamps and three-spoke leather-trimmed steering wheel with remote audio controls. The DVD-based Lexus Navigator satellite navigation system, with integrated 7-inch touch-screen LCD multi-information display, is an option on all GS models.

Active and passive safety are addressed with ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control. In the cabin there are driver, passenger and front side airbags, curtain shield airbags and front seat belts with pre-tensioners and force limiters. The roof of the cabin has been engineered to provide protection against head injuries in the event of a collision.

The GS430 Sport is available from 1 July, priced at £39,995 on the road. The GS300 will follow from 10 July, priced at £34,995 on the road.

All Lexus models come with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty and three-year paint warranty. The GS300 Sport and GS430 Sport require a full service only every 20,000 miles with an interim ‘health check’ which takes less than an hour every 10,000 miles or once a year.

Owners of the new Sport models will also be able to enjoy Lexus’s unrivalled levels of customer service, acknowledged by an unprecedented three successive Gold Awards in the annual J.D. Power and Associates UK Car Customer Satisfaction Study.

Published : 04/07/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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