The next-generation Lexus GS300 and GS430 hew closely in looks to the concept GS shown last spring at the New York auto show. The GS is once again offered in six-cylinder (a new 3.0-liter with variable intake- and exhaust-valve timing) and V-8 (4.3-liter) configurations. Both engines use a six-speed manu-matic transmission. The six-cylinder's 242 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque result in a 0-62 mph time of 7.2 seconds and a 150-mph top speed; the V-8's 296 hp and 309 lb-ft shave 1.1 seconds off the 0-to-62 mph time and boost top speed by 10 mph. Rear-wheel drive is, of course, retained, and the chassis features the panoply of electronic helpers, including traction control, stability control, and panic brake assist. Suspension is multi-link front and rear. Seventeen-inch wheels come stadard on the GS300, though owners can opt for the eighteens that come with the GS430. On the safety front, the GS gives up nothing to its rivals, with twelve (!) air bags, swivel headlamps, and a "pre-crash" system that uses radar in conjunction with other in-car sensors to determine if a crash is imminent, whereupon it pretensions the seatbelts and activates the brake assist.
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