Lexus GS350 (2012)

The new Lexus GS can be had with a boat load of tech kit, including a 12.3-inch split-view nav and entertainment screen, infrared driver monitoring, blind spot monitoring and automatic pre-collision braking.


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CNET Editor

Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.


In brief

The third generation of the GS line has been on sale for six years, so it's time for a complete overhaul. Drawing its inspiration from the LF-Gh concept car, the next-generation GS has made its official debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in the US.

With a lot of design cues taken from the Prius-based CT200h hatchback, the GS sticks to the tried and true formula of a V6 petrol engine powering the rear wheels. The GS350's 3.5-litre engine sends the 233kW of power and 376Nm of torque on offer to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Following on from the GS350, there will be a rear-wheel drive hybrid version dubbed the GS450h. Given past form it's likely that a V8-engined model will also be part of the range.

The new car's interior is packed full of interesting tech kit. To save fuel, the climate control air-con is tied to the occupant detection system, so it will only heat or cool parts of the cabin that are currently being inhabited.

Lexus' Remote Touch entertainment and nav system features an upgraded interface and is reportedly a standard fit on all GS models. In base models it's connected to an 8-inch high-res display, while upscale versions will sport a massive 12.3-inch monitor that can display navigation info alongside the audio or climate screens.

All GSes boast DVD audio and video playback, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and 5.1-channel surround sound. Top-of-the-range variants benefit from a 835W 17-speaker Mark Levinson system that's capable of 7.1-channel surround audio.

On the safety front, the new GS can be had with up to 10 airbags, radar-guided cruise control, a head-up display, blind spot monitoring system, a pre-collision system that can brake to mitigate the severity of a crash and an infrared camera that monitors the driver's eye activity.

Outlook

The new GS should go on sale in Australia sometime in 2012, although no official timeline has been given.



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