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Refreshed: Apart from the flagship model, GS upgrade is mainly cosmetic.

New 4.6-litre V8 and eight-speed auto headline midlife upgrade for GS range

31 Oct 2007

LEXUS Australia has revealed a facelifted GS sedan range that will go on sale in January, spearheaded a month later by the repowered GS460 V8 flagship.

Otherwise primarily a cosmetic update to the Toyota luxury brand’s large sedan line-up launched here in March 2005, the refreshed GS range will also comprise a subtle update for Australia’s first petrol-electric luxury car, the GS450h launched here in May 2006.

The upgraded GS range-topper adopts its 4.6-litre V8 engine and world-first eight-speed automatic transmission from the redesigned LS460 sedan flagship, which was released here in May this year, leaving the SC430 coupe as the only model to continue with the 4.3-litre V8.

A revised GS300, which is currently priced at $95,174 for the Sports version and $112,524 in Luxury guise, will continue to open the four-variant range here.

31 center imageThere is no sign of Japan’s all-wheel drive GS350 AWD, which is powered by a newer 3.5-litre version of the GS300’s 3.0-litre V6 and remains a left-hand drive vehicle produced mainly for cold-climate markets.

All MY2008 GS variants will feature new front and rear bumpers, including different lower air-intake and chrome grille surround, plus redesigned wing mirrors with integrated indicators, new door-handles, underbody work to reduce wind noise and, for the GS300 and GS460, new alloy wheels.

Inside, there is a new instrument panel comprising variable-transparency glass to reduce reflections, a brushed-aluminium gearshift gate surround, woodgrain door switch plates, relocated fuel and boot release switches, and revised climate-control buttons.

Due on sale in February, the GS460 will supersede the current GS430 flagship that, despite being Australia’s first V8-powered GS, has failed to emulate the success of the GS450h hybrid – thanks mainly to a $15,500-higher pricetag (currently the GS430 Luxury costs $137,424, while the GS450h is priced at $121,964).

The hybrid GS also offers 22 per cent more peak power than the GS430, but that will change with the GS460’s larger-capacity dual VVT-i-equipped (but still 90-degree, 32-valve DOHC) V8, which delivers 255kW at 6400rpm and a coincidental 460Nm of torque at 4100rpm.

While that falls well short of the 280kW/493Nm LS460’s outputs, it is precisely 1kW more than the combined output of the GS450h’s petrol V6 and electric motor.

More importantly, with 47kW and 43Nm more than the GS430 it replaces (208kW/416Nm), the GS460 is claimed to reach 100km/h seven-tenths faster in around 5.4 seconds – thanks partly to its AA80E eight-speed auto, which also improves ADR81/01 combined-cycle fuel consumption to 11.0L/100km.

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