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Lexus GS300 refined

Pick the changes: A new grille design and clear-finish lenses help pick the latest GS300 from its predecessors.

Mid-size Lexus now has shift buttons on the steering wheel and safety improvements

4 Dec 2000

LEXUS has added a racey touch to its GS300 sports sedan for 2001 - transmission shift buttons on the steering wheel.

"E-shift", as it is tagged, is one of a number of changes to the car, which also include safety improvements and cosmetic adjustments.

Pricing climbs to reflect the increase in equipment, from $92,058 to $95,726.

The E-shift allows the driver to change down in the five-speed adaptive electronic automatic transmission via buttons on the front of the steering wheel spokes, while buttons for changing up are on the rear surface of the steering wheel spokes.

This is the first time a Lexus has employed this technology in Australia, although the latest Toyota Celica has offered similar technology for about 12 months.

Passive safety has been boosted by the fitment of front side curtain-shield airbags, while the braking performance has been improved by a 21 per cent increase in the bore size of the brake master cylinder.

The GS300 has a minor external restyle with clear-finish lenses, a new radiator grille and new tail-lamps.

Cosmetic changes inside include a wood-rimmed steering wheel, more interior use of woodgrain trim, silver metallic rings surrounds for the instruments, grey metallic surrounds on the instrument cluster surround and upper centre console surround, and chrome-plating features on the gearshift surround.

There are three new exterior and interior colours.

The fundamentals remain unchanged, however, with power provided by a 166kW, 3.0-litre, inline six-cylinder which drives the rear wheels. Also standard is a high level of interior luxury including climate control air-conditioning, cruise control, six-stack CD player and leather trim.

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