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Lexus limited editions on offer

Local hero: The GS300 "L-Tuned" should be the first Australian modified Lexus to go on sale.

Luxury brand Lexus prepares a limited edition attack with its IS200 and GS300 sedans

28 Oct 2002

IT'S limited edition time at Lexus Australia, which has announced the IS200 Caliente sports sedan will go on sale in November while a hotted up GS300 "L-tuned" is looking good for early 2003.

Both cars are currently being previewed at the Sydney motor show.

The GS300 is the more significant vehicle because it pioneers the local installation of performance accessories by Lexus Australia.

The L-tuned GS 300 uses stiffer suspension, wider 18-inch OZ wheels, recalibrated steering ECU and a free-flow exhaust system fitted to the 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine. Looks are boosted by a sports mesh grille, clear side indicators and - of course - L-Tuned limited edition badging on the front guards.

All the componentry has been developed by Lexus engineers in the US.

"The success of the GS L-Tuned will be evaluated with a view to the possibility of producing other Australian-developed modified editions of Lexus models," said Lexus Australia senior manager John Roca.

Despite that cautionary comment, it does look almost certain the L-Tuned will be with us in the first quarter of 2003, with an initial run of 25-30 units offered. There is no word on pricing but expect a premium over the standard car's $104,650 asking price.

Just 75 examples of the Caliente (which stands for "hot" in Spanish) will be sold, all painted in the same shade of red. Pricing is $60,990 for the 2.0-litre six-cylinder six-speed manual and $61,990 for the four-speed auto.

New exterior equipment includes a bodykit, 11-spoke alloy wheels with 45 aspect ratio sports tyres, a moonroof, privacy glass and limited edition badging.

Inside there's leather trim, heated and power-adjustable front seats, metal sports pedals, metallic scuff plates and a number identification plaque.

Models with six-speed manual transmission will also get a shorter 4.100:1 limited-slip differential and sports stabiliser bars front and rear.

Mr Roca also confirmed at the Sydney show that the new generation RX330 (although he coyly referred to it as RX only) luxury soft-roader would be on sale in Australia in 2003 - expect it in April.

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