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Lexus GS dollar dazzlers

The price is right: With Lexus sales still well below 2007 levels, the company is pitching the all-new GS range with much lower prices.

Huge price reductions as Lexus prepares to launch new GS range in Australia

Lexus logo28 Feb 2012

STEPPING into a Lexus GS sedan is about to cost $20,000 less, with Lexus Australia today announcing a $77,900 (plus on-road costs) starting price for the new entry-level V6-powered GS250 to be launched nationally in the first week of April.

Lexus has also reduced the prices of its existing GS models, including a $5000 drop in the case of the GS350 Luxury ($89,900) compared with the model it replaces, the smaller-engined GS300 Luxury.

But the biggest saving is reserved for the slow-selling hybrid-powered GS450h, the price of which now starts from $99,900 for the cheapest of three versions of the new model – some $26,900 less than the price of the previous single-model offering.

It now costs only $10,000 more than a GS350, whereas the gap was previously close to $30,000 (to the GS300).

The new opening price point lines the GS250 directly against its main rivals from Germany, the Audi A6 2.0 TFSI and the BMW 520i – both of which are similarly petrol-powered and priced at $77,900 plus on-road costs.

However, while the Audi and BMW are powered by turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines – producing 132kW/320Nm and 135kW/270Nm respectively – the GS250 arrives with a naturally aspirated V6 that develops more power (154kW) but less torque (253Nm).

31 center imageIt also makes do with a six-speed automatic transmission while the BMW has an eight-speeder and the Audi a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with seven simulated stepped ratios.

The new entry-level model and sharper pricing could reverse a worrying trend for the GS, sales of which have gradually declined from 737 in 2005 to just 114 units last year.

All three GS models are now available in three specification grades – Luxury, F Sport and Sport Luxury.

The GS250 will arrive with standard equipment including a blind-spot monitor, tyre-pressure monitor, parking distance sensors, a reversing camera, adaptive bi-Xenon headlights, metallic ‘self-healing’ paint, automatic wipers, digital radio, satellite-navigation, smart-card entry and Bluetooth audio streaming.

It runs on 17-inch alloy wheels and features interior appointments such as cruise control, leather accents, fog-lights, LED daytime-running lamps, dual-zone climate-control, ventilated and heated front seats, 10-way electric front seat adjustment with driver memory positions, and self-dimming and heated exterior mirrors.

Apart from being powered by a bigger 3.5-litre V6 developing 79kW more power (233kW), the GS350 comes with the same equipment as the $12,000 cheaper GS250.

Lexus Australia admits that the all-new GS450h – which will not be available until June – “addresses the outgoing model’s price and packaging shortfalls”.

F Sport variants of all three models will ride on unique 19-inch alloy wheels and get adaptive suspension with sports tuning, sports pedals, an additional Sport+ drive mode, specific interior trim, 16-way bucket seats, a body kit and slightly different grille treatment.

However, GS350 and GS450h buyers ticking the F Sport box will additionally get a rear-steering function (called Dynamic Rear Steering with Lexus Dynamic Handling System), a pre-collision safety system with active cruise control, variable-ratio steering, larger front two-piece rotor brake package and head-up display.

Top Sport Luxury specification brings the addition (over Luxury) of a 12.3-inch navigation system, a driver alert monitor, the pre-collision system, 20-way adjustable seats, head-up display, a 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, three-zone climate control with rear controls, automatic high-beam control, side and electric rear window sunshades, and upgraded leather and woodgrain interior treatment.

Lexus Australia CEO Tony Cramb said the all-new GS would redefine how Lexus is perceived, now and in the future.

“The all-new Lexus GS goes right to the heart of our brand values, delivering a vehicle that improves on the past and sets the benchmark for the future,” he said.

“With its bold new look, newfound athleticism, innovative features, expanded range and exceptional pricing, the all-new GS range is sure to impress.”

As well as lining up directly against the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series, the Lexus GS also competes with the Mercedes-Benz E-class and Jaguar’s XF range.

Lexus GS pricing(plus on-road costs):
GS250
Luxury$77,900
F Sport$85,900
Sport Luxury $99,900
GS350
Luxury$89,900
F Sport$99,900
Sport Luxury$109,900
GS 450h
Luxury$99,900
F Sport$111,900
Sport Luxury$121,900

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