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Lexus GS300 History

GRS190 Lexus GS
GRS190 Lexus GS

Old Lexus GS, from the mid-1990s
Old Lexus GS, from the mid-1990s

Second-generation Lexus GS(JZS160)
Second-generation Lexus GS(JZS160)

GRS190 GS430
GRS190 GS430

Lexus GS

The Lexus GS is a rear-wheel drive, luxury sports sedan manufactured by the Toyota Motor Corp. under the Lexus brand and sold as the Toyota Aristo in Japan. Based on the platform and running gear of the Toyota Crown, it was introduced in 1991 in Japan and two years later in the United States, Europe and selected markets in Asia. The model was designed to fill the gap between the ES and LS and to provide Lexus with a sports sedan that could compete with the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Though essentially identical, GS and the Aristo differ in their engine and transmission combinations as well as equipment packages.

First generation (1991-1997)

With a body styled by the famous Ital Design firm, the Aristo was launched in October 1991, offering two versions: the R6 3.0 with a 24-valve, 276 hp (205 kW) twin-turbo 2JZ-GTE engine, and the 3.0Q with a 226 hp (169 kW) 2JZ-GE engine. A third model, the 4.0Zi-Four joined the Aristo lineup in 1992 and given the chassis code UZS143. This model came with the 1UZ-FE engine also found in the Toyota Celsior/Lexus LS and the Toyota Crown Majesta and standard four wheel drive. Production of the Lexus GS 300 (JZS147) began on February 22, 1993 at the Tahara, Japan assembly plant. The only engine available for the export markets was the 2JZ-GE.

Second generation (1998-2005)

The second generation Aristo was launched in Japan, codenamed JZS160 for cars with the 2JZ-GE engines and JZS161 for those with the 2JZ-GTE twin-turbo engines. VVT-i was now standard, resulting in a bump in torque. The twin-turbo version was available with electronic four-wheel steering, VDC and an automatic gearbox with a manual sequential mode. No 4WD models were offered.

The GS began production in the JZS160 body style on August 4, 1997 and was launched in 1998. The American market GS 400 was equipped with a UZ-series V8 that produced 300 hp and 310 ft·lbf of torque. reported a 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds for the 3693-pound sedan. Again, no turbo models were offered outside Japan.

In 2001, the engine received a 0.3 liter bump in displacement and the model was renamed GS 430. Peak horsepower was unchanged, but torque increased to 325 ft·lbf.

The GS was Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year for 1998. It also made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1998 through 2000.

Third generation (2005-present)

The third generation GS was first sold in 2005 as a 2006 model, with the chassis codename GRS190. The model lineup included the GS 300, with a 3.0 L V6 3GR-FSE engine, and the GS 430 with the same 4.3 L V8 used in the previous model. The GS 300 has a direct-injection engine for all markets except for Continental Asia. The 3.0 L engine is also found in the Toyota Mark X as well as the Zero Toyota Crown. A 4WD option was made available in the GS300 only.

A 3.5L GS 350 is expected to replace the GS 300 and a 4.6L GS 460 to replace the 4.3L GS 430 by 2008. In Japan, Lexus is already selling the GS 350. Production of the 3rd generation began on January 24, 2005.

The equivalent Aristo was not released as Toyota sought to align all world markets, including Japan, using Lexus as their premium brand worldwide.


Unveiled at the 2005 New York International Auto Show, the hybrid GS450h joined the GS line for the 2007 model year. It is the first mass-production rear-wheel drive luxury hybrid car. Its powertrain includes a naturally-aspirated 3.5 L 2GR-FSE V6 engine mated to an electric motor and a continuously variable transmission. The GS 450h has a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle emissions rating and an MSRP (including delivery) of $55,595. In some markets, however, the car can only be purchased with at least one option package, which raises the price by another couple of thousand dollars.

The GS 450h weighs 4134 lb (1875 kg), but the combined hybrid powertrain produces 339 hp (253 kW), allowing the GS to accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.2 seconds , compared to the GS430's 5.7 seconds . EPA-rated highway fuel economy is 28 mpg (8.4 l/100 km), while the city fuel economy is rated at 25 mpg, which is slightly unusual for hybrid vehicles of this type (as they normally have higher city fuel economy ratings).

75 "Neiman Marcus Edition" GS450h sedans were offered as the annual holiday catalog car at a price of $65,000. All were sold in less than three hours on October 19, 2005 and were delivered around April 2006. The GS450h went on sale in Japan on March 16, 2006.

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