The Lexus GS 350 F Sport is a serious performance vehicle. It has a low profile, sitting close to the ground. TORSEN limited-slip differential instantly distributes power to the rear wheel with the most grip to enhance traction and control cornering.
Lexus F Sport models have a signature mesh grille with clean assertive details. Rioja red leather, wood-trimmed interior, 19-inch aluminum wheels with dark graphite, and aluminum sport pedals are also included in the recipe. Also available is a Mark Levinson Premium Sound Audio System with 17 speakers plus DVD/CD/MP3 player and Clari-Fi sound enhancement.
Lexus Dynamic Handling System with dynamic rear steering turns the front and rear wheels in the same or opposing direction, depending on speed. This helps provide optimized agility and control.
The cockpit is race-inspired, although I found the seats a little small and too fitted. However, the 16-way power adjustable sports driver’s seat with four-way lumbar and added thigh support was more comfortable than the standard ones.
Even the LFA-inspired digital instrumentation and Naguri-style aluminum trim add to the sporty decorum of the vehicle.
What’s most defining about the performance of this Lexus is its engine. The GS F Sport is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with both direct and port fuel injection, delivering 311 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. This power is coupled through an eight-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Even with all this power this F Sport still gets 19 city mpg and 27 highway mpg for a combination average of 22 mpg.
Outside, GS is muscular and confident in style with bright evocative LED taillights, adding to the imaginative style that will command attention.
The rain came down in sheets of tropical proportion, introduced before hand by deep sets of rolling thunder and acrobatic lightning. So far, this winter has been dry, so hardened ground and hot paved roads wouldn’t absorb the rain drops that fell in chunks, but merely passed them along.
Low places in the road quickly filled with excessive water from nearby road banks and creeks. The flow-back created deep pools of dark, treacherous water that belched back onto the roads.
My simple drive to the store had become an event—a dangerous one.
The 12.3-inch multimedia display offered some comfort. Presented in full-screen or split-screen modes are useful info like up-to-date traffic and road conditions plus weather information on top of 3D city view display. This allowed me to navigate around flooded streets, accidents, and emergency vehicles.
With the above technology helping me select the safest route home, plus a full suite of conventional safety features like traction control, electronic brake force distribution, and vehicle stability control, the trip was uneventful.
The news that night described numerous high water rescues, fatal accidents and commuter drives lasting hours.
I write this as my GS 350 F Sport sits snuggled, though wet, in the garage—a vehicle that only a few hours ago allowed me the same comfortable possibilities in the miserable weather.
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price $54,810.
4-year/50,000-mile Lexus Limited Warranty
6-year/70,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
6-year/Unlimited mile Corrosion Perforation Warranty
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at email@example.com