Lexus executives will have a busy couple days during the upcoming SEMA show as they unveil an assortment of concept and production vehicles that will include the next-generation GS F Sport.
The idea is to instill a little bit of attitude into what might best be described as a sedate, even boring brand better known for its reliability than adrenaline-inspiring designs and performance. Along with the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport, the Toyota luxury division will reveal some show car offerings that could very well help redefine the brand.
“The all-new GS 350 with F SPORT package will offer our customers more agility and a sportier appearance,” suggested Mark Templin, Lexus general manager. “The racing-inspired F SPORT components were precision engineered for this vehicle, providing quality performance without compromise.”
The “F” is Lexus code for sport, the badge shared with the current IS-F muscle car and LFA supercar. What might disappoint some is the decision to leave the GS 350’s stock 3.5-liter V-6 unchanged, at 306 horsepower. But the changes wrought with the F Sport are more than just an appearance package.
Among other things, Lexus adds a sport-tuned suspension, fatter anti-roll bars and variable steering. There are paddle shifters for the sequential-shift 6-speed automatic, the modified gearbox borrowing a few lessons from the IS-F. It can now blip the throttle when shifting, and there are four driving modes, including both ECO, Sport S and Sport S+, along with Normal mode.
The 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport will get fat new 19-inch staggered width wheels — 235/40/19 up front and 265/35/19 in the rear — an aggressive aero package and, inside, a supportive new 16-way power sport driver’s seat. The cabin itself is finished in Cabernet Red leather.
Lexus is claiming 0 to 60 times of 5.7 seconds with the 2013 GS 350 F Sport.
A number of high-line options from the standard GS model, such as the energy-saving climate control package, will come standard on the F Sport, Lexus says.
Among the other products and concepts Lexus plans to roll out at SEMA are a Five Axis interpretation of the GS F Sport, along with the JT Grey Racing interpretation of the Lexus LX 570 sport-utility vehicle.
The latter package is designed for some serious off-road racing, with massive 37-inch Goodrich Baja tires mounted on 17-inch rims. There’s enough lighting to handle the next World Series night game and Sparco race seats.
As for the Five Axis GS 350 F Sport, it gets a widebody aero conversion with distinctive silver textured accents, oversized Stoptech front and rear brakes and an AirRunner air suspension system.
Five Axis will also work its magic with the stodgy CT 200h. The modified hybrid gets its own widebody conversion finished in Dark Passage paint and, inside, unique seats with laser-etched ultrasuede inserts. With oversized brakes and modified suspension, Five Axis insists it will “prove that you can use fun-to-drive and hybrid in the same sentence.”
Lexus will reveal its own take on a more sporty CT 200h, as well as modified versions of the various IS and IS-F models.