Car and Driver Selects Lexus IS 350 Sport No. 1 in Road Test with BMW and Cadillac
The Lexus IS 350 F Sport scored highest in Car and Driver magazine's road test with the BMW 335i and Cadillac ATS 3.6. In the June edition now on newsstands, editors wrote: "The crowning of a Lexus as the high priest of the sports-sedan world is something few saw coming -- until we dove into the twisting, climbing, kinking, plunging roads around Leakey, Texas. Turn-in is crisper in the Lexus than in either the BMW or the Cadillac...More important, the Lexus is utterly imperturbable...Additionally, the Lexus is lavishly, indulgently comfortable...Our drivers unanimously swooned."
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The hybrid system combines an Atkinson cycle 3.5-liter V6 engine
with a two-motor hybrid system in a front-engine/rear-wheel drive
configuration. They both deliver a total of 338 HP and will sprint the
GS 450h from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Fuel economy has also been
improved by 30%. The model will be equipped with a Drive Mode selector
that will allow the driver to choose between Eco, Sport S, Sport S+ and
Lexus' new GS 450h will be immediately recognized as a new generation Lexus GS, but it will be distinguished from the standard GS model thanks to a unique three-lamp design that aligns the turn signal and the Lexus-first high and low beam LED lamps in a single horizontal row. The rear bumper covers the exhaust pipe apertures and there is a special Lexus' signature blue hybrid badging.
for the interior, the GS 450h offers many of the items found on the
gas-powered model. It includes the next generation Remote Touch, an
analog clock with LED indicators, and a new energy-saving auto
climate control system called S-Flow. A unique feature for the hybrid
model is a bamboo-finished steering wheel and hybrid monitor.
The Lexus GS 450h's hybrid system combines an Atkinson cycle 3.5-liter V6 engine with a two-motor hybrid system in a front-engine/rear-wheel drive configuration. This setup provides a total output of 338 HP, allowing the new Lexus GS 450h to deliver impressive performance numbers for a hybrid model. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 131 mph.
The GS 450h comes equipped with the Lexus Dynamic Handling system and an integrated four-wheel steering system that monitors vehicle
speed, steering direction, and driver inputs. By doing so, the system
calculates the optimum angle for all four wheels. Using VGRS (Variable
Gear Ratio Steering) to the front and DRS to the rear, the system can
independently control both front and rear wheel steering angles to help
improve turn-in response, rear grip, vehicle stability and overall
agility when cornering.
But because August is still a few months away, we thought we could at least give you a periodic look at what's happening with your ES at the moment?and we'll start with the stitching dojo.
You see, your new 2013 Lexus ES will feature a small but premium design element: real stitching that runs along the top of the instrument panel upholstery. For several reasons (the materials involved, the precision required), this stitching work requires extremely skilled craftspeople to apply flawlessly?but the result adds a warm, handcrafted touch that contrasts elegantly with the high-tech feel of the panel's gauges.
Enter the stitching dojo, Lexus' special training facility for discovering and fine-tuning its ES-stitching talent. As of today, only about 12 craftspeople have made the cut.
Lexus first evaluates potential stitching specialists' dexterity, and one of the qualifying tests is to fold a piece of paper into a perfectly constructed origami cat. Challenging but doable, right? But understand this: the folding must be done with only one hand?the non-dominant one?and it must be completed in under 90 seconds.
Qualified specialists next need to acquire the necessary skills for the job, which they get through a systematic, 10-step training program. The training takes three months, and the craftspeople are required to master all 10 steps before they can perform actual 2013 ES production work.
When done just right, the stitching is simple and elegant, but the work that goes into it is difficult. A large piece of urethane upholstery is placed on a sewing machine and manipulated by hand at just the right speed. Unlike a flat piece of leather, the urethane is three-dimensional, and every curve and corner must be handled precisely.
After the stitching is complete, it's of course visually inspected for imperfections?all so you, a future 2013 ES owner, will be pleased with the results.