Blog: At home with the new GS 350 F Sport
Glenn Brooks | 28 March 2012
Autumn evenings aren't quite as they are in England
A friend's new Lexus GS has proved to be a great car for Sydney's infamously awful roads. But the smooth ride isn't the thing that matters most about this vehicle.
The first new-shape GS I'd seen in Europe was a GS 450h making its global debut at the Geneva show earlier this month, but down here, the GS 350 is already on sale. Australia, incidentally, was no exception for the old car - it sold poorly here too. I think the local importer has a fair chance of success with the new model, though - the ride is first class and the handling is also pretty good. OK, it's no 5 Series, but unlike the former GS, this one isn't a long way behind.
The new GS might not be a true sports sedan but for me, what's far more important is a particular safety feature on this car. A tiny camera is mounted just below the instruments and it watches the driver's eyes. Should you shut them for a second or two, the result is a short and sharp automatic stab on the brakes - enough to jolt you awake, Toyota claims.
Last Friday I was six cars behind a head-on fatality on the Castlereagh Highway three hours' drive from Sydney. It was a pretty sobering sight seeing what remained of a car a few hundred metres ahead of me under a truck that had been coming in the other direction. Was tiredness the cause? I don't know but it could well have been as there were many long and boring stretches on that narrow rural road. Whatever the reason, I for one hope to see sophisticated anti-fatigue systems such as the one in the new Lexus GS becoming far more commonplace.
Overseas readers may be picking up media reports of a 'fracas' and a presenter's suspension at popular BBC TV programme Top Gear and wondering what's going on....
General Motors' European chief, Karl-Thomas Neumann, was on good form in Geneva this week....
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Chinese scoop up Pirelli
- Briefing: developments in powertrain batteries
- ANALYSIS: VW Group - success and succession
- VEHICLE ANALYSIS: A new Volkswagen for the fleets
- COMMENT: Russia - it is rocket science
- Volvo Cars to build US factory
- GM management outlines reasons for Russia rethink
- Mahindra throws in the Brazil towel
- New York show debuts: Porsche Boxster Spyder added
- Tesla to unveil 'major new non-car product line'