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.
Making cars where you sell them makes sense on a number of grounds. It can be a way to save on shipping costs, exploit lower manufacturing costs, avoid import tariffs and reduce exchange rate risks....
The Paris Show seems a long time ago now, but I have been sent a link to a BBC news item in which just-auto's editor makes a brief appearance....
It was interesting to speak with UK prime minister David Cameron yesterday. I didn't have much time, so I went for the European question....
- COMMENT: US JLR plant likely to get a warm welcome
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Interesting, interesting...
- VEHICLE ANALYSIS: Mitsubishi's top-selling PHEV
- VEHICLE ANALYSIS: 2014 Peugeot RCZ R
- COMMENT: FKG keeps ears on the track in Gothenburg
- Tatkata airbag recall extended to 7.8m US vehicles
- JLR-Chery JV opens China factory
- Daimler restructures cooperation with Tesla
- UK: Vauxhall goes after Ford with Corsa pricing
- Britain better off inside a reformed EU - UK PM
- Jaguar Land Rover: Providing remarkable growth throughout the economic downturn
- PLDB - vehicle cycle plan database (annual subscription)
- Global light vehicle safety systems market- forecasts to 2029
- LMC Automotive's European Passenger Car Production Estimates (annual subscription)
- Ford Motor Company - Strategy and SWOT Report