But does it go?
With less horsepower on tap than its V8 rivals, the GS 460 won’t win stoplight races. That hardly means that it’s a slouch, however, its eight-speed automatic firing off quick shifts even when left in standard mode.
By the numbers, the V8 puts out 342 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, but its 339 lb-ft. of torque peaks at a fairly low 3,600 rpm. It’s also certified as an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle, complying for ULEV II standards – a fair achievement for a V8 sedan.
The big V8 is a paragon of smoothness, emitting a muffled but sensuous growl under hard acceleration but barely making itself known otherwise. So, too, is the aforementioned transmission. Eight gears might seem like a lot, but the GS shuffles its way through them with minimal fuss or drama. Sport mode – accessed by slapping the shifter to the left – turns up the wick and locks out higher gears.
Lexus puts 0-60 sprints at 5.4 seconds and suggests that the quarter mile comes by in just under 14 seconds.
Further adding to the GS’ sublime performance is its ride. Adjustable shock absorbers offer two perceptible modes, a comfort-oriented Normal and a sport-oriented, well, Sport. Naturally, Sport firms up the ride and reduces roll through corners, while Normal features a more Lexus-traditional smooth ride. Simply put, the GS was unflappable over even the most undulating terrain we could find. Its 18-inch Yokohama rubber isolated and coddled us, but made no enemies when we wanted to drive more aggressively.
Not so the GS’ steering, which offers more feel than the Mercedes-Benz E550, but far less than BMW’s 550i. The GS is precise and and easy to control, but falls just short of being genuinely fun.
Fuel economy isn’t a big draw in this class, but, for the record, we averaged around 19 mpg in town and saw as high as 26 mpg on highway journeys. That’s a bit higher than the 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway suggested by the EPA.
Why you would buy it: Classy and refined, the GS is aging remarkably well.
Why you wouldn’t: Newer offerings from Germany and Japan are more fun and more feature-laden.
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