2011 Lexus GS 350 Performance

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Performance
The 2011 Lexus GS sedans move authoritatively, no matter whether you get the 303-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 in the Lexus GS 350 or the 342-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 engine in the GS 460. With either automatic transmission—the 350 and 450h get six speeds, the 460 picks up eight—the powertrain has a silky, unobtrusive demeanor in normal driving, but paddle-shifters allow you to manually access all those ratios.

For those who want top technology, along with some green bragging rights, the GS 450h gets a full-hybrid powertrain pairing a 292-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 with an electric motor system, propelling the rear wheels and charging its battery pack when coasting and braking. Altogether, the hybrid powertrain makes 339 horsepower and it's tuned for performance much more than fuel economy; it can push the 450h to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds—faster than the V-8-powered GS 460.

The GS 350 and GS 460 are plenty quick, and they have a sort of muted poise that makes them enjoyable in all but the hardest driving. The GS 460 is capable of hitting 60 mph in only 5.4 seconds, so it's nearly as fast as the hybrid. Whichever way you have them, the GS sedans handle well, with impressive stability even over rough surfaces, thanks to a double-wishbone front suspension and multilink rear setup. The electric-assist, variable gear-ratio steering is quick and well weighted, but the lack of road feel could be an issue for hard-core sport-sedan aficionados.

The 2011 Lexus GS has excellent straight-line acceleration and impressive poise, though its steering isn't as satisfying.

The GS 350 is additionally available in an all-wheel-drive version.

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