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2016 Lexus GS Series refreshed

Using the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance as a backdrop, Lexus announced changes to the 2016 GS Series. While somewhat more understated than the range-topping 2016 GS 350 F Sport previewed last January in Detroit, the high volume versions of this attractive 4-door will benefit from a number of enhancements including a new GS 200t to complement the existing GS 350 and GS 450h hybrid models. 

Turbo-four power joins the GS family 

Motivation for the new Lexus GS 200t comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter/4-cylinder engine that was introduced in the 2015 Lexus NX 200t crossover. Here, output has been bumped slightly -- to 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque -- and it's backed by a paddle-shiftable 8-speed Multi-Mode sequential shift automatic transmission in place of the NX's 6-speed and is projected to deliver the best overall EPA numbers of any 2016 GS family member. The new GS 200t is rear-drive only, while the GS 350 is offered in rear-drive or AWD configurations. That car's 3.5-liter V6 moves from 305 to 311 horsepower and torque rises from 277 to 280 lb-ft. The GS 450h Hybrid sees slightly more torque (3 more lb-ft) while overall output remains at 338 horsepower. 

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Taking its visual lead from the 467-horsepower V8-fortified GS 350 F, the rest of the 2016 Lexus GS lineup gains a more aggressive overall character punctuated by a bolder spindle grille framed by new Bi-LED headlamps up front. The tail gets revised taillamps and a redrawn soft cap. In addition to new exterior colors and wheel designs, all of these GS models will be available with an F Sport Package that complements its cosmetic touches with a track-tuned suspension. On the rear-drive GS 350, buyers can also add the Lexus Dynamic Handling system with Dynamic Rear Steering.

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The GS family also sees notable upgrading of its infotainment and driver-assist systems. Available on the GS 200t and standard on the GS 350/450h, the Navigation system now offers full-screen mapping capability on its 12.3-inch screen and the Remote Touch Interface setup also has been enhanced with side "enter" buttons. Lexus Enform Service Connect that offers maintenance and service information accessible via a smartphone app or website has joined the option list as has the Lexus Safety System+ package that combines Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam (IHB) and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. The 2016 Lexus GS-Series will arrive in showrooms this fall and while final pricing won't be announced until closer to the actual on-sale date, the new 2016 GS 200t is expected to start around $45,000.

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