Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.
You hear the word "Lexus" and driver involvement isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Reliability? Sure. Quality? OK. Fiscal responsibility? Absolutely. But performance? Not by a long shot.
But recently, Lexus has been trying to change this perception. Smartly, Lexus isn't simply assaulting the senses with hyper-expensive supercars or limited-run V8s — though it is doing that. It's also taking the performance angle to the affordable, reasonable sedan segment with the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport.
The "F Sport" designation is a $5,690 option on the 2013 GS 350 which adds 19-inch wheels with summer tires, a sport-tuned variable suspension, 14-inch brakes, sport seats, unique exterior trim, a rear spoiler and more. Part of the magic, and disappointment, here is that Lexus leaves the 3.5-liter, 306-horsepower V6 heart of the GS unchanged. Reliability stays up, costs stay down.
But can it really be considered a performance pack if the engine doesn't change? We brought our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport to the track to find out.
Vehicle: 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport
Driver: Chris Walton
Drive Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated, direct-and-port injected V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,456/211
Redline (rpm): 6,600
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 306 @ 6,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 277 @ 4,800
Brake Type (front): 14-inch ventilated discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 12.2-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent double wishbones with high-mount upper arms, coil springs, driver-adjustable two-mode variable dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, driver-adjustable two-mode variable dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 235/40R19 (96Y)
Tire Size (rear): 265/35R19 (94Y)
Tire Brand: Dunlop
Tire Model: SP Sport Maxx 050
Tire Type: Summer performance
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,851
2013 Lexus GS 350 Test Results:
0-30 (sec): 2.4 (2.5 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 3.9 (4.1 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 5.8 (6.1 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.5 (5.8 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 8.4 (8.7 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 14.1 @ 100.2 (14.2 @ 98.9 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 32
60-0 (ft): 122
Slalom (mph): 66.7 (64.8 w/ TC on)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.83 (0.84 w/ TC on)
Db @ Idle: 38.8
Db @ Full Throttle: 76.5
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 62.3
RPM @ 70: 6,300
Acceleration: Noticeable difference between Norm, Sport and Sport + modes (subtracting 0.1-0.4 to 60 mph). Nice-sounding V6 snarl and quick/smooth upshifts exactly at redline. Doesn't hold gears in manual mode, so all were auto-upshift. Best run in Sport + with liberal wheelspin.
Braking: Firm, respectable, straight and flat. Thought it would stop shorter, however. Also, I love the feel of the pedal in normal driving.
Skid pad: Excellent balance with mild understeer at the limit. Steering is delicate and precise; unfettered by unnecessary syrup or weight.
Slalom: What an amazing setup: friction-free steering, lightning turn-in, quick to set, rapid in transitions and plenty of forgiveness and adjustability mid-course. Grippier tires would make it even better, but it's delightful as is. Mild understeer is easily snubbed with lift-stab of throttle. More power at the exit would be fun, too, but what feels like an LSD is appreciated greatly.
Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.