The Lexus GS is a mid-size luxury sports sedan / executive car manufactured by the Toyota Motor Corp. under the Lexus brand and sold as the Toyota Aristo in Japan. Based on the platform and running gear of the Toyota Crown, it was introduced in 1991 in Japan and two years later in the United States, Europe and selected markets in Asia. The model was designed to fill the gap between the ES and LS and to provide Lexus with a sports sedan that could compete with the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. For most of its life, the GS had a wider wheelbase than the ES, and was shorter than the ES in length.
Though essentially identical, GS and the Aristo differ in their engine and transmission combinations as well as equipment packages.
The second generation Aristo was launched in Japan, codenamed JZS160 for cars with the 2JZ-GE engines and JZS161 for those with the 2JZ-GTE twin-turbo engines. VVT-i was now standard, resulting in a bump in torque. The twin-turbo version was available with electronic four-wheel steering, VDC and an automatic gearbox with a manual sequential mode. No 4WD models were offered.
The GS began production in the JZS160 body style on August 4, 1997 and was launched in 1998. The American market GS 400 was equipped with a UZ-series V8 that produced 300 hp and 310 ftÂ·lbf of torque. Edmunds.com reported a 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds for the 3693-pound sedan. Again, no turbo models were offered outside Japan.
In 2001, the engine received a 0.3 liter bump in displacement and the model was renamed GS 430. Peak horsepower was unchanged, but torque increased to 325 ftÂ·lbf.
The GS was Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year for 1998. It also made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1998 through 2000.