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Motoring News

LEXUS GS 2012 – 2020

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LEXUS GS 2012 – 2020

BY EWAN KENNEDY

Lexus GS is an upmarket Japanese sedan. In what was a bold marketing move it’s aimed at Australian buyers who had previously bought sedans from Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes.

In this Used Car Checkout  we look at the fourth generation  Lexus GS models that went on sale here midway through 2012.

Build quality of the Lexus GS is high, even better than the already very good Toyota models. This has been a strong selling point of Lexus and we have spoken to many owners of the GS and other Lexus models who praise the car for the immaculate way it’s put together outside and in.

Most Lexus GS models have rear-wheel drive. Some had all-wheel drive that was aimed at both driving in snow if you’re heading for skiing destinations. All-wheel-drive provides even better grip in models with larger engines when buyers want to hustle them along in a sporting manner. These aren’t exactly track day cars though.

The front the 2012 Lexus GS has a ‘spindle-grille’ that has a tightening of the sides of the area to create a distinctive shape that makes the mid-sized Lexus stand out from crowd.

2015 Lexus GS 200t F Sport

Interior styling of the Lexus has what reviewers called “elegant simplicity” saying it could be mistaken for an Italian machine in the way the primary instruments are large, clear and easy to read at the fastest glance.

The stitching of the leather on the dashboard adds to the Italian theme, as does the centrally mounted analog clock, a feature Maserati has used with great effect for generations.

While other carmakers have satellite navigation screens that look like an afterthought, the Lexus’s is obviously a major component in its own right. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the central screen is well shielded from light.

Lexus GS 250 is powered by a 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine that’s a heavily revised unit from the previous generation. It produces more power and torque (154 kW / 253 Nm) than previously, but the official fuel consumption was significantly reduced.

The GS 200t (’t’ for turbocharged) replaced GS 250 early in 2016 and is aimed at buyers who wanted plenty of grunt.

The 3.5-litre in the GS 350, (233 kW / 378 Nm) has sporting flair that made it much nicer to sit behind than the 2.5.

2016 Lexus GS F

Lexus GS 300h uses hybrid technology combines a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle petrol engine with a 650-volt permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor to provide a combined power output of up to 164 kW.

Rear seat legroom in the earlier Lexus GS models was a cramped, but the later models being reviewed here are significantly better. Try for yourself if there are likely to be tall travellers in the seat behind a lanky driver who likes to straight-arm the steering wheel. Boot size is good and it’s reasonably easy to load.

As with other marques dealers are predominantly in the major capitals and the Gold Coast. There’s quite good coverage in country cities and some senior Toyota mechanics have been trained to help out Lexus owners in emergencies.

Spare parts prices and servicing costs are about average for a car in this upmarket class and we haven’t had any complaints of availability of parts.

Insurance charges are moderate for a car in this class as most owners use their Lexus GS as comfortable cruisers rather than full-on sports sedans. Check with several insurance companies on price, but keep in mind that switching from you current insurer may not stand you in good stead if there’s a somewhat marginal claim in the future.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Before saying you are interested in buying the car take a full walk around it to check for any damage to the body, no matter how minor it is. Check the interior trim as well.

Have a full pre-purchase inspection before you commit to the car. A Lexus trained mechanic is best, some senior Toyota mechanics are trained on Lexus. Or arrange to have a senior inspector from your local motoring association do the work.

Test each of the functions on the stereo, electric seats, climate-control, windows, doors and so on. The owner’s handbook is an excellent guide as to what all the controls do. Be suspicious if anything doesn’t work to perfection because these are quality cars.

Make sure the engine starts virtually instantaneously.

The transmission should change ratios almost imperceptibly in any upmarket Lexus. If it doesn’t there may be problems.

During your test drive listen for unusual noises and look for the slightest sign of anything out of the ordinary.

Repairs will be expensive so get a quote for even the most minor defects. Better still ensure the seller has the car repaired before you buy it.

HOW MUCH?

Expect to pay from $12,000 to $18,000 for a 2012 Lexus GS250 F Sport; $16,000 to $23,000 for a 2014 GS250 F Sport; $18,000 to $25,000 for a 2014 GS300h; $23,000 to $31,00 for a 2015 GS200t Luxury; $26,00 to $35,000 for a 2017 GS300 Luxury; $30,000 to $41,000 for a 2015 GS450h; $34,000 to $45,000 for a 2019 GS300 Luxury; $43,000 to $58,00 for a 2018 GS450h; and $56,000 to $75,000 for a 2020 GS450h.

CAR BUYING TIP
Approach owners of the type of vehicle you’re thinking of buying if you see them in carparks or the like. They can be a great source of knowledge on the cars.

RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: www.productsafety.gov.au/products/transport/cars/

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Local News

Anticipating the Arrival: Porsche’s Next Hypercar Set to Electrify

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Porsche Hypercar

Anticipating the Arrival: Porsche’s Next Hypercar Set to Electrify

 

By Jeff Gibbs

The automotive world is abuzz with anticipation as Porsche gears up to confirm the production of its next hypercar, potentially marking a significant leap forward in the realm of electrified performance. The decision on the production version of the Porsche Mission X concept is slated to be finalised this year, offering enthusiasts a glimpse into the future of high-performance electric vehicles.

Porsche’s ambitious vision for electromobility encompasses a diverse lineup, including electric SUVs, hybrid variants of the iconic 911, and two electric sports cars. At the forefront of this electrifying revolution stands the Mission X concept, poised to redefine the boundaries of speed and innovation in the hypercar segment.

Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche, recently shared insights into the brand’s plans, highlighting the overwhelmingly positive reception received for the Mission X concept during Porsche’s 75-year celebration. Blume emphasised the importance of feasibility in realising such a project while reaffirming Porsche’s commitment to delivering top-tier performance.

The decision to greenlight the Mission X for production hinges on various factors, with Blume expressing the intention to make a definitive call within the year. However, lingering questions remain regarding the feasibility of producing a right-hand drive variant for markets like Australia. Historically, Porsche’s hypercars have been exclusively left-hand drive, posing challenges for potential RHD production due to cost considerations.

Porsche Hypercar

Porsche Hypercar

Despite these logistical hurdles, the Mission X is poised to shatter records and redefine expectations. Powered solely by electricity, this hypercar boasts a quad-motor electric drivetrain and utilizes a cutting-edge 900V electrical architecture. With reported power outputs ranging from 1500 to 2000 horsepower (1100kW to 1500kW) and a svelte curb weight as low as 1500kg, the Mission X promises unparalleled performance.

Charging capabilities are equally impressive, with the Mission X capable of accepting up to 270kW of charge, ensuring rapid replenishment of its battery pack. A carbon-fiber exoskeleton further enhances its agility and efficiency, setting the stage for a hypercar with a power-to-weight ratio that defies convention.

While specific details about the Mission X remain closely guarded, enthusiasts can’t help but speculate about the potential moniker it will wear upon entering showrooms. However, one thing is certain: the Mission X represents a paradigm shift in Porsche’s storied history, signalling a bold step towards a future where electrification and performance seamlessly converge.

As Porsche inches closer to the momentous decision of greenlighting the Mission X for production, anticipation reaches a fever pitch among enthusiasts and aficionados alike. With the promise of unparalleled speed, innovation, and electrifying performance, the Mission X stands poised to leave an indelible mark on the automotive landscape, cementing Porsche’s legacy as a pioneer in the age of electrification.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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Not One, but Two Electric Hyundai Utes Firming for Australia

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Hyundai Ute IONIQ T7

Not One, but Two Electric Hyundai Utes Firming for Australia

 

By Jeff Gibbs

In a strategic move to capture a share of Australia’s burgeoning pickup market, Hyundai is set to introduce not just one, but two all-electric utes. Fresh trademarks filed with IP Australia last week reveal Hyundai’s intention to launch the ‘IONIQ T7’ and ‘IONIQ T10’, signifying a departure from traditional combustion-engine pickups towards a sustainable future.

While Kia Australia gears up with its Tasman turbo-diesel ute, slated for an EV variant by 2026, Hyundai is charting a unique course with its electric pickup offerings. The ‘IONIQ’ moniker, synonymous with Hyundai’s electric vehicle lineup, coupled with the ‘T’ designation for ‘truck’, underscores the brand’s commitment to electrification.

The distinction between the T7 and T10 lies in their size and purpose within Hyundai’s line-up. The IONIQ T7 is poised to be a compact, SUV-based dual-cab model, likely sharing hardware with the IONIQ 7, offering a blend of lifestyle and utility akin to the Santa Cruz. On the other hand, the IONIQ T10 will cater to a larger, more utilitarian segment, potentially rivalling established names like the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.

Hyundai Ute IONIQ T7

Hyundai IONIQ T7

While details on Hyundai’s electric pickups remain scarce, it’s plausible that the development of the T10 aligns with Kia’s electric Tasman ute, hinting at a robust electric lineup to compete with conventional counterparts. The move echoes North America’s market dynamics, where Ford offers a diversified range of pickups catering to varying consumer needs.

Hyundai’s venture into the pickup market isn’t entirely unprecedented, with the Tucson-based Santa Cruz already making waves in North America. Despite previous efforts to secure right-hand drive production for Australia, Hyundai’s foray into the compact ute segment has been limited. However, with the impending shift towards electrification, Hyundai’s ambition to expand its EV portfolio remains unwavering.

While Hyundai Australia has yet to officially comment on the trademark filings, the brand’s Chief Operating Officer, John Kett, has hinted at a forthcoming announcement. With Kia expected to unveil its Tasman ute project soon, Hyundai’s confirmation of its pickup plans seems imminent.

Although Hyundai’s electric utes may not hit showrooms anytime soon, the groundwork laid through the trademark filings underscores the brand’s commitment to sustainable mobility. As the automotive landscape continues to evolve, Hyundai’s bold step towards electric pickups signals a paradigm shift in the Australian automotive market.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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Six Ways the Isuzu D-MAX is Built to Tame the Aussie Bush

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Isuzu D-MAX

Six Ways the Isuzu D-MAX is Built to Tame the Aussie Bush

 

By Jeff Gibbs

When it comes to traversing the rugged terrain of the Australian bush, the Isuzu D-MAX stands as an unrivalled companion, armed with an impressive arsenal of off-road capabilities. From sandy beaches to dense bush tracks and expansive outback landscapes, the D-MAX is engineered to conquer any challenge with confidence and ease. Here are six key features that make the Isuzu D-MAX the ultimate bush-taming machine:

  1. Torquey and Tough 3.0-litre Turbo-diesel Engine

At the heart of the Isuzu D-MAX lies a formidable 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, meticulously crafted by Isuzu’s expertise in diesel engineering. Boasting 140kW of power and a robust 450Nm of torque from just 1600rpm, this engine delivers the brute force needed to navigate through soft sands and conquer steep off-road climbs with ease. Not only does it provide impressive performance, but it also ensures exceptional fuel efficiency, with an average consumption of 8.0L/100km, translating to a remarkable range of up to 950km on a single tank.

  1. Dual Range Terrain Command 4WD

Equipped with a versatile Terrain Command 4WD system, the D-MAX offers seamless transition between 2WD and 4WD modes with the flick of a switch, allowing for optimal traction in varying conditions. Whether cruising on sealed roads or tackling challenging off-road terrain, the D-MAX’s part-time 4WD system ensures maximum efficiency and performance. With both high and low-range settings, drivers can confidently tackle a wide range of surfaces, from dirt roads to soft sands and steep inclines.

  1. Traction Control and Rear Diff Lock

Navigating slippery off-road conditions demands superior traction, and the Isuzu D-MAX delivers with electronic four-wheel traction control and a selectable rear differential lock. These features work in tandem to prevent wheel slippage and ensure maximum traction on uneven terrain, providing drivers with the confidence to tackle any obstacle with ease. Additionally, Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control further enhance off-road capability, offering stability and control on steep gradients and descents.

Isuzu D-MAX

Isuzu D-MAX

  1. Underside and Suspension Clearance

Designed with off-road prowess in mind, the Isuzu D-MAX boasts ample ground clearance and robust suspension, allowing for smooth navigation over rugged terrain. With a generous underbody ground clearance of up to 240mm and optimal approach, ramp-over, and departure angles, the D-MAX ensures minimal risk of scraping or damage when traversing obstacles. Its sturdy construction and agile suspension make it perfectly suited for tackling even the most challenging off-road trails.

  1. Underbody Protection

Recognizing the inevitability of undercarriage impacts during off-road adventures, the Isuzu D-MAX comes equipped with comprehensive underbody protection as standard. Featuring a solid ladder frame chassis with eight cross members, along with steel guards for the engine, transfer case, and fuel tank, the D-MAX shields vital components from potential damage. Additionally, reinforced resin underneath the fuel tank provides added protection against ground strikes, ensuring peace of mind in rugged environments.

  1. Water Fording Capability

With its impressive water-fording capability, the Isuzu D-MAX instils confidence when traversing water crossings and challenging terrain. Boasting a maximum water-fording height of 800mm, the D-MAX is well-equipped to tackle shallow streams and flooded tracks with ease. For added assurance, Isuzu offers a genuine accessory snorkel, providing extra protection and peace of mind for drivers venturing into waterlogged areas.

In conclusion, the Isuzu D-MAX’s comprehensive array of off-road features makes it a formidable contender in the Australian bush. From its torquey turbo-diesel engine to its advanced 4WD system and robust underbody protection, the D-MAX is engineered to conquer any terrain with confidence and reliability. Whether exploring remote trails or embarking on epic off-road adventures, the D-MAX proves itself as the ultimate companion for tackling the challenges of the Aussie bush.

 

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