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Auto Show:  2011 Sema Auto Show

Lexus GS350 F Sport - SEMA Auto Show


author photo by Jeffrey Archer November 2011

While most automakers used this year's SEMA show in Las Vegas to reveal customized versions of their traditional models, Lexus took the opportunity to announce a sporty new trim level of its recently released 2013 GS350. Dubbed the GS350 F Sport, the new model adds several high-performance upgrades to the sedan, which debuted at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August.

Outside, the GS350 F Sport is immediately distinguished from its standard GS350 stablemate thanks to unique 19-inch gray wheels, an aggressive front fascia and unique F Sport mesh grille inserts. A rear lip spoiler and lower rear valence are also added along with "F" badging on both fenders, a design cue borrowed from the automaker's CT200h and IS F Sport models.

But the performance-oriented revisions don't stop with the GS350 F Sport's exterior. Inside, the sporty sedan also features a host of upgrades, including widespread use of aluminum trim, unique perforated leather, a black headliner and aluminum pedals. Other interior upgrades include distinctive F Sport badging on the sedan's steering wheel and 16-way front sport seats designed to improve lateral support in hard cornering. Lexus is even offering the GS350 F Sport's interior in cabernet red, a striking shade which represents a major departure for the automaker known for its functional yet mundane interior design.

Unfortunately for buyers looking for more power, the GS350 F Sport uses the same 306-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 as the standard GS350. But in keeping with its sporty aspirations, the F Sport does include thicker anti-roll bars to reduce body lean in corners, Lexus's Adaptive Variable Suspension to improve handling, and the automaker's new Lexus Dynamic Handling system, which steers the sedan's rear wheels up to two degrees to sharpen its responsiveness in hard turns.

But if the standard GS350 F Sport isn't enough, Lexus is also showing a modified version created by aftermarket tuner Five Axis, which features 20-inch wheels, upgraded Stoptech brakes, a custom exhaust and a wide body kit that provides an aggressive new look. While it's intended to be a unique show car, the Five Axis GS F Sport gives consumers a preview of the sport-tuned sedan's aftermarket potential.

While Lexus hasn't announced official pricing or an on-sale date for the GS350 F Sport, we expect it to debut early next year with a starting price of just over $50,000.

See more coverage of the 2011 SEMA Auto Show.

JEFFREY ARCHER is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Lexus GS350 F Sport - SEMA Auto Show - Autotrader