Less-than-wicked Lexus GS 300 Heads Behind the Barn

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
less than wicked lexus gs 300 heads behind the barn

The Lexus GS, a midsize, rear-drive sports sedan that first rode into the North American market in 1993, is today a slow-selling model in danger of discontinuation.

For 2020, one member of the GS lineup will indeed bite the dust.

According to CarsDirect, dealer order guides for the upcoming model year show no sign of the entry-level GS 300, the most affordable — and slowest — of the GS line. A Lexus spokesperson confirmed the model’s discontinuation for 2020.

According to Alissa Moceri, “the GS 300 represented a small percentage of GS sales in 2018.”

Certainly, spotting a new GS of any type is a difficult task. The model’s U.S. sales totalled 305 units in July, with June seeing just 214 GS models leave dealer lots. Last year’s GS sales amounted to just over a quarter of 2015’s volume, which was a post-recession high water mark for the sedan.

As Toyota mulls dropping bodystyles and models, the GS is seen as a prime candidate for the chopping block. Sedan sales of all types are on the decline, and Lexus is already well stocked with traditional four-doors. Currently, no rumors or official word exists of a pending redesign for the GS, a model that has soldiered on in its current guise since 2011.

The GS 300 utilized a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, good for 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. While this rare sight won’t live to see another model year, the GS 350 and its F Sport variant, in both RWD and AWD guise, will soldier on, offering buyers more power in the form of a 3.5-liter V6. The larger of the two mills generates 311 hp and 280 lb-ft. Also returning is the hot GS F and its 467 hp, 389 lb-ft 5.0-liter V8.

With the GS 300 gone, GS’s pricing floor climbs a few steps. For 2020, the model line starts at $52,420 after destination for a GS 350 RWD.

[Image: Lexus]

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  • Turbo_awd Turbo_awd on Aug 26, 2019

    Maybe they should have kept the original GS430 competitive, rather than letting it wither and then try to save it with a really-late 5.0 installation? When your top model has an anemic 3.5 V6 (similar to the standard Ford V6 in the Taurus, etc), there's very little "Sport" left of your "Gran Sport" moniker..

  • Featherston Featherston on Aug 28, 2019

    Good to know 311 HP is "anemic."

    • MorrisGray MorrisGray on Oct 01, 2019

      It is ironic that nowadays people think they need so much horsepower to be satisfied. I owned a 1970 Dodge Charger 383 magnum engine (4sp) and a 1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 455 (4sp) and both these cars were considered true muscle cars back then. They were very exciting to drive and seemed pretty powerful. I don't think either one of them had 300hp factory stock. My wife's 2012 Genesis sedan was rated 333hp and has more than enough power in my opinion. So many people seemed concerned with 0-60mph ratings but that is so irrelevant for daily use of a car. I do enjoy a quick accelerating car but not for 0-60mph use. I don't street race anymore and certainly don't want any tickets. Times have changed and all I want is a dependable fun car to drive and it would be nice to still be able to order a car with only the options you want, like it used to be 40+/- years ago.

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