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Typically Lexus has followed the German mold of solid acceleration for the ENTIRE speed band. Rather than loading up on 0-60 or top end it seems that the Germans concentrate on where most of the acceleration is needed, in the middle. I like how Lexus has followed that mold to a degree. I have heard, (no eye rolling, Kim) that the CL-S has a horrible flat spot from ~90 forward. The few times that I will nail it at ninety (you know, open interstate fun when it's clear and you got somebody in a Bimmer or Mustang who wants to play) I would like for this car to perform. As silly as it sounds, the four times a year that I will probably do this reduces my love for that CL-S. I wonder if anyone knows how this IS will do midrange. I suppose we could extrapolate the performance from the GS 300 and come close. I know this is technical, but it is exactly this type of attention to detail that separates (Mercedes, BMW, Lexus) the leaders from the second tier players (Acura and Infinity, i.e.)
 

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Brad
You're right, our BMW's were never quick from the standing start, however they were as fast as mustangs from 60 or 90mph on up. Lexus is the same way and some of their cars were even designed specifically for the American Market. Here's a little fact for you.. The GS400 Lexus is not available in Japan. In Japan, most of the driving takes place in city traffic so 90mph+ acceleration is pointless. Maybe why the Acuras and Infinitys have poor acceleration at high speeds. By the way, the reason why the GS400 is not available in Japan is because it's against the Law to have a car that has in excess of 280 Horsepower. That's why cars like the Nissan Skyline have 280hp exactly. Cars like the Lexus LS400 have been detuned from 290 to 280 horsepower. IF you lived in Japan and wanted to drive a GS400 you would have to go to North America...
Eric
ps. I test drove the bird of a car CL-S and also wasn't impressed with it's high speed acceleration.
 

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A note on maximum horsepower in Japan...although cars cannot exceed 280 horsepower, rest assured they do. The dealers state that they only have 280hp but cars such as the Nissan Firlady Z and Skyline are well above 280hp.
 

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The car they mentioned are way above 280hp (eg, skyline, supra, nsx....) They're made actually about 320hp without modification. But the manufacturers will put a computer to limit the boost of the turbo or fuel injection to lower the power in order to "follow" the Japanese rules. On the other hand, the Japanese manufacturers are allowed to produce LIMITED EDITION (eg. Skyline 400R is 400hp) model which could exceed 280hp. Of course, they can only produce certain "limited" number of the Limited Edition.
 

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I wonder why the GS400 Lexus isn't available in Japan? I got this info from Motor Trend.... Maybe because it has too much power. When I drive my GS400 in the city, it can be a pain because the throttle is so touchy..
Eric
 

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Eric,
I don't know what I'm going to say is entirely accurate, but I think it's somewhat true.
GS400 Model is known as Aristo in Japan. Aristo is a 3Liter twin turbo 280hp car and it was released in Japan prior to GS400 in US. Since US' polution or emission regulation, so Toyota can't import turbo engine into US anymore, so they put a V8 4L engine into the Aristo and call it GS400 and it pumps out 300 hps. on the other hand, GS300 in US is just the nonturbo version of Aristo in Japan.
Andy
 

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Thanks Andy for the info
As Motor trend says that the GS400 is not available in Japan, I assumed that it also meant that the Arito with the 4.0L V8 was not available either. So there is a Toyota Aristo with a 4.0L V8?
Eric
 

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>> "BMW's were never quick from the standing start"

If you look at 0-60 times for all cars sold in America, BMWs tend to be very respectable compared to everything else on the road. I know what you mean about BMW trying to build engines with good torque curves and well rounded performance, but they are still very decent performers off the line.

And Yes, the IS300 should be a good "midrange" kind of car. The VVT-i system (unlike the basic Honda VTEC) gives good mid-range range punch without pushing the power all to the upper RPM range.
 

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TEG
When you compare the Throttle response of a 540i to that of a GS400 you'll see that 540i starts building speed a little later on (even though they have comparable 0-60 times) Whereas the GS400 launches you like a rocket the moment you hit the gas... My dad's new 740iL is a DOG in the beginning... sooooo slow off the line, then once it gets going it picks up very nicely...
Eric
 

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Eric,
There is no V8 GS400 in Japan, only the non-turbo 3L and the twin turbo 3L for Aristo. As you said, V8 doesn't fit the Japanese city traffic, so I guess that's the reason they are not available in Japan.
Andy
 

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to clarify a little more, GS400 and Aristo is the same car except the engine. in other words, The V8 engine in GS400 is not available in Japan but the "Car" is and it's called Aristo over there.
So, I guess motor trend only explain half of the story by saying "GS400 isn't available in Japan"
Andy.
 

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Though the horsepower rating is in the same league for GS400 and Toyota Aristo 3L Turbo, there are difference in a few performance characteristics such as the Turbo vs NA engine, tranmission, etc.

Aristo 3L (both non-turbo and turbo versions) only have 4 speed.

Besides, I once read an article that Toyota intended to differentiate more the current generation of Aristo from Celsior (LS400) than the previous generation in Japan.
 

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Didn't the previous model GS300 have the 5 speed automatic transmission in the latter part of its life....? It wouldn't make sense for the Toyota Aristo to have only 4 gears. Well I guess most of the driving is in the City in Japan and there is no need for the 5th gear (with is more of an overdrive type gear)...
Eric
 

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Hey Eric,

Not sure if the previous Aristo got the 5-speed treatment as in later part of life of GS300.

Maybe that's one of the measures Toyota has used to put Aristo in a different class than the Celsior (LS400).

In fact, to my knowledge, Nissan makes the same trasnmission downgrade to Nissan Cedric which is in the same competing segment with GS300 or Aristo.
 

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AndyL,
I am confused with your Nissan Cedric transmission downgrade. As I know, Cedric in Japan is actually the Infinity Q45 here. Cedric/Q45 supposed to compete with LS400/Celsior, so according to your point, Cedric should not downgrade his transmission to fit into GS300/Aristo segment. :?
It would make more sense if you say Nissan Cefero/I30 downgrades the transmission to compete with GS300/Aristo.
Andy
 

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Another reason for "smaller" engines in Japan is because there is a tax on engine displacement...hence the popularity of turbochargers and Honda's usage of VTEC.
 

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Cedric/Gloria competes against the Crown, not the Celsior. I believe Cima is called the Infiniti Q45. In Japan Cima is the Celsior's rival. Aristo's rival can be said to be the Nissan Leopard, but from sales figures, I guess it won't be accurate.

Cefiro is a FWD car and I'm pretty sure Nissan wants it to compete against the ES (Windom). In some countries like Taiwan, Cefiro competes against the Camry. (Different spec. Cefiro and Camry of course.)
 
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