Posts tagged with "sports sedan"

Carr Winery, Santa Barbara, 360 MAGAZINE, Lexus, GS F, Vaughn Lowery

LEXUS GS F

“The Lexus GS F is undeniably one of the most iconic vehicles of the brand’s history! Like a reserved bottle of wine, it ages well.” – 360 MAGAZINE

By Anthony Sovinsky × Vaughn Lowery

The ‘F’ marquee represents the high performance division of vehicles engineered by Lexus. The 2019 Lexus GS F has earned its right through rigorous testing to bear the weight of the ‘F’ stamp of approval. It’s graceful design and superior performance are on par with the BMW M Models and Mercedes-AMG line.

Design

The GS F is only in its third season, yet it’s overall traits are retro while still embodying Lexus’s luxurious appeal. The side profiles are simple – no excess vents or useless lines. At the front, there’s a gradual growth in aggressiveness which begins with fender cut-outs. The spindle grille is accompanied by two massive air ducts which lie beneath each Triple Beam LED headlamps. It has been masterfully carved to enhance aerodynamics with a 0.33 drag coefficient. The buttocks is the defining attribute on this sports sedan – clearly this car can deep squat. Reminiscent of its predecessors, however, this model has chrome quad exhaust pipes (diagonally stacked upon one another). 

Our test model came well-equipped with the 10th Anniversary Package for an additional $5000 USD. It has several unique style upgrades inside and out. Only 100 units were produced in the United States. Exterior refinements include a matte Nebula Gray paint and 19” contrasting BBS 16-spoke wheels. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires come standard along side of painted blue Brembo calipers and ‘F’ logo puddle lights. 

Up front are a 16-way power adjustable driver and a 5-way adjustable passenger ‘F’ performance race-inspired seats. They encase passengers comfortably and firmly. An ‘F’ Sport steering wheel with racing ergonomics elegantly compliment the cabin. There’s electric blue carbon fiber along the door panels and dash coupled with alcantara door trim and armrest. Futhermore, there’s a F 10th Anniversary Limited medallion affixed just right above the blue shift knob. 

Performance

Unlike its competition, commonly turbocharging and supercharging their vehicles to boast extra power, Lexus decided to implant a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 in the GS. It outputs 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque. Although it’s not outpowering it’s German counterparts, it offers a nostalgic feel with balanced performance and predictability. Its force is distributed through an 8-speed automatic transmission that is best experienced in SportS+ mode. One should take advantage of the paddle shifters and row the gears through their more spirited ranges, 4800 RPM and above. 

This car exemplifies it’s athletic prowess on roads which test it’s balance. And, for those of us who don’t have access to a track, windy roads will serve. We drove through LA’s Mulholland Drive to PCH for a Sunday morning jaunt to Carr Winery in Santa Barbara for a tasting. Much to our surprise, the husky 4-door held its ground. The tires stuck around corners with great tenacity and body roll was almost absent. Moreover, the ventilated disc brakes with high friction pads were of great help in approaching turns. In gain, F Sport suspension with Ilachs-sourced shock absorbers kept the ride firm with little rebound in both Track and SLALOM modes. 

Safety

Plenty of features are included to keep drivers as well as passengers safe and sound. Essential characteristics that came in handy are the following: smart stop technology, blind spot monitor with cross traffic alert, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control (for long drives), lane departure alert with steering wheel assist and lane keep assist (are great for driver fatigue). Lastly, Lexus Enform offers assistance if the vehicle is involved in accident or stolen. You can also communicate with an actual representative to send directions straight to the car while in motion. Finally, a car concierge for a sports sedan that confortably seats four.

Technology

As much as we enjoyed listening to the sweet serenade of the exhaust, the audio system is just as satisfying. Our version came with a 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system, with 835 watts of power ($1380 USD). It’s unquestionably one of the most powerful units its segment. In addition, there’s a 12.3-inch infotainment display that can be surfed with an armrest remote. To date, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are unavailable. However, music can be played from your phone while connected to Bluetooth and/or plugged into the USB port. And, for $900 you can opt for an in color heads-up display (HUD) that offers metrics such as the speed limit, current MPH/KMH and tachometer. 

Conclusion

In short, the standard 2019 Lexus GS F is priced at $84,350 and the 10th Anniversary Edition retails around $93,250. For far less than its challengers, the GS F is an exotic with tons of intuitive amenities. A true head-turner and automotive beast.

For additional information on the LEXUS GS F go HERE.

Lexus IS 350 F Sport

By Tara McDonough × Vaughn Lowery

As of late, 360 MAGAZINE took a road trip from Los Angeles to Palm Springs in the new 2019 Lexus IS 350 F Sport. The Friday midday drive took around 3 hours with heavy traffic and the Lexus handled like a dream, providing a comfortable and quiet ride.

With a red carpet ready exterior combined with the public presentation and speed of a cheetah, the $53,000 2019 Lexus IS 350 F Sport effortlessly combines luxury and performance. The clear and alluring looking vehicle makes a bold statement for Lexus brand sedans. The vehicle is intuitive and dynamic with brakes that feel stronger and suspension that feels tighter.

PERFORMANCE

The IS 350 F Sport gets a combined 23 mpg city/hwy. It uses 4.3 gallons per 100 miles. With a 311 horsepower and 280 pound-ft of torque, the Lexus leaps across the pavement, while maintaining a smooth ride. The vehicle is fitted out with a 3.5-liter V6 24-valve, dual overhead cam, direct injection, adaptive variable suspension and variable timing intelligent wide intake and exhaust. It boasts an 8-speed sport shift transmission with driving modes such as ECO, normal, sport and snow. The visibility and force in a car this size is impressive combined with less road vibration and responsive brakes. Very reminiscent of the 2003 Infiniti G35, Lexus really does it all in this 2019 IS 350 F Sport.

EXTERIOR

The appearance of the IS 350 F Sport combines dark chrome with a pronounced mesh grille which pairs nicely with its large black 18’’ split 5-spoke wheels. The motorcar is a compact and speed oriented vehicle enhanced with triple beam headlights.

INTERIOR

The inside holds a geometric style allowing for a sturdy yet cozy appearance. The sharp black interior is matched with leather and imitation grain wood paneling. It’s bolstered F Sport seating is heated and ventilated as well. In addition to its leather stitching, the left and right positions of the steering wheel are manually heated as well. This model comes with the classic F Sport gauge which which is controlled by the tinge of a button. Back seats fold down for additional storage, making the IS 350 F Sport the only Lexus Sedan model with the option.

SAFETY & TECHNOLOGY

The Lexus IS 350 F Sport received government 5-Star Safety Ratings in Overall Vehicle Score, Frontal Crash, Side and Rollover. It owes its safety capabilities mainly to the technology implanted into it.

Just a few aspects of the Lexus’s technology which works to ensure the safety of passengers are it’s blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, it’s intuitive parking assist and the Lexus Enform Safety Connect & Service Connect. Other mentionable features include the Lexus Safety System+ which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, high speed-dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist and intelligent high beam headlights. This model also takes into account the safety of our environment with a Fuel Economy & Greenhouse Gas Rating of 5 due to it’s eco mode gas saver. Due to this feature the 360 team was able to race from Los Angeles to Palm Springs and back with animalistic stamina and no need to refill the tank.

The IS 350 F Sport Model also comes equipped with a Mark Levinson audio which includes a navigation System with 10.3-in Color Multimedia Display, Mark Levinson 15 speaker and 835 Watt, 5.1-channel Surround Sound Audio System. In addition to the audio package the model comes with voice command, siri eyes free and Scout GPS Link TurnStrem(™).

CONCLUSION

The Lexus IS 350 F Sport is a vehicle made for successful self-motivated individuals who have a strong appreciation for extremely dynamic vehicles while additionally having the capabilities to comfortably seat five. Nevertheless, Lexus truly has found a means to win back car enthusiasts with this newly imagined entry level sports sedan.

Pre-order now!

360 magazine, Lexus, is 350, f sport

360 magazine, Lexus, is 350, f sport

360 magazine, Lexus, is 350, f sport

Cadillac CTS-V

By Vaughn Lowery x Reid Urban x Anthony Sovinsky

Cadillac is widely known for being America’s premier luxury vehicle. As for most luxury vehicles, it is focused on a classy, curb-appealing design with a comfort-oriented ride and top of the line technology. As a result, then appeared the 2004 debut of the Cadillac CTS-V, continuing to meet all the previous high-end expectations with some Olympic level athleticism.

The upgraded 2004 CTS-V inherited the Corvette’s 400-hp 5.7 liter V-8 engine and offered it only in a 6-speed manual, which is a unique addition to a unique consumer: the sports car enthusiast. This was a historical step for Cadillac as they now entered the luxury sport sedan realm with the likes of the BMW M5 and the Mercedes E63 AMG. What better way to make a statement than to be featured in one of the best adrenaline pumping car chase scenes of that time as seen in the 2004 movie The Matrix Reloaded.

Fast forward to its second best debut in 2009, which engraved Cadillac in the record books by setting a lap time of 7:59.32 at the Nurburgring for fastest production sedan. This was achieved with a 556hp supercharged 6.2 liter V8, enhanced handling due to the introduction of magnetic ride control, and brembo brakes on all four corners. This catapulted the CTS-V to the top of the ranks of the sport sedan class in performance,  beating the M5 and E63 AMG respectively from zero to 60 mph. 

PRESENT TIME 

The CTS-V will continue its reign in the high performance sport sedan category with the introduction of the astounding new and approved 2019 Cadillac CTS-V.

The front-end greets you with very sharp fighter-jet like lines matched with mesh grills and vents. It is clear the intent of the vehicle is to be as aerodynamic and performance-centric as possible. It features a carbon fiber splitter to redirect wind-drag to down force and keep the vehicle firmly planted for increased traction at higher speeds. The hood is also finished in carbon fiber with functional vents strategically placed to perform a variety of roles including: cooling of the high revving power plant, increased aerodynamics, and a slight weight reduction compared to its stock counterpart.

Moving to the rear of the vehicle, the side profile is reminiscent of a base model CTS until you spot the 19-inch forged premium painted alloy wheels wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport Summer-only low profile tires. Peering through the light weight forged alloy wheels are gargantuan racing-inspired six-piston front, four-piston rear, fixed caliper Brembo performance brakes with vented rotors that remind you to not forget the V. Moreover. The rear features a carbon fiber spoiler and rear diffuser accompanied by sport badging and quad pipes that announce top of the line engineering. The aggressiveness of the body suits the power in perfect synergism.

The various performance aesthetics are functional for two reasons: compliment the driver and compliment the engine. Let’s start with the engine. The boisterous opulent sedan is blessed to be a part of an incredible gene pool that continues to be one of the fittest on the road. Well-endowed with a supercharged 6.2L V8 producing 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque, it plans to be catapulted by this ostentatious hotrod from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. The horses are put down to the road with an 8-speed automatic transmission available in several drive modes: from the least powerful but still faster than your Eco Mode, to the keep-both-hands-on-the-wheel Track Option. Track mode will tighten the suspension and open all of the cylinders for more power while the transmission will hold gears and have quicker shifts for increased acceleration.

Suspension has been one of the major highlights of the CTS-V since 2009 with the introduction of magnetic ride control. It’s an important feature that reads the road up to one thousand times a second, allowing for incredibly sharp responses from driver input at the wheel. Supplementing “Mag Ride” are multilink MacPherson struts with independent front-and-rear suspension connected to a light-weight stiffened chassis. Such handling technology is especially important to expand the confidence the driver has on and off-track with a vehicle exhibiting as much power, size, and precision as this one embodies.

Interior finishing further address the performance capabilities, as it is fitted with Recaro racing seats up front that are tastefully badged with the V-series logo. Designed for a glove-tight fit for both driver and passenger, the racing-inspired seats keep you firmly situated to resist lateral G forces while hauling through twist and turns through your favorite canyons. However, also comfortable enough to endure a lengthy road trip or frequenting your executive meetings at the office. Rear seats comfortably sit three full-sized adults allowing for a total of four in tow. Don’t worry! It will take more weight than a cabin full of people to slow this bad boy down. The infotainment system is equally accessible to both passenger and driver for ease of use. Simple and straight forward, controls are all touch sensitive as to make the dash sleek and non-distracting. Additionally, the souped-up caddy is laced with some cool features including automatic window shades for more privacy, a digital rear view mirror that allows for more greater vision surrounding the vehicle, blind spot indicators, and Apple Carplay that is compatible with Siri for ease of use and hands-free connectivity with your super car.

Base models for the CTS-V are priced just at $86,995, which is a great value per dollar of horsepower you receive comparatively to other vehicles in its class. Not only that but you have the option to deck it out and become a real show-stopper with carbon fiber and Recaro seat package, which will put you over the 100k mark with a price tag of $106,000. All-in-all, the 2019 Cadillac CTS-V is one of the best performance sport sedans in the world and deserves a spot in your garage.

360, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery,

360, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery,