I recently had the chance to test out the all-new 2013 Lexus GS 350 F SPORT edition and now have added a new car to my wish list. Not only does the vehicle impress with its stunning good looks with sleek body lines and 19″ graphite finish wheels (F SPORT edition), but also with the amount of technological amenities inside from the massive 12.3″ high resolution multimedia display with Navigation and Lexus Enform to the Striated Aluminum Interior trim. A road trip is the best way to truly experience a vehicle and all of its capabilities. So a trip was planned to travel from LA to Santa Barbara to San Jose with a final destination of the HP Arena for the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix Finals.

The Lexus Enform with Safety Connect is Lexus’ in-car navigation and information service. Complete with voice activated apps such as Bing, Open Table, Facebook, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Yelp. With more to come as updates and upgrades become available. I was able to easily download the Lexus Enform app on my iPhone and use that to set my preferences. It came in handy to locate places nearby while on the road trip such as gas, food and shopping locations. Having XM, Pandora and iHeartRadio at a touch of a button using the Remote Touch made the trip that much more enjoyable with no excuse to listen to bad music.

Safety comes first and with state of the art technology the Lexus Safety Connect provides peace of mind with Destination Assist, eDestination, Roadside Assistance and more. It also includes an emergency assistance button for quick one-touch help, automatic collision notification and stolen vehicle location. One of my favorite safety features was the blind spot monitor system with a simple glance in the side view mirrors a light would illuminate to notify me that another vehicle was in my blind spot. Top that off with F SPORT-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension and 14″ 2-piece front brake rotors w/ 4-piece calipers for full control.

Driving the car was pure heaven. Through the rough roads in Downtown LA to the twists and turns of the Santa Barbara back-country roads the ride was smooth and comfy. One feature that I enjoyed for this trip was the variable driving modes with 4 options to choose from Normal, ECO, Sport S and Sport S+. For the long straight drive on the freeway I often used ECO to save on gas (the car has great fuel economy (28 mpg highway and 19 mpg city) and I only had to fill up a couple times), but I made sure to test each of the other modes as well. Through the Santa Barbara empty backroads, Sport and Sport S+ gave me extra power and handling to maintain control and speed utilizing all 306 hp of the V6 engine. The difference between Sport and Sport S+ is mainly in the suspension and steering as Sport S+ engages the handling of the adaptive variable suspension and Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) together w/ the powertrain enhancements (revises throttle mapping and transmission shifting priorities) of Sport S mode.

The cockpit of the Lexus GS 350 FSPORT is fantastic. LED lights illuminate the interior, while the supple leather reminds you that you’re in a refined machine. The seating boasts heat and AC controls while also providing 16-way adjustments including 4-way lumbar support and even side bolsters to keep you firmly in place to the most ergonomic seating position.

image courtesy of Lexus

Personalized performance with a touch of luxury and innovation is what the new Lexus GS350 F SPORT delivers. I can honestly say I would pick one up for myself. Perhaps even a new platform for the next SEMA project.

Instagram Photos from the Trip…follow me @john_pangilinan