Lexus GS Tuning

Tuning and modding the Lexus GS

The GS is frequently overlooked as a performance car, probably because of the badge and fact it is a saloon but with the excellent range of engines on offer it is a really good candidate for a car tuning project.

Due to it's size and equipment load there is a lot of weight in the GS which can hold it back. If you do some serious weight reduction you will literally transform the standard car into something quite nippy and agile. Then if you start modding it you can end up with something very special indeed.

Handling modifications are usually high on the agenda for the GS tuning projects. To improve the handling you are generally looking at suspension and tyre upgrades and larger drops are not always good, as it can impair the ride quality. Adjustable shocks work best here allowing you to tailor the cars handling to suit your driving style.

Bear in mind that a track day suspension setup will be hard to live with on our roads with potholes and rough surfaces to contend with.

We shall now turn our focus to the GS engine. If you want to get a little more power out of the top end we need to choose our mods carefully.

It doesn't take a lot of money to make big changes to the performance and handling of your GS

When it comes to car tuning you always get a percentage gain so start off with the range of powerful engines Lexus have used you have a great basis to work from. Even the relatively small 3.0 2JZ-GE engine puts out 225 bhp in standard form. Look to raise the power of your engine by around 20% before you need to think about strengthening the block. In 2006 power levels dropped as the more economical 3.0 V6 3GR-FSE engine was introduced but by 2008 power figures were again on a steady climb.

Lexus GS Tuning modifications.

Peak power is all well and good but if you want a truly driveable car it will need a wide power band and lots of low down torque. Don't get misled by manufacturer claims of big peak power gains, they don't tell the whole story, it is the torque or power band you need to focus your attention on.

One of the most significant with the best cost to power gain, engine mods you can do is to fit a fast road cam. If your car is making more power then it will need more air and fuel so fuelling upgrades are important mods if you are serious about power. Look to aftermarket parts suppliers for uprated injectors and fuel pumps and in some cases you'll find that your manufacturer offers uprated options as fitted to performance models. Gas flowing the head and getting a 5 angle valve job will also make a dramatic difference to the power gains and torque band if done properly.

Lexus GS intake and exhaust modifications.

Breathing mods are usually easily sorted and probably one of the easiest mods to do. You need to derestrict the airflow into the engine as much as possible and the bottleneck on most engines is the air filter so fitting a cotton panel air filter will address this. Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can find this will slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 2.5 to 3.2 inches. See our article on performance exhausts for details of the issue around large bore exhausts and how to choose the right size for your engine.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional porting and polishing. These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods. A good fast road power clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never just hope that a standard worn clutch will cope.

Adding forced induction will see big power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. It is easier to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with engine speed. It is easier to map a supercharger because the boost is proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Alternatively you could add water injection to control knock.

Lexus GS Wheel modifications.

The benefits of alloy wheels include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. The downside to large alloy wheels on your GS is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on acceleration and performance. Aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases we do not recommend going above 18 inches.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss GS options in more detail with our GS owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Lexus tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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