Gym Class Heroes: Toyota Aristo V300 Vertex

I spotted this Toyota Aristo at the parking lot of the gym I frequent. I do prefer the non-bug-eyed older Aristo, but this is still a weird enough sighting over here. Lexus GS:s aren’t too common here either, and the JDM alternative stands out just a little bit more.
Especially since it’s got partially gold badging and sort of noticeable wheels.

I don’t know why the front Toyota emblem isn’t gold, though. Maybe the gilded one got nicked at some point. You can also see the headlights have seemingly had some replacement work done, to make the RHD car more suitable for an LHD environment.
Heh, a Darwin fish.
Yeah, I’m not quite sure about the wheels.
This JZS161 V300 Vertex Edition Twin Turbo has the 2JZ-GTE engine with VVT-i, producing ~280 horsepower and 435 Nm of torque. That should make the car leave the scene quite a bit more briskly than an original Finnish-registered beige GS300.
[Images: Copyright 2015 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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  1. tonyola Avatar

    There is a passing resemblance between this Toyota and the much cheaper Daewoo Leganza. Given the shoddy quality of the Daewoo, I’ll bet that it’s rarer than the Toyota/Lexus these days.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        This wouldn’t have worked, ever. Looks a bit Maserati-ish.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      An even more marked resemblance between the Leganza and the Jaguar Kensington with the previous and first, S140 (and IMHO, better looking), model of Aristo/GS. Hardly surprising as they all share the same designer, (and possibly the same concept sketches?)
      Giorgetto Guigiaro’s Ital Design appears to have been selling the same concept to Toyota and Daewoo, and trying to sell it to Jaguar.
      The one to get is the JDM only first generation S140 4.0 Zi-Four with the 4.0 litre V8 and AWD

  2. dukeisduke Avatar

    Are those center lights on the rear used as rear fogs? Over here, they’re just more brake lights, and they’re usually faded. I remember the first time I saw that gen GS in person. I was wowed. Also, I’d like to see some shots of that Hilux.

    1. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      i thought the Mercedes W210, the Ford Escort ZX2, and the GS were each The Coolest Things owing entirely to those little satellite headlight and tail lamp blobs. not a thing I’d seen, and (fortunately) not a thing often seen since.

    2. Manic_King Avatar

      Not sure either, I guess one would be fog light and other just dummy. Euro rear lights:$_1.JPG

  3. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    i am quite sure about those wheels. the car would look better sitting on cinderblocks.

  4. dukeisduke Avatar

    And is that a John Deere dealer over there? Wow. That’s a long way from Moline, Illinois.

  5. mr smee Avatar
    mr smee

    I have a GS400, love my car. Nope, not as sporty as a BMW. Nope, doesn’t have Mercedes cache. Does have incredibly smooth V8, cruses all-day above 100mph, is reliable as heck. Lexus cars have character if you look for it. (FYI dukeisduke, the inner red lamps are tail-lights not fogs, and this car has converted headlights to projectors). Considering the power, quality, luxury and reliability, these cars are the used-car bargain of the century, everyone looking for something cheap and good in this category should look at one.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      I was wondering if they were used as rear fogs in Europe. All the ones I see in the US use them as brake lights. And a lot of them are faded, or one is faded and one is not (different suppliers?).

      1. duurtlang Avatar

        Rear fog lights are mandatory in most if not all of Europe. Lexus GSs are way too rare here for me to remember, but I’d guess one of the center lights is used as a rear fog light. It’s the most logical location, and I don’t see an alternative location.

      2. mr smee Avatar
        mr smee

        Yeah, those inboard tail lights do fade from UV. Mine are Ok because there’s little sunlight here for 4 months of the year. The 2nd generation GS was extremely rare here for the the first few years I had mine, now with internet auctions/importers, these are becoming the car of choice for the “tuner” crowd here (Ugh).

  6. Preludacris Avatar

    Someone forgot half the recipe. It calls for “wheels and a drop” – not just “wheels.”

  7. kogashiwa Avatar

    There are a very few of these Aristos trickling into Canada now. I kind of want one. The older version especially is basically a luxury Supra.
    My IS300 also has a hungry eye on the engine. The Aristo 2JZ-GTE is pretty close to the Supra version and lot cheaper, great for swapping.

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