By sporting a brand new exterior, the fourth generation Lexus GS gets a more dynamic and an even more prominent appearance. This also shows just how far the brand has been able to develop its very own L-finesse design philosophy. While the length remains the same, it is higher by 30 mm and wider by 20 mm compared to the previous model. In addition, the front overhang is shorter by 10 mm while the rear overhang is longer by 10 mm.
To ensure that stability is maintained even at high speeds, both the front track and the rear track have been increased with the former being 40 mm longer and the latter by 50 mm. An important factor in the new design is that the front end has been given a more aggressive look, making the GS have that commanding and powerful road presence. This is definitely fitting for a sports sedan from Lexus. Another styling cue that can be observed in the GS is in fact one that was first included for the CT 200h. This particular design was evolved by combining into one element the slanted lower grille with that of the inverted trapezoid that is the upper grille.
As such, it bridges the mid-section of the bumper and results in a more pronounced spindle shape. At each side of this spindle grille, we find the brake cooling ducts which not only enhance the style but which have a function as well. Elegant and at the same time bold, this unique grille treatment ensures that one can immediately conclude that the GS is indeed a Lexus with just one look. This design cue will be adopted by the brand for all its line-ups in order to cement the final identity in between the model ranges. Still on the grille, on its sides are the headlamp clusters though they have been placed just a little bit higher than the grille. This is actually a quality that is distinct for Lexus models as it more than guarantees that the focus will be on the top of the vehicle. This gives the design a firm appearance and reinforces the perception of agility and speed.
Highlighting the headlamps are LED Daytime Running Lights which have been integrated to it and which contribute to the L-finesse arrowhead motif. This also helps strengthen the already unique graphic signature of this new GS. For the hybrid GS 450H, the brand is offering an exclusive three-lamp design that is able to align in one horizontal row the high and low beam LED lamps with the turn signal, a first for the brand.
Since these LED lamps deliver enhanced beam range and illumination, it results in superior visibility even when one is driving under low beam conditions. With the housings of the front foglamp integrated to it, the deep front bumper is able to form a wider trapezoid shape allowing the muscular front wings, and even its flared wheel arches, to be fastened. Again, this also helps to emphasize that the GS does have a wider front track as well as having a powerful road presence and broad stance. When viewed from the side, the new GS model has that slingshot window design and the elegant proportions of the cabin, both of which are highlighted by the door frame moulding which comes in stainless steel.
This is the same observation one can see in the previous model. What is different this time is that the roofline is higher by 15 mm which results in three important things. First is that it is easier to accommodate passengers in the rear, second is that there is larger boot space, and third, aerodynamic performance is optimized especially with Cd at 0.26. The design of its door handle was changed as well to ensure that it is easier to grip. With the use of the smart entry lock mechanism, the push switch is now a touch sensor thereby enhancing not just the look but even its operability.
Another remarkable design feature is that the door mirror has been integrated with the puddle lamp and the lamp for the LED side turn signal. Helping enhance the look of the new GS even further is the fact that the gaps between the door panels and that of the wheel arches and the tyres, have both been decreased. On the rear end, the new design starts to narrow at the back of its flared wheel arches and thus expose the lower part of the rear tyre. This underscores the wider rear track of the GS.
The LED lamp clusters have aero-stabilizing fins that improve the driving stability and the aerodynamic efficiency. For the G5 450h, a unique feature is that the apertures of the exhaust pipe are covered by the rear bumper. Further, as a result of the new design for the headlamp, it becomes easier to identify the GS 450h especially with the hybrid-specific badging on the front, the rear, and its side.
The new Lexus GS-F won’t anymore get the Lexus LFA's 552hp 4.8-liter V-10 engine; however, the F variant is still included in its plans. It’s because the LFA’s engine would have made up more than half the GS-F’s price. The GS-F will be launched about one year after the introduction of the '12 GS line in late 2011.
It’s expected that the GS-F will be powered by the competent 416hp 5.0-liter V-8 engine. It will be a worthwhile and exciting addition to Lexus' F performance lineup, which currently is made up of only the IS-F.
Similar to the BMW that has the 3, 5 and 7 Series, the GS is built on a longer version of a rear-drive platform that is also used by the IS. Lexus decided not to give a preview of the '12 GS with a performance version. Instead, it unveiled the hybrid LF-Gh concept at the New York show.
While the LF-Gh has the impractical features of a concept car, it has a basic look that’s far from being nonsense. It has the flame surfacing and it appears to be indicative of a more stylish model in the future as the brand moves to let go of its Japanese design image that’s described as bland by many.
The production Lexus CT hybrid already has received features like the flame surfacing and the nose. The concept car’s nose demonstrates Lexus’ decision to shift from traditional grilles to graphic designs.