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Lexus GS (2012) the first official pictures

Published: 19 August 2011

This is the new Lexus GS, which has just been revealed at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, USA.

Presumably the new Lexus GS is clean and green?

Well, yes, but much of the official Lexus press release is filled with phrases like ‘improved driving dynamics’ and ‘packed with innovative performance’, but no mention is made of fuel consumption or emission figures. All we know officially is that there’ll be a full hybrid GS450h for the UK, along with a purely petrol GS250 – markets like the USA will also be sold a GS350 (pictured). Still, reckon on the GS450h easily besting the Lexus RX450h SUV’s 44.8mpg and 145g/km.

Instead of mpg and CO2, Lexus claims the engineering team’s main objective was ‘to provide a more engaging driving experience’. That means a more aerodynamic design, a stiffer chassis, a faster-shifting transmission, and apparently, a ‘distinctive engine sound and exhaust note’. More spot welds have upped the structural rigidity, the front track is 40mm wider with aluminium upper and lower control arms that boast larger bushings, while at the rear there’s a new subframe to accommodate an all-new multi-link suspension set-up and a 50mm wider track. There's an S-line and M Sport-rivalling F-Sport variant on the way, too.

Lots of promise, but I’ve been disappointed before. I mean, Lexus built up our expectations with that gorgeous concept…

Yes, just as sexy LF-Ch morphed into the sedate CT200h, so the aggressive LF-Gh has become the much more conservative GS. The new ‘spindle’ grille is set to become a signature styling feature on all future Lexuses, and we’ll reserve judgement until we see it in the metal – from some angles it looks bland, but from others there’s actually a hint of dynamism. Only a hint, mind.

And inside?

Lexus claims that while the exterior dimensions are ‘virtually unchanged’, it’s increase both cabin and boot space – the latter definitely needed it, as that hybrid system robbed too much space. Apparently luggage capacity is up almost 25%.

A mouse-style controller negates the need for a plethora of buttons, the new S-Flow climate controls system detects whether there are any back-seat passengers (and only directs air flow to the front seats if there aren’t), and LED lights, err, light the cabin.

A reversing camera is standard, as are 10 airbags, new Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats, and an eight-inch central display screen. Spec sat-nav and you get a 12.3-inch screen, while the optional Mark Levinson audio system boasts 835 watts, 17 speakers and 7.1 Surround Sound.

Other extras include a radar-guided cruise control system with an auto-brake function, a night vision camera, a head-up display, a blind spot monitor, a lane departure warning system and lane keeping assist.

UK deliveries start in summer 2012.

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By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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