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Lexus GS (2012) spied at the 'Ring

Published: 14 July 2011

This is the new Lexus GS, spied at the Nürburgring. Mr May might protest at the increasing number of new vehicles that are honed at this infamous German circuit, but testing here is as much about reliability and endurance as lap times. Read on for the full story on the new Lexus GS

So, four-cylinder diesels and an estate are presumably on the cards for the new Lexus GS?

Wrong, I’m afraid. There’s no Touring or Avant or any sort of load-lugger in the product plans. And Lexus has no desire to sell a diesel model either. However, with the vast majority of sales in the executive sector – at least in Europe – accounted for by small diesels (think BMW 520d, Audi A6 2.0 TDIs, Mercedes E220 CDI, and now Jaguar XF 2.2 D) Lexus is readying a four-cylinder petrol hybrid powertrain for the new GS.

Beyond that, Lexus will stick with what it knows: a petrol V6 hybrid. Elsewhere in the world that engine will be offered without electrical assistance, but in the UK the new Lexus exec will only be available as a hybrid. This GS450h will still run a 3.5-litre V6, but expect a big leap forward from the 35.8mpg and 179g/km achieved by today’s car, to official figures easily ahead of the 44.9mpg and 145g/km that the bigger, heavier RX450h SUV can achieve. Once again the Lexus GS will major on refinement, but with electrical assistance there’ll also be performance to compete with the best V8-engined rivals.

What else do we know about the new Lexus GS?

That its look might prove a bit of a departure from the sedate styling that we currently associated with Lexus. The LF-Gh concept car unveiled at the 2011 New York motor show gave us a glimpse of the new design direction – and we hear it won’t be toned down quite as drastically as the CT200h was in its step from concept to production car. Visible on this prototype is an aggressive bodykit, plus fuel-saving LED front and rear lights.

Inside we hear the touch-screen will vanish, in place of the latest mouse-style controller that’s already appeared in the RX SUV and CT200h hatch. We’ll see the production car this autumn, at either the Frankfurt or Tokyo motor show, and UK sales start in summer 2012.


 

By Ben Pulman

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

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