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New Lexus GS (2012) – now it’s official

Fri, 19 Aug 2011

2012 Lexus GS - this time it's official

It felt as if we already knew what the 2012 Lexus GS looks like. But we didn’t, not really.

We thought the 2012 GS would look like the Lexus LF-Gh concept, the bold and aggressive concept Lexus showed us in the Spring. But it doesn’t.

We then thought it would look just like the photos we had the other day of the new Lexus GS snapped in China, which looked very undynamic compared to the LF-Gh. But the new GS doesn’t really look like that either. But the truth does lie somewhere in between.

Lexus has revealed the 2012 GS at Pebble Beach, and although it’s not as dynamic-looking as the LF-Gh, it is a lot bolder than the photos from China suggested.

The bold grill is still there, although it’s bisected by bodywork (a bit of a shame) and it’s spindled rather than the mesh on the LF-Gh , the sills are no longer as butch and the back end is much more corporate Lexus. But it looks a jump on from the current GS.

Under the stiffer body there’s a wider track (40mm at the front, 50mm at the back) and a revised suspension with aluminium upper and lower control arms at the front and a new subframe with new multi-link suspension at the back, and quicker transmission.

What all this should add up to is a much more dynamic GS; one that seeks to make the whole more than just a combination of beautifully bolted together parts. In short, a driver’s car.

It’s a noble aim and one, you won’t be surprised to learn, we are very much in favour of. What we’re also in favour of is that Lexus has seen fit to endow the 2012 GS with more than just the hybrid gubbins in the GS 450h, and is going to offer the GS 250 in the UK too, with a 2.5 litre V6 and – we hope – a real gearbox.

We also hope that at some point Lexus will give is what they’ve threatened to do for some time and put some real firepower under the GS bonnet to create a GS-F. They are going to offer F-Sport version, they say, but we guess that’s more likely to be a cosmetics-only job. Still, we live in hope.

What there won’t be at lauNch is a diesel model of any sort. Lexus even went as far as to tell us that they won’t be offering the new GS with a diesel lump at all when we asked them, but as the word of PR managers on stuff like this is about as reliable as testimony from O J Simpson, you shouldn’t take that as fact.

Safety systems get a big shout on the new GS with ten airbags, Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) seats, pre-collision warning system (which will even brake itself if you ignore it), Blind Spot Monitor, Heads Up, Lane Departure Warning and Night Vision. Every techno-nanny you could imagine – and then some. Hopefully, you’ll be able to turn everything off when you go out to play.

As you would expect, toys will also abound in the 2012 Lexus GS, with stuff like a huge 12.3″ high-resolution multi-media screen for cars specced with SatNav, all the connectivity you could shake a stick at and a thumping great Mark Levinson sound system on the options list for those who enjoy bleeding ears.

All in all a decent sounding package. Those who’ve driven the 2012 GS say it’s a big jump on as a driver’s car from the current GS. We hope they’re right. The expectations are high that Lexus has seen the light with the GS and is ready to give us a more dynamic car. They’ve toned the cosmetics down from the concept, but let’s hope the dynamics match the high expectations Lexus has created.

I guess we’ll find out when we drive the 2012 Lexus GS for ourselves.

(32 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

By Cars UK