Lexus unveiled the new GS at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California on Thursday, 18 August. The car will reach the UK market in 2012.
The new GS brings a more engaging driving experience, bolder design and a more spacious, contemporary interior, heralding a new chapter in the history of Lexus.
Starting with the bold spindle grille – set to be a signature feature of future Lexus models – the new GS conveys an air of confidence. This is supported by a redesigned chassis with a wide, strong stance that clearly signals the new GS is designed to inspire and reward driver participation with crisp and precise handling.
Lexus engineers challenged themselves to develop a more spacious interior environment for the new GS. Leaving exterior dimensions virtually unchanged, they increased cabin and boot space to create a richly appointed interior that will transport passengers and their luggage in comfort, regardless of distance.
The new Lexus GS will be launched in early 2012, including hybrid and F-Sport versions. For the UK there will be the GS 450h full hybrid and GS 250 petrol engined derivatives. Details will be announced later this year.
A New Personality, An Invitation To Drive
Designing the new GS to be both strong and agile was a key focus of the engineering team. Their main objective was to provide a more engaging driving experience. To achieve this they created a new aerodynamic body, a wider stance and stiffer structure, a transmission with quicker changes and distinctive engine sound and exhaust note.
The revised platform is more rigid compared to the current model thanks to an increased number of spot welds and adding laser welds in very specific locations. The track, wider by 40mm at the front and 50mm at the rear, works in combination with a revised suspension design to give a more assured stance and superior cornering performance.
The new suspension system is designed to guide the GS through corners with precision. In the front, aluminium upper and lower control arms employ larger bushings. The rear subframe has been completely redesigned to accommodate an all-new multi-link rear suspension, the improved geometry enhancing rear-end control. With the stiffer platform and lighter components, the shock absorbers can use lighter-viscosity oil, responding faster to small inputs.
The use of aluminium reduces unsprung weight and results in significantly improved agility, ride comfort, body control and steering precision. Ventilated disc brakes featuring four-piston aluminum front calipers are equipped with the latest electronic enhancements to provide braking balance and control.
Attention To Detail
The precisely sculpted exterior of new GS fuses distinctive style with engineering functionality, expressing a new generation of Lexus’ design philosophy which will be applied to future models.
This is evident in details such as the fins incorporated into the side of the tail lamps and the design of the boot area, each helping to direct air over and past the car.
The signature spindle grille with its trapezoidal contours integrates into the aggressive front bumper to allow for efficient airflow. This distinctive Lexus design feature, combined with the deep-set, high-tech headlamps and L-shaped LED daytime running lamps, express the vehicle’s confident and dynamic character. The headlamps use a projector beam design, adding a strong, chiseled appearance and excellent illumination.
From the side, the GS projects the image of a spacious performance saloon with a road-hugging stance. The tapered lower door sills and the short front overhang give the vehicle a sense of motion while width-enhancing wheel arches add an athletic stance, suggesting the vehicle’s dynamic abilities.
The rear bumper features a diffuser and centered aero fins to help control underbody airflow. Combined with the L-shaped LED tail lamps, a Lexus design cue, these rear bumper features lend a high-performance appearance.
Even the paint technology has been developed to make subtle bodylines more noticeable and the surface appear finely polished. New colours will benefit from glass flakes incorporated into the coating that adds a high level of brilliance to the paint. Lexus engineers also developed a new coating technology which makes the paint appear more radiant, the additional metallic texture giving both strong shading and defined, sharp highlights.
Spacious Interior with Premium Upgrades
Painstaking attention to detail has been applied to the GS cabin to create a balance of luxury, technological amenity and emotional design. Focused around the driver and the driving experience, it also provides more space for all occupants, increasing the comfort of both front and rear passengers. The new layout of the long, sculpted dash gives the driver and front passenger a sense of roominess through its clean centre stack and large high-resolution display screen. Most of the comfort and convenience controls such as audio and climate are relocated to provide a cleaner and more sophisticated dash layout.
A redesigned seat frame and changes to the steering column give increased comfort and better forward visibility to the driver. Revised door openings offer easier entry and exit and boot access is improved with a wider, deeper opening. Luggage capacity has been increased by almost 25 per cent.
The interior includes a number of embedded premium features as standard equipment. A new energy-saving auto climate control system called S-Flow uses the occupant-detection system to focus airflow only to the front area where passengers are actually seated, a first-in-class technology. A next-generation Remote Touch with one-push confirmation is standard on all models and enables smooth, intuitive operation of climate, audio and phone controls as well as use of the navigation system and more. A standard reversing camera helps add security and convenience.
The finely crafted cabin detail is complemented by ambient lighting that unobtrusively welcomes and guides the user into the vehicle, providing a carefully designed experience. New white LED lights are sequentially lit to illuminate the areas around the doors, centre console and footwells. A new analogue clock, carved from an ingot, adds an unexpected touch.
Cabin materials include three types of wood and meticulously detailed contrast stitching is used as a visual accent around the interior to create a rich, tailored interior space.
Integrated Safety Systems
In addition to enhanced braking systems and an impact-absorbing body structure, the new GS offers significant advances in both passive and active safety systems as standard equipment.
Among the class-leading 10 airbags in the new GS, there are knee airbags for both driver and front passenger. Rear seat occupants have seat-mounted side airbags, and all four outboard occupants are equipped with side curtain airbags.
New Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats increase the likelihood that occupants will be in the optimum position at the moment of impact, enhancing the protective effect of the seatbelt system. Standard seatbelts with pretensioners with force limiters used for front and outboard rear seats add to occupant protection.
Options include a pre-collision system, which uses the dynamic radar cruise control system to provide early warning of upcoming objects that might result in a collision. The system also uses a first-in-class infrared camera to monitor the driver’s eyes. If the driver is not looking forward when a collision appears imminent, the system will sound a warning sooner than otherwise. If the driver still does not respond and make the appropriate manoeuvre, the system will initiate braking up to two seconds prior to impact, helping to lessen the severity of the collision.
Other available safety systems include a Night Vision System that enhances driver visibility in the dark; Head-Up Display (HUD); a Blind Spot Monitor that helps detect vehicles in rear/side blind spots; and Lane Keep Assist (LKA) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW). GS is the first in its segment to offer LKA with active steering torque to provide a small assistance in maintaining course, while the LDW feature alerts drivers if they begin to drift out of their lane.
Next-generation Lexus multimedia brings a host of standard entertainment and connectivity enhancements, including enhanced Bluetooth® capability with automatic phonebook download and streaming audio.
GS drivers will get DVD audio and video compatibility, MP3 sound enhancement, 5.1 Surround Sound, and a high-resolution eight-inch central control display centrally located high up in the instrument panel.
Cars fitted with the navigation system will have an industry-first 12.3-inch high-resolution multi-media screen, large enough to support simultaneous, split-screen viewing of a large map display, plus audio, climate or other vehicle information.
For the ultimate in audio performance, an 835-watt, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system is available. The system provides 7.1 Surround Sound through 10 channels using a new class D Digital amplifier and efficient Green Edge™ speakers that are lighter, more energy-efficient and have less distortion. The new system produces almost three times as many watts per channel versus the previous generation.