And now, drumroll, please…at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Lexus has unveiled the all-new GS350,with sharper styling and sportier handling.
The new GS is wider than the outgoing four-eyed model, as befitting an entirely new platform that is even more rigid but stays within the same size. Lexus engineers focused on making the car more aerodynamic, with carefully-designed trunklids and bumpers to make sure air gets tamed as it passes above and below. Lexus says the Gs features a class-leading coefficient of drag, but declined giving any numbers.
From the outside, it certainly looks new: gone are the wide-eyed, mismatched headlights and baleen grille, exorcised for more aggressive knife edges and angles. It’s an evolution of Lexus’s L-Finesse styling that blatantly takes its cues from the supercar LF-A. Lexus now calls the new chrome-speared grille a “spindle grille,” whatever that means. But from the side, the GS sharply mimics its LS older brother, and manages to look more purposeful at the same time: 17-inch wheels are standard as well, with the option of going up to 19 inches.
Under the hood, the Ss350 gets for a base engine a 3.5-liter V6, good for 306 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. In order to stay competitive with the Infiniti M, however, expect larger V8 engines to make it into the fold. A six-speed sequential automatic puts this power to the ground, through the rear wheels as well as an available all-wheel drive system. All of this is good for a 0-60 sprint of 5.7 seconds on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 142 mph.
Inside, one can expect all of the leather and wood accoutrements as expected of Lexus, with some trick energy-saving technologies: an automatic climate control system Lexus calls S-Flow, which detects the number and position of its occupants, and directs airflow only to them. Despite keeping the same dimensions, cabin space has increased with more head- and legroom both in front and back. And good news for those home-improvement types: trunk space has increased by 25%, and doors now open even wider than before.
Technology? The Gs gets a central touchscreen that controls DVD audio and video capability, MP3, Bluetooth, Gracenote, HD and satellite radio, 5.1 Surround Sound, a text-to-speech feature for those distracted types, and Lexus Enform, which hooks owners up with Facebook, Pandora, Yelp, stock quotes, movie tickets and dinner reservations, and Bing Internet search. An optional 10-channel, 835-watt Mark Levinson system with 7.1 Surround Sound and 17 speakers is available.
The new Gs should keep Lexus competitive with its main target, the Infiniti M. And Lexus is banking on the likes of enthusiast drivers to take a look at the Gs: whether this is a successful move on their part, we’ll only know from a first drive. Stay tuned to Autoguide for that soon.
GALLERY: 2013 Lexus GS350
Watch video from the Pebble Beach unveiling after the jump:
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