Lexus have released the first details and photos of the 2012 Lexus GS. It looks pretty similar to the old one, but its a completely new car. We take a look to see whats new.
On the outside
The new styling looks smart, but isnt exactly bold, which is pretty much what wed expect from Lexus. Its slightly more aggressive looking, with deep-set headlights and shaped LED running lights.
Round the back it looks quite sporty, with large integrated exhaust pipes and aero fins at the bottom. Apparently the range of paint colours has been designed to make the subtle body lines stand out more, all the colours will have glass flakes within the paint which makes the surface appear more polished.
On the inside
The previous GS wasnt exactly roomy inside, so the main aim for this new 2012 GS was to increase the space. The sculpted dashboard gives front passengers more room and the clutter-free centre console and large monitor are aimed to make the whole cabin feel spacious.
Luggage space has increased by 25%, and all the doors have been redesigned so theres more space when getting in and out. Crucially though there isnt any mention of increasing rear leg-room, which was one of the main complaints about the last one.
Standard kit includes a climate control system that senses which seats are being sat in and only directs airflow to where passengers are. Reversing cameras come as standard, as does the Remote Touch system which controls the sat-nav, stereo and climate control. Theres also an 8-inch screen, 5.1 surround sound, Bluetooth and DVD compatibility as standard.
Optional extras include a bigger 12.3 inch screen and an impressive sounding 17 speaker Mark Levinson 7.1 surround sound system. Safety options include a head-up-display, Blind Spot Monitor and Lane Keep Assist. Theres also an automatic breaking system option which can tell if the driver is looking forward or not when a collision is detected and apply the breaks.
In the press release a lot is made of all these optional safety systems, but its hard to be impressed by these when the new Focus has the same technology!
One noteworthy feature is the analogue clock that sits in the centre console. We think its a sign that Lexus are trying to add a bit more emotional appeal to the new GS and not just make it feel like a technologically advanced but lifeless car.
Under the bonnet
There will be a choice of two engines, the hybrid GS 450h and the petrol GS 250 (Note the lack of diesel engine!). No words yet on any specs for these engines though.
The last GS wasnt a sporty drive, so Lexus focused on making a more involving driving experience. They say theyve done this thanks to a faster transmission, better sounding engines and a more rigid platform.
The previous Lexus GS was a decent car, but not great. The hybrid version, the G450h was one of the earliest saloon hybrids on sale, but the biggest problem was its unimpressive fuel economy, most diesel rivals offered better lower running costs and better performance. Normally when a manufacturer announces details of a new car they share the stats such as MPG and BHP, but not this time, so well have to wait before reporting on those.
Well also have to hold out for the first reviews to find out two other key details. First whether its any better to drive, the latest Lexus launched, the CT 200h, was heavily criticised for being no fun. Secondly whether theyve managed to make it roomier in the back.