2011 hasn’t been the best year for Lexus on the North American market. The world crisis combined with the massive earthquake that shook Japan to its core in March 2011 hurt the company’s sales and made it surrender its 11-year reign as the best-selling luxury brand in the United States. However, Lexus has plans to make a major comeback, announcing plans to offer nine new or updated products to hopefully increase their sales by about 21%. This translates to 240,000 units compared to 2011’s 198,552 units.
"We will grow more than any other luxury brand this year. Our base plan is 240,000. But we think we can exceed that by a pretty good margin," said Mark Templin, Lexus General Manager.
The list of new models includes the GS 350 and GS 450h sport sedans arriving in February, followed by reworked versions of the ES 350, the IS 250 and 350, the LS 460, and the 600h. The LX SUV will also be refreshed in 2012.
But the biggest news for 2012 is the LF-LC Hybrid Concept shown at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. This concept will be immediately followed by a production version priced somewhere between $100,000 and $130,000.
Apart from being one of the most awesome supercars on the planet, the Lexus LF-A taught us something important about Lexus. Toyota’s luxury division is trying to shed away its conservative persona in favor of being seen as a harbinger of high-performance cars.
Now it appears they’re targeting more than just the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the world. They’ve also got an eye towards performance vehicles like the BMW M5, which only adds to Lexus’ growing reputation as a giant slayer.
According to Autocar, the Japanese automaker is planning on building a high-performance version of the GS-F, one that will carry a tuned version of the LF-A’s 4.8-liter V10 engine and will have at least 450 horsepower on tap. Those figures still fall short of the M5’s 550-horsepower output, but it’s still what people will consider as high-performance. Besides, you can expect Lexus to make up for the relative lack of output by packing all sorts of technology in the car.
Lexus’ intention of catering more to the world of high-performance cars was busted open with the release of the LF-A supercar. After seeing what they’re truly capable of, we’re not going to put anything past these guys.
If they want to go after cars like the BMW M5, then by all means, more power to them.
2013 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport pictured above
Lexus has officially unveiled the GS 250 sedan - the smallest version of the GS family - on the British market. The new model will go on sale in June 2012, along with the GS 450h->Lexus and the F-Sport version.
The new GS 250 uses a 2.5-liter V6 petrol engine with D-4S direct port injection and Dual VVT-i intelligent valve timing. The engine delivers a total of 206 HP at 6,400 rpm and a peak torque of 186 lb-ft delivered at 4,800 rpm. It is mated to Lexus’s Super ECT-i close-ratio intelligent six-speed automatic transmission, with a sequential manual shift function. The car can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds and can hit a top speed of 142 mph.
The list of standard equipment includes a 12.3-inch multimedia screen, a new S-flow air conditioning system with nanoe air purifying technology, and a new Mark Levinson audio system with up to 17 speakers. And just like all the other GS models, the driver can adjust vehicle behavior to suit road conditions and driving preferences using the Drive Mode Select. This system gives the option of Eco, Normal, and Sport S modes, while versions equipped with Adaptive Variable Suspension will also offer a Sport S+ mode for even more dynamic performance.
Lexus employees have barely finished buffing out the brand spanking new GS 350 F-Sport and there’s already a tuner prepared to debut the vehicle’s first tuning package. Through the eyes of Five Axis comes the Project GS F Sport with some aesthetic and mechanical updates to wow the SEMA showgoers.
The Project GS F-Sport is sparkling in a Glacier White exterior paint with custom Slate Gray accents to offset the unique Silver textured accents for the interior. The vehicle is then given a little attitude with a Five Axis widebody conversion kit and a new set of wheels - size 20x9.5" at front and 20x10.5" at rear - wrapped in Yokohama Advan Sport tires.
The gleaming aesthetic changes are matched up with tools for better stability on the road. The Project GS F-Sport comes equipped with a new Stoptech Brake Kit with six-piston opposed calipers up front and four at the rear, an AirRunner TC-5 Air suspension system, and a custom fabricated exhaust with dual finishers by Five Axis for that clean engine sound. Speaking of the engine, Five Axis left the 3.5-liter V6 engine of the standard model untouched so owner will still be riding away using 306 HP.
The Lexus GS F-Sport’s first tuning package may not contain all of the bells and whistles of the average kit, but the result seems to be astounding nonetheless.
UPDATE 11/07/2011: If you wanted to see what the GS F Sport by Five Axis looks like in real life, then check out our live images from SEMA!
The new Lexus GS350 debuted at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours, leaving many with the building anticipation for its F-Sport package sibling. That wait will soon be over as Lexus will be headed to the 2011 SEMA Auto Show with the GS F-Sport and will be displaying it from Nov. 1st-4th, 2011.
The new GS F-Sport harbors the same 306 HP 3.5-liter V6 engine from the standard model, but adds "the ability to take performance to an entirely new level." The F-Sport package adds unique exterior and interior design treatments, as well as an F-Sport-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), thicker anti-roll bars, bushing changes, and new larger front brakes with high friction pads.
"The all-new GS 350 with F-Sport package will offer our customers more agility and a sportier appearance," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “The racing-inspired F-Sport components were precision engineered for this vehicle, providing quality performance without compromise."
Hit the jump to read more about the Lexus GS 350 F-Sport. Full story
Lexus has been rolling out their new fleet of vehicles over the past couple of weeks, highlighted by the presentation of the 2013 GS 350 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. You would think that after what’s been a busy two weeks, Toyota’s premium brand would be slowing down a bit to catch their breaths.
The Japanese automaker is now gearing up for the world debuts of two new vehicles, the GS F-Sport and GS 450h.
No word yet as to what these cars will bring when the covers are pulled off, but all indications are that the GS 450h will be making its world presentation at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Among other things, the GS 450h will carry a hybrid powertrain that features a V6 engine combined with an electric motor.
Meanwhile, the GS F-Sport will carry plenty of aerodynamic accessories, not the least of which include a redesigned front bumper and judging from the teaser photo, a honeycomb grille and a new set of alloy wheels to go with a new suspension set-up.
Though it’s possible that we’re going to see the GS F-Sport alongside the GS450h in Frankfurt, don’t be surprised if Lexus keeps the former under the covers for now with an eye towards the 2011 SEMA show in Las Vegas.
At the rate they’re going, it’s probably best for these guys to bring one up at a time. SEMA’s scheduled for November anyway and after the month they’ve had and the busy September coming up, these guys have every right in the world to keep the GS F-Sport behind the curtains until then.
This year has been a little lackluster for Lexus in terms of beating our their competition, but the luxury end of Toyota is getting back on track for what it says will be a couple of exciting years. With all its latest innovations, Lexus is planning a few big things to battle it out against the likes of BMW and Mercedes. This includes a full refresh of its luxury sedans, as well as a kick-the-competition-in-the-ass LF-A Roadster.
The passenger-car lineup will be made over by the spring of 2013, as the GS, ES, IS, and LS sedans will all be either redesigned or re-engineered. However, the biggest gun in the arsenal will be the LF-A supercar. The 500 units for the current LF-A coupe will be finished by 2013, then a roadster version will be unveiled in 2014. This model was actually previewed by the LF-A Roadster concept unveiled in 2008, but the production version will feature the company’s latest design language. Lexus hasn’t said anything about the more powerful version of their LF-A supercar rumored a while ago, but we hope that will be their secret weapon somewhere down the line.
In addition to the sedan redo and the drop top LF-A, Lexus also has plans for the future GS-F performance edition and the LS. The company has said that the high-performance version will not feature a conventional V8 engine, but a hybrid drivetrain. The LS will also be redesigned in 2013 - it will get weight-saving technology using premium materials and a new, more economical engine.
Lexus will be unveiling the new generation GS sedan on August 18th, in conjunction with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. That much we already know, but what many don’t know just yet is that the company is planning a coupe version of the model. The new GS Coupe will be a spiritual successor to the SC 430 and will target models like the Audi S5, BMW 650i, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe.
In an interview with Inside Line, Ben J. Mitchell, Lexus’ product planner manager said: "I’d like to do a coupe. We’re really trying to increase the emotional qualities of our brand. We want to emphasize exterior styling and dynamics."
The GS Coupe will be the company’s second two-door model with more than two seats (the IS hardtop convertible was the first). Under the hood, expect to find a 3.5-liter V6 engine that will deliver around 300 HP.
The Lexus GS Coupe will more than likely find its way onto the market at the end of 2013. Customers interested will have to pay around $50K.
The new generation Lexus GS is shedding some of that heavy camouflage it has been donning lately and finally taking shape. New spy shots taken at the Nurburgring race track in Germany clearly show the Lexus LF-Gh-inspired sedan sporting the split front grille, a new set of wheels, and new headlamps with LED technology.
It still may be too early to tell, but it’s been suggested that the new generation Lexus GS will be built on a brand new platform, making it sportier and more efficient than the previous model. From these spy shots, it does look like the wheelbase has grown a bit, but the jury’s still out on whether or not these rumors are true.
As for the engine lineup, the 2012 Lexus GS will keep its direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 engine on board. This engine produces 303 HP at 6,200 rpm and 274 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,600 rpm. The big news in the engine department comes with a new top GS model, the GS-F. This model will be powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine with an output of about 450 HP. Being since this is Lexus and they are trying to grab hold of the greener market, a hybrid version has also been confirmed.
Expect to see the new generation Lexus GS launched sometime in 2012, but until then, check back with us for more details surrounding Lexus’ new and improved sedan.
With just a week before its official debut at the New York Auto Show, Lexus has unveiled the official details on the LF-Gh concept, a preview version of the next generation GS premium grand touring sedan. The concept will be at the Lexus display through May 1, 2011.
"For this concept, Lexus designers studied characteristics that are often considered contradictory and difficult to execute together," said Kengo Matsumoto, general manager, Lexus Design Division, Toyota Motor Corporation. "The captivating design of the LF-Gh concept examines the possibility of balancing what are normally opposing qualities, such as style and functionality."
The Lexus LF-Gh concept takes the company’s L-Finesse design philosophy one step forward and combines style, performance, efficiency, and environmental compatibility with advanced, new technologies. And, as with many other new concepts, the LF-Gh is also a hybrid vehicle.
UPDATE 04/12/2011: This review has been updated with the official details and images on the Lexus LF-Gh Concept. Hit the jump for the full details. Full story