After being revealed back in 1991, the Lexus GS will be entering its fourth generation by the end of 2011 or early 2012.
The new generation Lexus GS, which was officially introduced at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, will be built on a brand new platform, making it sportier and more efficient than the previous model. Under the hood, expect to see the same direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers a total of 306 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 277 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,600 rpm. The real star of the show will be the 5.0-liter V8 engine with an output of about 450 horsepower found in the GS-F version .
According to Lexus "the fourth-generation GS model introduces a more defined and emotional design philosophy featuring a new distinctive front grille and styling cues that will soon be seen on all future Lexus vehicles. The new GS has also been engineered to provide a more engaging and dynamic driving experience and the highest levels of refinement."
UPDATE 12/22/2011: Lexus has announced prices for the 2013 GS 350 arriving in dealerships in early February 2012. The GS350 will be offered in rear-wheel drive (RWD) with a base MSRP of $46,900 or all-wheel drive (AWD) with a base MSRP of $49,450. An F SPORT Sport S+ mode adds another $5,690 and an optional navigation system adds $1,735.
UPDATE 01/24/2012: On January 6th, Lexus asked their Facebook fans which feature of the all-new GS they would like to learn more about. They voted, and today the company has unveiled a video about the car’s performance enhancements, based directly on the majority of votes. Enjoy!
Find out more about the Lexus GS350 after the jump
Exterior and Interior
With an all-new platform, the 2013 Lexus GS350 certainly looks the part of a crowd-pleaser. It now carries the brand’s new "spindle grille" while also drawing some subtle interpretations from the GS Concept. Sure, it’s not as aesthetically eye-popping as the concept, but you rarely find a production version that is. The new lighting configuration also shows a distinctive Lexus design feature with the deep-set, high-tech headlamps and L-shaped LED daytime running lamps. The headlamps use a projector beam design, adding a strong, chiseled appearance and excellent illumination.
Over at the back, you’ll find the rear bumper that now features a distinctive exhaust diffuser and centered aero fins to help control underbody airflow combined with the L-shaped LED tail lamps to lend an image of high-end performance. Overall, the new GS sheet metal represents a significant extension of the Lexus L-finesse philosophy that is the core of all Lexus product design.
The interior of the GS350 comes with a number of embedded premium upgrades that are included as standard equipment, including a new energy-saving auto climate control system called S-Flow that uses the occupant-detection system to focus airflow only to the front area where passengers are actually seated. There’s also a next-generation Remote Touch with one-push confirmation that comes standard on all models.
Bluetooth phone and audio streaming are also standard and, together with a 5.1 surround sound stereo and eight-inch central control display mounted high in the center of the dash, offer plenty of technological advantages compared to its rivals. There’s also an SMS text-to-speech system that allows drivers to have their messages read to them while responding with pre-canned texts. Then there’s the new Lexus Enform infotainment, which now carries Bing searches, as well as Facebook integration and Sirius XM data service. The Sirius XM data service is a useful tool for the driver to get the latest updates on a variety of topics, including traffic, weather, sports fuel prices, and movie ticket purchasing, and voice-enabled restaurant reservations through OpenTable.
The new Lexus GS350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 306 horsepower and 277 lb/ft of torque mated to a six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission. These figures translate to a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 142 mph.
The GS350 also offers three driving modes that spell the difference between conservative fuel-saving and high-performance maximum consumption. This comes courtesy of Lexus’ ECO mode and the Sport S and S+ systems.
The ECO mode revises throttle mapping, seat heating, and climate control systems for better fuel economy where as the SPORT S mode revises throttle mapping and transmission shifting priorities to fully exploit the capabilities of the powertrain. Finally, the SPORT S+ mode engages handling enhancements via a sport setting of the adaptive variable suspension, steering system, and vehicle stability control (VSC) together with the powertrain enhancements of the SPORT S mode.
The 2013 Lexus GS 350 will be offered in rear-wheel drive (RWD) with a base MSRP of $46,900 or all-wheel drive (AWD) with a base MSRP of $49,450. An F SPORT Sport S+ mode adds another $5,690 and an optional navigation system adds $1,735.
A number of big-time models the Lexus GS350 has its eyes set on include the BMW 5-Series and the Infiniti M37.
The BMW 5-Series is without question more popular than the GS350 - and the Infiniti M37 for that matter - but that’s not taking into account the fact that of all three models, the M37 offers the best power output you can get. This is thanks to its 3.7-liter VVEL V6 engine and the corresponding 330 horsepower it comes with.
There’s also a bigger price to be paid - literally speaking - if you do decide to get the BMW 535i. We don’t yet know how much the new GS350 is going to cost, but it should sit a little close to the $46,000 price tag of the previous model. That’s a cheaper option compared to the $50,475 base price of the 535i.
So while you’re thinking of the allure and extravagance of the BMW 535i and the superior performance capabilities of the M37, it’s worth pointing out that the GS350 offers a mixture of both in an all-new package.
- New design is fantastic
- Interior looks fresh
- Plenty of new options
- Stiff competition
- Performance lacks compared to others