2013 Lexus GS 350 Unveiled at Pebble Beach

By Jason Davis | August 19, 2011
Yesterday, we reported that Lexus was at Pebble Beach for a special product announcement. After some technical difficulties, Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager, pulled back the curtain to reveal the 2013 Lexus GS 350. It's easy to get lost in the technological hype surrounding the car. It's easy to lose track of time while staring at the sculptured nose that will soon make its way to other Lexus vehicles--which includes nine new and revised models in the next year. But aside from subtle exterior changes and a bold new grille, can this car shake Lexus' "luxuriously dull" reputation? About the New GS 350 Paragraphimage Aside from the stylish new grill and revised tail lights, the new GS 350 is unmistakably a Lexus GS. The good news is that while the shape is familiar, everything else has been updated. The 2013 Lexus GS 350 uses an upgraded version of the 3.5-liter V-6 from the current-generation model, but with a highly advanced injection system that bumps horsepower and achieves better fuel mileage. The new GS also gets a new six-speed automatic transmission, intelligent aerodynamic advancements, and revised rear-wheel and all-wheel drivetrains. The 2013 Lexus GS has an all-new, lighter chassis that's roughly the same dimensions as its predecessor, with the exception of two inches of additional width. The stiffer structure and new suspension are designed to offer the driver a more intuitive feel for the road. “Today, buyers in the mid-size luxury segment want a more engaging driving experience, styling that makes a statement, and a roomier interior package,” said Templin. “With the all-new GS, we’re giving them what they asked for, and more.” Templin explains that the new GS was greatly inspired by Lexus' LF-A and IS-F supercars, and that development began "behind the wheel and on the road, not on a computer." Which roads? Lexus engineers drove more than one million miles testing the car, including trips to Germany's famous high-speed Autobahn and Nurburgring race track, plus Japan's Fuji Speedway. "This car is amazing to drive," said Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Company, who personally drove the 2013 Lexus GS 350 to the Concours from Silicon Valley. Changes Inside, Too Despite retaining the current model's general size, the new GS has been completely redesigned on the inside for more leg, knee, and headroom to make it easier for drivers and passengers to get into and out of the car. The new, more compact rear suspension design allowed for a 25-percent bigger trunk. Most important, however, is that Lexus engineers designed the car around the driver and the driving experience. Nothing was left untouched, and even the steering wheel size, position, and angle have been adjusted. Looking at the interior photos in the new commercials, the center console and dash are canted toward the driver. Lexus says the new controls, many of which include the latest infotainment advancements, can be activated from the steering wheel and controlled through a simpler voice-command system. As for luxury, Lexus upped the ante there, as well. The new 12.3-inch high-resolution monitor is larger than an iPad. The Mark Levinson 7.1 channel surround audio could give audiophile-quality home theaters a run for their money. And, the new climate control system is passenger-sensing, intelligently adapting output, a move that Lexus says could increase fuel efficiency by as much as three percent. The New Lexus Paragraphimage Toyoda announced that Lexus will become a globalized brand, separate from Toyota, allowing Lexus to make its own business decisions, starting with the new GS. Though Lexus will still report to Mr. Toyoda, the new group will be responsible for developing and marketing future products without Toyota Motor Company control. "Our vision is that Lexus becomes the best, not the biggest," said Toyoda to the crowd at the Pebble Beach unveiling. Toyoda wants Lexus to be "the best, most innovative, progressive luxury brand" and explains his new role as a team member "is to make sure our cars ignite a passion and create an emotional response." To do this, Toyoda gave Lexus engineers the freedom to design without compromise, though it wasn't an easy decision for him. "Now, I have to be honest with you," Toyoda told the crowd. "Initially, I did not want to proceed with this project. But all the world markets… told me… that I was crazy! They… fought for (this car), and their enthusiasm for the GS really moved me. So I agreed, but on one condition. "The car had to be improved much more. It needed to be designed, engineered, and manufactured without compromise! I told our engineers that we are not moving ahead unless we do it right from the start! And since the design of the GS was going to be seen on future Lexus vehicles, it had to be bolder, stronger, and more confident." Coming Soon Lexus has already announced that it will drop the V-8 model from its lineup, but there are other engine options on the horizon. In September, Lexus is expected to unveil the GS 350 hybrid at the Frankfurt Motor Show. In November, Lexus plans to introduce an F model, which the GS's design chief Yoshihiko Kanamori says might include the LF-A-derived V-10. That's not a promise, maybe not even a hint, but a little wishful thinking never hurt anyone, right? Sources: Lexus, GoAuto.com.au
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3 comments
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Jason Davis
Jason Davis

I suspect it will be priced similar to its competition, and within range of where it is currently priced. When those details arrive, we will post it.

Supercar Forum for Auto Enthusiasts
Supercar Forum for Auto Enthusiasts

i love the front of it, it looks mean. but then classy from the side and back. looks good overall but im guessing it will be kinda pricey but what new car isnt?

Joel A
Joel A

Good post. Informative with nearly all the stuff a consumer like me would want. (Reliability, of course, will come later though I'm not worried. This IS a Toyota.)

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