Lexus GS prototype

22 Jul, 2011 12:05pm Dan Strong

We get a sneak preview of new luxury saloon ahead of its world debut in August

Verdict

3
The new GS is more revolution than evolution. On the whole, changes to the suspension are positive, while adjustments to the steering make this car more involving to drive. However, the six-speed box fitted to the entry V6 model is no match for seven and eight-speed rivals from BMW and Mercedes, while the hybrid felt unexpectedly coarse under hard acceleration. Lexus promises this will be fixed by the time the car is launched. We look forward to finding out.
If you think Lexus is all about dull, soulless luxury cars, then think again. The firm says its vehicles of the future won’t only be more engaging to drive, but better to look at, too.

Key to that strategy is the new GS. Although we’re not allowed to see the design (the car makes its world debut on 18 August), we did get to experience its radical new chassis set-up – which includes an optional rear-wheel-steering system.

Video: watch official footage of the Lexus GS


The GS is wider and taller than before, making it more spacious inside. We drove an entry 3.5-litre V6 engined car, and a flagship version of the 3.5-litre V6 hybrid. Both cars will come to the UK.

On the road, the GS’s computer controlled adaptive suspension gives the car a blend of stability and comfort. At motorway speeds, the GS is rock solid.

Flagship hybrid cars also get a Drive Select Mode, with Eco, Normal, Sport and Sport+ settings, and Adaptive Variable Steering, which includes the optional rear-wheel system. In Sport+ mode, the car feels agile, and has a real turn of pace. The rear-wheel steering system means you need little more than a quarter of a turn of the wheel to negotiate obstacles such as roundabouts.

Lexus has delivered on its promise to improve the drive of the car. Next to the current GS, the differences in driver engagement and comfort are pronounced.

Disqus - noscript

My monies on it looking like a Beemer 5, looking at the "disguised" models in the pictures. I see it only got three stars, now if it'd been made by VWAG it'd got Seven, like that new hotel.

1. Please stop auto-loading video. It is annoying and assumes we are in a place where playing a video is a good idea.
2. Really looking forward to seeing this car and getting a full test. Like most Lexus models, I'm sure it is a wonderful long-term companion, rather than an overnight fling.

Its no surprise AE has given this a 3 star. Anything German or European would have got 5 stars. The fact that Lexus makes the most reliable cars, offers the most kit without having to pay extra, superbly built, has the best after service does not count here it seems. Its also exclusive as it is not as common as the main stream German cars.

How on earth have you come to the conclusion that the car is worth three stars? All you have to go on is this leather clad lump. You have no idea how it drives or even looks. I know Autoexpress comes across as being a News International title, but even by your lowest of the low journalistic standards you must see how rediculous this is.

Key specs

* Price: £45,000
* Engine: 3.5-litre V6, plus single electric motor, 340bhp (combined)
* Transmission: Six-speed CVT, rear-wheel drive
* 0-60mph: 7.0 seconds
* Top speed: 155mph
* Economy: 42mpg
* CO2: 170g/km
* Equipment: Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, cruise control, rear parking sensors, 18-inch display screen, leather seats, 19-inch alloys 
* On sale: November

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