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.