By on August 18, 2011

In a press release announcing the new 2013 Lexus GS, Lexus group vice president and general manager Mark Templin explains the sports sedan’s mission as follows:

Today, buyers in the mid-size luxury segment want a more engaging driving experience, styling that makes a statement, and a roomier interior package. With the all-new GS, we’re giving them what they asked for, and more.

And if the new GS looked more like the LF-Gh concept, we might agree. But with its toned-down looks failing to move the game past its foregettable forbears (at least in these 2-D images), it seems as though Lexus listen too hard to the customer (for example, creating more space with the same dimensions) and missed an opportunity to create a design that makes a statement that buyers didn’t yet know they couldn’t live without. Tarted-up midsized front-drivers are one thing, but this class of larger, rear-drive sports sedans demands bold yet sophisticated looks… and I’m not convinced this Lexus is “there.”

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13 Comments on “2013 Lexus GS Tees Off At Pebble Beach...”

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Wow, um such an exciting exterior design… yawn.

    More space inside, same size outside. What are they trying to do? Steal sales from the LS?

  • avatar

    Car looks very well proportioned. Quietly muscular.

    I think it is a very sophisticated subtle design.

  • avatar

    It may not be a game changer, but 5 years from now, it will still look handsome and conservative. Like the new Camry, this is just more business as usual, which isn’t necessarily bad.

  • avatar

    Ooh, all that buildup for THIS? Hate to be a spoiled whiner, but I’m unimpressed. It looks like the little brother of the LS to me. Merely evolutionary. I like the dash though — it’s a further development of the CT hybrid’s, which I find interesting and original.

  • avatar

    Are the pic links only not working for me?

  • avatar

    Bring back the SC300/400. A 20th anniversary “encore” edition.

  • avatar

    What I wrote about the LF-Gh concept a couple of weeks ago is still true: I’m quite underwhelmed.

    There was a genuine plan behind the “L-Finesse” in the previous model: a sleek, fastback body without any unnecessary details. The new model looks like they put three designers on three different islands and asked them to do the front, the middle, and the rear respectively. Without having any contact with the others. And then they just scotchtaped the results together and called it a day.
    There’s a completely gratuitous kink in the shoulder line just where the rear door handles are – to me, this looks more like a botched repair job than coherent design. Moreover, I still think there’s too many different things going on on the front fascia and not enough on the rest of the car (the what-the-hell rocker panels being the most grating exception). Thankfully they toned down the Darth Vader glare of the concept, but the overall impression, to me, is still rather meh.

    Incidentally, I have a feeling that Lexus may have shot themselves in the foot by presenting a silver car – IMHO, darker colours may work much better on this.

    It gets worse on the inside: the new dash, while executed in the poshest of materials, is a riot of not-quite-meeting cut lines, curves and straights, and the new silverware center vents don’t even align with the dash top and the adjacent wood in the official press photos. I shudder to think what the production cars will look like. This could be made of pure platinum, and it would still look cheap. While the waterfall design was debatable, the dash of the previous model looked like it was carved from granite by comparison.

  • avatar

    This car will still get absolutely dwarfed in sales by the 5 series and A6’s that I see all the time. Why is the GS so invisible? I suspect it isn’t styling, but rather an image problem. Lexus just isn’t a “sports” luxury brand. While the ES works fine for what it is and the LS is a decent competitor in the large lux sedan market, the GS just doesn’t carry the cache that BMW does in the “just made partner at the law firm” crowd.

    At least Nissan is doing a better job at the sports lux segment with the G37, all be it not quite as high end as the Lexus GS. Maybe that would be a better route for Lexus…an ES Sport.

  • avatar

    It certainly doesn’t have the visual presence of the 5 or A6/7 but maybe that is what they are aiming for. I’m sure it will drive much like the old one but since an excessively insulated and remote driving experience is now standard in this segment, that shouldn’t matter.

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