2012 Lexus GS Launch

Lexus has just launched the fourth generation of its mid-sized executive model, the GS. The new model promises a more engaging drive, bolder design with a spacious, contemporary interior. It will be available in the UK this spring with two models offered, the GS450h hybrid model (3.5 litre V6 petrol engine mated to a 39kW electric motor) and the basic V6 petrol powered GS250 (2.5 litre V6).

Sporty confident design

Rivals to the GS include Jaguar’s award winning XF, the new BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E Class and the Audi A6.

Prices to start from £33,000.


The GS is a striking car, especially in F-Sport specification which provides the car with a confident stance, certainly one to rival the sporty nature offered by BMW and Jaguar.

The GS also debuts Lexus’ new signature grille which will become a feature of all future Lexus models. This is complimented on either side by contemporary headlights which offer L-shaped daytime running lights (DRLs).

Note the distinctive new grille and LED signature sidelights

When viewed from the side, the GS emphasises its sporty nature once more with a suitable road-hugging stance.  The sportiness continues through to the rear which features aerodynamic aids to improve airflow and  the LED rear lights comple the contemporary look.

This is a genuine alternative to the sometimes plain designs offered by the by the Germanic offerings in this sector.


If the exterior does not draw you in, the interior certainly will. This is a very stylish modern interior which is dominated by the centrally mounted 12.3 inch multi-media screen. This, if you want to play a game of one up-manship, is the largest screen in the industry, in case you wondered.

To emphasise that you are sat in something special, a lot of effort has been spent on creating those delicate touches that add up to a whole lot more.  The clock in the dashboard, for example, is carved from a single piece of aluminium, the LED lights illuminate the footwells, doors and centre console to give a contemporary glow and wood is liberally used throughout to mark that this is a very unique car indeed.

Interior attention to detail

The attention to detail is also obvious in the fact that Lexus spent five whole years ensuring that the seats used provided the perfect balance between comfort and support for the driver and passengers.   Perhaps save this fact though when trying to impress your dinner date about your new choice of car!

Driving Dynamics

This is an area that Lexus is keen to make a name for itself and, to illustrate this intent, weight has been stripped from the car through the use of aluminium. A lighter car remember will generally be more responsive to the driver. A new expensive multi-link rear suspension has also been incorporated and this is coupled with a stiffer chassis. All of this combined mean that the GS should ensure that the car drives as well as it looks.


You want technology, you have it here in spades! There is so much that it’s amazing this car doesn’t simply do away with the driver and drive itself!

The real highlight is something called Pre-Collision System, which uses the vehicle’s radar controlled cruise control (where a computer maintains a pre-selected speed set by the driver) to prevent accidents. It does this by monitoring the attention of the driver; if the system expects a collision, it will sound a horn to alert the driver of the impending collision. If this fails, the system will automatically apply the brakes to help reduce the severity of the collision.

There are also the options of, for example,  Night Vision, which uses infra-red cameras to enhance the visibility of the driver in the dark, a Head Up Display where vital information to the driver is projected infront of him/her onto the windscreen, Blind Spot Monitor that helps to detect vehicles in rear/side blind spots and Lane Keep Assist to ensure that the GS maintains its lane on a motorway…..phew, pause for breath!

The huge dominating 12.3 inch media screen allows simultaneous viewing of the satellite navigation by the driver and audio/temperature display for the passengers.

The multimedia screen that dominates the interior

And, for those who like their music served at volume 11, there is the option of a 17 speaker, 835 watt Mark Levinson audio system. But be warned, try this and anything else in comparison will sound as though your favourite band is now singing to you from down a hole. It really is that good!


This is a large car and you would be right to expect a lot of interior space.  The good news is, there is, and more so than the previous GS model. The door openings have also been revised to offer easier entry and exit and the luggage capacity has been increased by 25 per cent. Now you can get three full size golf clubs in the boot, compared to the previous model’s two.

We will be undertaking a thorough test review of the Lexus GS once press cars are available so keep an eye out for our write up on:


For more information on the Lexus GS, please get in touch:


© Nick Johnson Car Journalist & Vehicle Consultant

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