Frankfurt motor show 2011 - Lexus GS

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• Bolder styling
• Petrol or hybrid power
• On sale early 2012

The new Lexus GS was unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, but it makes its European debut at Frankfurt. It’s bolder than the current car, packed with high-tech kit and, Lexus says, more fun to drive.

Bolder looks
The GS’s styling introduces ‘a new design philosophy,’ Lexus says, with a bolder, more sculptural look than the current car. Pronounced bonnet creases, an angular front grille and gaping air intakes give the front of the car a more aggressive look.

Tapered door sills, a rear diffuser and L-shaped LED lighting details help to add drama, too, while new paint technologies – including glass flakes incorporated into the coating – are aimed at giving a more radiant finish.

Extra space should make the new GS more practical than the current car. Lexus claims that there’s almost 25% more boot space, while the door openings and bootlid have been designed to make access as easy as possible.

There’s more high-tech kit than before, including the option of a 12.3-inch multimedia screen and an 835-watt Mark Levinson stereo system.

More engaging
Lexus says that one of the main objectives with the new GS was to ‘provide a more engaging driving experience.’ To this end, there’s a wider, more rigid body, more lightweight suspension parts and a more sophisticated rear suspension system.

Petrol or hybrid power
The GS will be available with both hybrid and petrol engines. The current GS is available only with a hybrid petrol/electric powertrain, after Lexus dropped the 3.0-litre V6 petrol model in 2009.

For the new model, Lexus will introduce an entry-level 2.5-litre V6 petrol version - called the GS250 - which will provide a lower starting price for the range. Current GS450h prices start at £44,615, but the GS250 could drop below the £40,000 barrier. ??

The new GS450h is expected to use an updated version of the current model’s powertrain, which combines a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with an electric motor, for a combined 341bhp output. The new GS450h is likely to have more power, but lower CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. There are currently no plans for a diesel model.

The GS goes on sale early in early 2012.

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