Lexus decided to use this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to unveil to the world their 2013 GS 350 sedan. Yet the automotive glamour of the event and rich heritage (and potential price tags for the auctions taking place during the weeklong event) seemed to overwhelm Lexus’ latest.
Though the new GS ostensibly draws a few design influences from the Lexus LF-Gh concept seen at the 2011 New York Auto Show, the car could have used a few more. The front bears a strong resemblance to the CT 200h, with a few more angles protruding out. On the one hand it’s a mundane design that’s not trying hard enough, and at the same time the cacophony of converging shapes is trying entirely too hard.
The back looks strikingly similar to a Hyundai Sonata, which isn’t necessariliy a bad thing. Though if you agree you might want to keep that little morsel to yourself as it's probably not a comparison that potential GS buyers will want to hear.
This is the fourth generation of the GS line, and it has traditionally competed against other midsize luxury sedans such as the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 series and Infiniti M. Therefore, the initial powerplant is a 3.5-liter V-6 with direct injection. Lexus says it puts out 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque.
Shifting duties are handled by a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and will route power to either the rear wheels or all four wheels, if equipped.
The interior of the GS is a highlight. Recessed deep into the top-of-the-center console is a massive, 12.3-inch, high-resolution viewing screen, which the company says will be standard across all trim lines. The screen’s duties can be split simultaneously between, say, the navigation system for the driver and the stereo system.
Meanwhile, the comfortable seats are thickly bolstered and the construction of the cabin is first rate.
Lexus didn’t announce pricing figures for the GS, but said it would go on sale in early 2012. Stay tuned for a full review in the near future.
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Photos: Above, the 2013 Lexus GS 350. Credit: David Undercoffler / Los Angeles Times. Below, the Lexus GS 350 at Pebble Beach. Credit: Lexus.