When we first found these images of the new Lexus GS on the internet this weekend they appeared to be official shots that seemed to have leaked out accidentally.
To us they looked like brochure images and showed some subtle changes from the LF-Gh concept car shown at the New York motor show earlier this year, images of which have been all over the web since then. For example, the headlights look production ready and the aggressive grille has been toned down by a body coloured horizontal bumper bar, with number plate, presenting a much less overwhelming upper and lower grille. This all felt just a little too clever to be the work of a Photoshop junkie.
So we thought they were real and had been leaked by someone close to Toyota’s luxury division.
However, comparing them to the official images of the LF-Gh from New York (see the link below) , the two cars are identically positioned in frame, with exactly the same fall of light onto the car and identical shadows. Which has convinced us we are just looking at renderings by a talented amateur artist and NOT pictures of the real car leaked from within Lexus.
Nice try though.
The concept images and these renderings have much in common, but also a few other differences which we would expect probably will happen before production — proper door handles and normal size door mirrors; more conservative tail-lights; and the production car dropping the concept’s vertical rear vents on the panel change from the rear wing to the bumper.
Speculation aside, there are certain things we do know about the new GS. It will be around 6.5cm (two and half inches) longer than the current car (489cm, or about 16 feet) on an identical wheelbase of 285cm (9 feet 4 inches) and will be a hybrid.
The current LS 450h has 3.5 litre V6 generating around 296bhp, hitting 149mph and cracking the 0-62mph dash in 5.9 sconds. Lexus hybrids are all about their class leading emissions though and in spite of this performance the current car coughs out just 179g/km of CO2. Given how close the leading diesel engines in the class are running the Lexus on its green credentials — the BMW 5-series comes with a diesel that emits just 119g/km of CO2 — expect the Toyota engineers to have been hard at work to bring this figure down.
In the UK the current GS 450h hybrid is sold at a price of £44,615. The new model is likely to go on sale in the UK in 2012.
Take a look at our Lexus GS spy shots and pictures of the LF-Gh concept for a comparison with what you see here.