2013 Lexus GS 350: First Look

2013LexusGS350

  • Competes with: BMW 5 Series, Infiniti M, Hyundai Genesis
  • Looks like: Lexus is making a statement
  • Drivetrain: 306-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, rear- or all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Early 2012

Lexus hasn’t been shy about the fact that its LF-Gh concept car would be the next GS. Every bit of the brand’s advertising has been showing the concept for months. Generally, that’s not a wise move if you want to sell cars that are out today.

That’s how important the 2013 GS is to the brand, and it looks like the real thing delivers on the concept’s promise.

The design is striking enough, with a trapezoidal grille that isn’t overbearing. The profile is generally generic, and the back end looks like it came right off a BMW. Overall, it works.

What’s more surprising is the interior. The GS is the first new Lexus we’ve seen to make a full departure from the automaker’s interior themes of the past five years or so. Gone is the vertical center stack of controls; it’s replaced with a horizontal dash whose layout reflects a widescreen aspect ratio. With the new style comes all-new environmental controls, a new steering wheel and even a small analog clock between the two center vents.

Lexus says the interior space has been upgraded for all passengers but makes no note of the actual dimensions. The company says the trunk is 25% larger than the current model, while the overall length is less than an inch longer than the current model. That makes the GS a few inches shorter than the BMW 5 Series or Infiniti M.

Lexus promises the 306-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 will get to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, nearly identical to the Infiniti M37 and BMW 535i. That’s done with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters standard versus the competitors’ seven- and eight-speeds. There are four performance settings controlled via a knob near the shifter. Normal is the default. Eco not only revises throttle response for better efficiency, but it also adjusts the climate settings and even the heated seats to be more efficient.

Sports mode takes the throttle in the other direction to get the most responsive shifts and more power. Some models will get a Sports+ mode, which adjusts the suspension and steering. We’d guess this will be an option on the GS, likely as part of a sports package with larger wheels.

All-wheel drive will remain an option with a standard 50/50 split of power between the axles that can go to a maximum of 30/70 in terms of displacement to the rear wheels.

17-inch wheels are standard, with 18s and 19s optional.

It should be a dynamic driver, and we expect a high-powered version to be announced at a later date as well as a possible hybrid model.

The tech also is impressive with standard voice recognition for music as well as a text-to-speech function that will read text messages to the driver. Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio, DVD audio and video, 5.1 surround sound and an 8-inch display screen are also standard. The optional navigation system includes a 12.3-inch widescreen display that can split map, media and phone information into separate areas -- much like BMW’s iDrive. Lexus’ mouse-like media controller found in the RX SUV controls everything. If you opt for Lexus’ new Enform connectivity package, you’ll even be able to get access to Facebook updates, Yelp reviews and internet search.

A 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system will be optional with 7.1 surround sound and 835 total watts.

Other options will include a pre-collision system, night vision, head-up display, blind spot warning system and lane departure warning system. Ten airbags are standard, including knee airbags for both the driver and front passenger.

The 2013 GS 350 will on sale early in 2012, and we’d expect it to start at a price similar to the current model’s $46,900, which is just a step below the Infiniti M37’s $47,050 price and a few grand shy of the BMW 535’s $50,100 starting price.

2013 Lexus GS 350

2013 Lexus GS 350

2013 Lexus GS 350

2013 Lexus GS 350

2013 Lexus GS 350

2013 Lexus GS 350

2013 Lexus GS 350

2013 Lexus GS 350

2013 Lexus GS 350

2013 Lexus GS 350

2013 Lexus GS 350

Comments 

Parrots

The steering wheel looks small.

Sanish

I guess the pictures don't do any justice.....from what I read the car looks much better in person.

Tony

Nice car.
Front is mix of Audi and Acura
Rear is mix of BMW and Hyundai

venkat

Does not look good in pictures, I do not see any frontal resemblance to any existing cars except a bit similar to the previous GS generation, unique ugly frontal design I guess, rear yes resembles Hyundai. For a 45K car I would expect a prettier car.

venkat

Yes rear Sonata + 328. Impressive interior

sheth

Inside is pretty nice but exterior is typically lexus dull.

Mark

Looks like an overweight Corolla...

jett1000

WOW!!! I thought Toyota would botch the LF-GH, as they always do to prototypes. But this is fantastic. It's gorgeously proportioned, the interior is more than it needed to be, and it looks just great!! Way to go Lexus!

Tony

This car is remarkable. Spot on design than times past.

What statement?

IS x 1.5 + ES x 0.25 = new old GS

Porter

I love the look, Lexus has a hit on their hands. The interior is so nice it would make Audi jealous.

George

Where is the 8 speed automatic at?
Where are the engine upgrades at? [Valvematic]
315 hp has a nice ring to it.

Big Lav

Wow! This car is going to look great in living color. I like what I see! I'm sure you will be able to buy this car with multiple shade choices of leather that will make it pop! Slap a clear bra, option up to 18 rims and the ML sound system and people will be turing their heads to look at this car. I currently own a 2011 Lexus and an Audi...these are luxury brands I stick because that just flat out run and you definitely get more value for your money with both brands as well. I was going to buy a new A6, now I am in limbo waiting to drive the new GS and see it living color because i actually love this car. As for those people who say it looks like this or that, every auto maker steals a little something from their competitors. Great job LEXUS...I'm a fan and a 3 time Lexus owner!

Finally!

Finally, it's here! I actually agree with most of what "Big Lav" is saying. This is a cool upgrade to the GS and you can also invision where they will take this brand in a fews years when they upgrade it with a full gill without the center section. This car will definitely turn heads. I'm waiting for the hybrid version to test drive and buy. For those nay sayers, don't buy one! Go pay $10 to $15k more for a BMW or MB by the time you put in all the toys to make it equiavlaent to a Lexus. I've owned MBs and BMWs and yes, they are fun to drive on the highway but not fun when you spend most of your time going to and from the service department for problems!

z2cents

I wish Hyundai and owners of low end cars not comment. It does not look or feel like your cars. You are not complled to post. Find other things to do.

Nat

Yeah find other things to do like work the fry-a-lator.

550i

I love those wheels and the clean crisp design. And that interior is simply beautiful. The GS will be on the top of my list when my lease expires in Feb. I think I'm in love.

Darren Wilcott

After having been through three A6's and two 5 Series and a host of out pockets fixes (ie thousands and thousands of dollars) I gave up thinking the Japs would ever lure me over with an attractive reasonable design to go with their much sought after reliability. In my opinion this Lexus GS just hit a grand slam. I can't wait to get my hands on one. IF the test drive even comes close to the look than I'll do something I thought I would never do. Own a Lexus.

Word to the wise

It would be advisable to avoid using the word "Japs" around the Lexus dealership.

Darren Wilcott

Just as soon as you remove the stick from your ass. This is a blog not a Sunday dinner...not that you'd know the difference.

Nic

Wow if you don't think this car is hawt then you're dumb and blind. Or just bias cause you can't afford one.

Looks very simple, yet elegant. The interior looks very inviting. I think lexus nailed it when it comes to front exterior stying, however, I would have loved to see Lexus do something to the side of the car (door panels and rear fender) to finish of the car's new aggressive look.

Word to the wise

Wilcot,
My post didn't refer to rules of the blog, that's up to the editors. So your comment missed the mark. I only advised you against using racially derogatory words at the Lexus dealership, where they expect buyers with some class and intelligence. Good luck on trying to convince them of that.

dashboard looks neat, i like it..no exaggerations.

Kozu

Since when does buying a car require 'class and intelligence'? It doesn't. Take your elitist attitude and put it where the sun don't shine.

sheth

The people insulting those who dont worship Lexus likely cant afford one themselves. The fact that you are a Lexus fanboy doesn't mean that you have money, class or intellect- it just means you are biased and incapable of tolerating differing opinions. This is a nice car- same as every other entry in this class. It breaks no new ground in terms of styling or features or power. The car should've had an 8 speed transmission like BMW and Audi models- its not lexus doesnt make one. And no, I dont think this car is "hawt"- whatever that means. Its an update that keeps this car competitive with the newer entries in this class.

Tony

Sheth, isn't the irony that you are an American car fan boy? Plenty of past posts have shown that.

Gary

I was never into the Lexus look but this GS is stunning. My two year old Cadillac CTS has been so problematic that I've recently decided to dump it for an Infiniti but now I'm going to wait until this comes out. What a great looking car.

Mike

The new Audi A6 looks better and probably will easily outsell this. Its not bad looking, but the headlights look like they came from the new Scion tC.

sheth

tony:

I dont worship at the Altar of Lexus (I presume you do) but that doesnt make me an American car fanboy or anything else. Unlike you, I actually like a wide variety of vehicles regardless of where they are made. I am fond of Audi vehicles, amongst others. Trying to categorize me as a "fanboy" doesn't make the GS any more spectacular. Its competitive with its primary rivals, as expected. I will say it looks far better than the Infiniti M. But the same can be said about any other car in this class.

Nic

LOL Sheth. That WAS my personal opinion. You said that I should accept others. Why cannot you tolerate mine?

Calley

Because he's a Tool.

sheth

I didnt tell Nic to accept anyone's opinion. But to claim that anyone who doesn't agree this is the hottest thing on four wheel is "dumb or blind" is just foolish. If you like it and feel this is an example of revolutionary auto design so be it- but don't pretend that you can't understand how others aren't as impressed. The styling is only one aspect of the car anyway. When I say its competitive and nothing more I am talking about the styling, features, powertrain, mileage, etc.

Tony

Part of the cars I am keen to are the Chevy Corvette, Nissan GT-R, Infiniti G Cars, the latest Mustangs, the BMW M3, and the Lancer Evos. Pretty diverse lineup actually.

Kathryn

I have owned a 1999 and currently a 2006 GS. I have never had a problem or repair on either of them. I love the GS and am excited to see the new one. Can hardly wait.

Joey

looking good but I see a ES in it.. I'm a 2GS owner currently but im not feeling the exterior..i mean i agree with others on the audi/(older RL Acura) and the rear lol does resemble hundai (no clue how to spell it) and a bit of the last 5 series (the ugly one)...I own a 540 E39 also and I do think the new 5 series right now is one of the better looking mid-luxo competitor.. i think part of it is because the the new 5 series resembles the E39 more..i don't like how bmw is going for that FORD small big bigger all look the same look though.. one thing I do like about lexus that the IS does look different then GS and LS, no real super similar thing going on.. something I do dislike.. each of these cars cater to a different market group..making them all look the same really doesn't make sense a person who;s looking for a 3 series isn't looking for it to look like a 7 series.. these are just my opinions, I don't mean to offend anyone, if I did my apologies.

John

Sheth, You know nothing about Lexus...believe me Child.... I've owned five of them and not one has ever blown as much as a dome light. These are the most reliable state of the art cars built PERIOD. SHHHH. Don't say it... Remember you know nothing, blaber man... When you learn you'll turn into a Lexus lover. Until then...Read Up my silly little Boy!!!

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