New 2013 GS Marks Bold Step for Lexus

The last 18 months haven't been kind to the Lexus brand.

Once the wunderkind of the luxury-car field, the brand that stole all the thunder from the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Lexus has struggled through some safety-related issues in recent months while its product line seemed to age very ungracefully. Conservative to begin with, Lexus cars have had an unfortunate tendency to look old before their time. But all that is set to change as the brand unveiled the all-new 2013 GS 350 at a lavish and massive press conference in conjunction with the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. While the new GS contains an impressive list of technological innovations, it is its striking exterior styling that is its most notable feature. At the same time, it promises to offer a more involving (dare we say it more European) driving experience than the current Lexus rides.

Lest you think this is just a flash in the pan, you should know that none other than Toyota President Akio Toyoda was on hand for the world debut. Not only that, but he also promised that the Lexus brand of the future will be more dynamic than the Lexus of the past.

"When consumers think about the pinnacle of luxury, we want them to think Lexus," he told the gathered throng at Pebble Beach. "To accomplish that goal, we are doing something very different -- something we have never done before. Simply put, we have internationalized Lexus. We hand-picked a team from all over the world to head up a new Global Lexus Division at TMC and have combined engineering, design and marketing all under one unit, separate from any other group."

The new globalized Lexus will report directly to Toyoda, and he vowed it will have autonomy over business decisions. It will try to identify and meet the needs of luxury-vehicle customers in various markets around the world. Previously, Lexus had been led by the goal of serving the American market.

"Today, buyers in the midsize luxury segment want a more engaging driving experience, styling that makes a statement and a roomier interior package," says Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager at the press introduction. "With the all-new GS, we're giving them what they asked for and more."

While the car won't be available for press driving evaluations for some months now, we can attest to the fact that the coming GS is the best-looking Lexus sedan ever, and that exterior style is complemented by a more sophisticated interior rivaling those from Audi. We predict it will change the way people think about Lexus.



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Driving Today: New 2013 GS Marks Bold Step for Lexus