The Lexus GS sedan can be considered the Jan Brady of luxury sedans. Capable, but generally unremarkable and hardly a segment-smasher. Evidently, Lexus’s middle child is ready to shake things up, and will strut its stuff as the LF-Gh hybrid concept on the show stand at the 2011 New York auto show.
Lexus claims to have started with a clean sheet of paper, but from the side it looks a lot like a scaled-up version of the IS sedan, while the body-side contouring appears virtually identical to that of the big LS. The LF-Gh measures 192.5 inches long by 73.6 inches wide, making it about 2.5 inches longer and almost two inches wider than today’s GS450h. However derivative of its production siblings the car may be, it should be noted that the LF-Gh’s more-conventional sedan shape represents a shift from the fast profile of GS generation three. But don’t rule out the introduction of a sexy five-door fastback to the GS lineup, to counter the likes of the Audi A7; it’s possible that the Japanese company could jump on that German-led bandwagon.
Among the immediately noticeable stylistic elements are LED headlamps rendered in funky bubbled glass; an attractive rear end with razor-sharp taillamps that wrap around the side; and of course, the massive, pinched “spindle-shaped” grille, which shows there’s a pulse at the Lexus design studio—it’s bound to stir up some controversy. Also worth noting are the separate L-shaped banks of LED running lamps up front and the sharp sheetmetal-to-bumper cutline at the rear. Lexus says that the LF-Gh concept “explores a minimization of traditional features such as side mirrors and door handles,” the result of which looks pretty cool here but definitely won’t make production.
The company was short on details regarding the interior other than to mention it will be driver-oriented—a sharp departure from the current GS—and will feature a clock with a three-dimensional face. (So, uh, a regular clock?) Lexus also declined to say much about what’s under the skin of the concept, other than to mention the 20-inch wheels are turned by one of its hybrid powertrains; presumably, this means a V-6/electric combo that will beat the current GS450h’s 292 hp, 267 lb-ft of torque, and EPA city/highway ratings of 22/25 mpg. Production models will certainly also have six- and possibly eight-cylinder gas-only options.
Oh, and get used to that grille—it previews the faces of Lexuses to come.
Thanks to: Car and Driver