For all of Lexus' success with its RX, ES and IS models, the company's GS mid-luxury sedan has never been able to keep pace with their other models, let alone major competitors like the BMW 5-Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class. For the 2013 model year, Lexus has completely redesigned the GS, with a 180 degree departure from the dowdy GS of years past.
Gone are the V8 powered models available since the car's first major redesign in 1999. Lexus says that the GS450h Hybrid provides all the power of a V8 with a 31 mpg combined rating, and with the general trend of downsizing in the industry, it's a gamble that may pay off. After all, the current cachet of a hybrid in this era is about the same as a V8 would have been in less environmentally conscious times anyways.
Starting with a new design language that Lexus calls "L-Finesse", the new GS makes a clean visual break from the almost fastback proportions of the old car. The new GS looks more like a stretched out IS, and while the smaller car's stubby proportions make this look work, the larger GS loses some of the elegance, with the rear view strongly resembling a Hyundai Sonata.
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