A brand-new turbocharged engine choice headlines an updated Lexus GS line, launched overnight at Pebble Beach. Subtle visual changes also differentiate the mid-life refresh which arrives in Australia in December.
A sharper front end with a tighter Spindle Grille and an L-shaped LED strip below the bi-LED highlights separate updated GS models from older cars of this ilk.
The mid-sized GS sedan competes with the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It’s not surprising to see the GS adopt the marque’s new two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder as its new base engine for the GS 200t. The turbo replaces the aged 2.5-litre V6, underpowered and thirsty, demanding 9.3L/100km on the combined cycle.
The GS 200t should breathe new interest into the GS line, producing a competitive 180kW of power and 350Nm of torque. In terms of the competition, the Lexus should outpace the 155kW Mercedes-Benz E250, while it matches the BMW 528i’s 180kW output.
It’ll be cheaper than both, as well: the GS 250 that the turbo replaces sits between $72,000 and $80,000, while the German options float around the $110,000 mark.
The visual changes will apply across the entire Lexus GS line, which will encompass the new GS 200t turbo, the GS 300h four-cylinder hybrid, the GS 350 six-cylinder petrol, and the flagship GS 450h six-cylinder hybrid.
Aesthetic updates also include more curvature in the rear bumper and new tail light graphics.
Inside, the GS receives the brand’s new-look steering wheel. There’s also a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, previously available in that size in international markets but not in Australia.
The GS’s safety credentials are boosted with the availability of Lexus Safety System Plus, which bundles autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assist, automatic high beam, and active cruise control.
Detailed Australian pricing and specs will be available closer to the new GS’s Australian launch at the very end of 2015, accompanied by the updated Lexus LX570.
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