Lexus seems to be on a mission to convince the world that it is one of the most stylish carmakers in the business. We say this because the Japanese premium marque has chosen the pomp and glamor of the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to unveil not just one but two of its latest offerings: the new face-lifted GS midsize sedan and the LX full-size SUV.
Pebble Beach, in case you didn’t know, plays host to an annual motoring event come August, showcasing the finest and most luxurious pre- and post-war automobiles in the world. This affair allows collectors and enthusiasts to show off their pride and joy, as well as marvel at some of the most sought-after and rare metal around. So it is but fitting for a luxury brand like Lexus to launch its newest rides here.
First on the green was the GS. The updated midsize sedan, which goes head-to-head with the likes of the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, now gets a restyled front end with a more pronounced spindle grille, bi-LED headlamps (you read that right), new taillights, and a revamped rear bumper design. Inside, the GS receives an upgraded multimedia system with an updated Remote Touch Interface--Lexus’s own version of BMW’s iDrive. Lexus has likewise thrown in more safety, thanks to such features as Pre-Collision System with Pre-Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, Intelligent High Beam, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, just to name a few.
But the biggest change for the GS for 2016 is what’s under the hood. The GS350’s 3.5-liter V6 now gets a boost in output, now rated at 311hp and 380Nm. There is also the addition of the GS200t. If you’re an avid reader of this website, you’ll know that this is the same 2.0-liter turbocharged motor that first did duty in the NX, and has been added to other Lexus models of late, specifically the RX, the IS and the RC. It pumps out 241hp and 350Nm. Both GS variants use an eight-speed sequential shift automatic transmission to transfer power to the rear wheels.
As mentioned above, Lexus also took the opportunity to show off the 2016 LX570. The full-size SUV now features a one-piece iteration of the trademark Lexus spindle grille, flanked by standard LED headlights. There is also a helping of satin-chrome trims and new 20-inch alloy wheels (or the optional 21-inch rims). The upgrades continue inside, with a new 12.3-inch infotainment display, Climate Concierge, and a Panoramic View Monitor.
While the engine remains unchanged, the 5.7-liter V8 is now paired with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox with drive mode selector. This allows the driver to choose among various modes such as Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport S+--all of which are designed to make the most of the engine’s output of 383hp and torque of 546Nm. Just like the GS, the LX gets new safety gear, like Blind Spot Monitor and Tire Pressure Monitor. There’s even a head-up display to make driving safer and cooler.
Sure, these may only be minor updates, but unveiled at the lawn of Pebble Beach, they amount to something else. Whether these two cars will join the classics in the years to come, only time will tell. For now, Lexus is simply showing the world that it, too, can be as stylish as the best of them.