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Lexus GS variants teased

Big tease: Lexus has given us a glimpse at the grille of the hybrid version of its new GS ahead of its debut at next month's Frankfurt show.

Peek at Lexus GS hybrid and F-Sport models given ahead of show reveals

Lexus logo25 Aug 2011

By RON HAMMERTON

LEXUS has released teaser images of the hybrid and F Sport variants of the new 2012 Lexus GS large sedan after Toyota’s prestige brand flashed them on a screen during a presentation at the global unveiling of the standard petrol model, the GS350, at Pebble Beach last week.

The hybrid GS450h is due to be unwrapped at the Frankfurt motor show next month, while the sports-edged GS F-Sport has been confirmed for its public debut at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show at Las Vegas in November.

And while no official announcement has been made, Lexus fans might have more in store at a motor show soon, with the possibility of wild-styled version of a new Lexus – likely the GS – from Los Angeles concept car builder Five Axis.

Five Axis owner and designer Troy Sumitomo, whose organisation has built several show cars such as the LF-Ch and FR-S for Lexus and Toyota’s youth brand Scion – hinted to GoAuto during a visit to his operation last week that he has something from Lexus or Scion under construction in his top-secret workshops.

31 center imageLeft: Five Axis version of the previous generation GS, FR-S and LF-Ch.

The official snapshot of the hybrid version of the GS shows only the grille, which seems to be identical to the standard GS350 nosepiece except for a Lexus badge with a blue tinge – Toyota’s universal hybrid signature.

The F Sport shot reveals part of a front quarter of the car, with a cross-hatched black mesh grille in place of the black bars of the GS350 and GS450h, and extra-large air ducts towards the outer edges of the front spoiler where the fog lights of the other models have made way for a bigger apertures.

The bumper across the middle of the new-look ‘spindle grille’ of the GS appears to be painted black instead of the body colour of the GS350, although only a tiny sliver can be seen in the photo.

The nine-spoke alloy wheels of the standard car make way for 10-spoke alloys on the F-Sport.

While the F-Sport will be a as saucy as it gets in the official Lexus GS range for now, Toyota partner Five Axis could be expected to take the four-door sedan to another level at some point.

In 2008, Five Axis showed a Troy Sumitomo-designed hot-rodded GS 460 at SEMA. The previous year, the company also wheeled out a Lexus IS F show car.

Some of the concepts built by Five Axis – a small company with a staff of just 10 – are done according to designs from Toyota’s Calty Design Research studios in California, and others are all their own work to showcase the Five Axis design talents and line of accessories.

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