Recent Lexus cars are absolutely forgettable: You pass them on the road or in a parking lot and don’t even see them.
One writer even thinks they may be deliberately designed that way to attract buyers who don’t want to stand out. But, he suggests, there may be a large group that refuses to buy Lexus cars “because they’re dull-looking.” We all know the GS 450h is a good car, but how many of you would be seen driving one?
Toyota is evidently tired of losing out on sales to the latter bunch. The LF-Gh concept previewing today ahead of the New York Auto Show is a gutsy and (mostly) successful attempt to take Lexus into the future with class. They have borrowed elements of the GS design and some from the LF-A, but the new car (coming late this year or in early 2012) is a beauty.
The wide-mouth, hourglass-shaped grille at first turned me off. But the problem is really not the grille itself but those big slanted cooling slots (containing LED running lights) underneath. Block them out with a card, and you’ll see what I mean.
The rest of the car, particularly the rear-end treatment, is very well done and all of a piece. It isn’t easy to design a big car to look well-proportioned, but Toyota seems to have done that. And this is a big car—2.5 inches longer than the 190-inch GS and 2 inches wider.
The company has said virtually nothing about the powerplant. But speculation is that it will be something similar to what powers the GS 450, that is, at least a 3.5-liter V6 coupled to an electric motor.
We are betting that the new car will have an advanced hybrid powertrain with rear-wheel drive. Anything less would not do justice to the new design.
We know the LF-Gh is controversial. Scroll down and see the comments here, most of which are negative. But we like it. Do you?