Update: This is not in fact the 2012 Lexus GS. new information added to bottom of article.
Three months ago in New York, Toyota unveiled the boldly styled Lexus LF-Gh concept. With a replacement for the current GS sedan scheduled for a mid-2012 launch, it appears that this may have been our first look at what is to come.
Images supposedly sent to a TMR reader (and current Lexus owner) by Lexus Australia as part of a feedback survey would seem to confirm the styling detail for the next GS.
"We are about to show you images that closely resemble the exterior styling of the next generation Lexus GS that is expected to launch in Australia in 2012 to compete with the likes of the BMW 5 series and Mercedes E-class," the "survey" reads.
"You won’t be asked any technical questions; we’re purely interested in your opinions of the new car."
If these images are close to the final product, it would appear that the LF-Gh concept's lines are likely to carry over to the production model virtually unchanged.
Only the details front and rear have come in for attention. In hybrid-powered GS 450h guise, the new GS looks set to feature simplified headlights and tail-lights, along with a softened take on the concept's bumpers and 'spindle' grille.
In the current Lexus line-up, the F Sport packages are limited to handling and styling upgrades. If the images shown here are 'the real deal', we expect that these aggressive features might also preview a more powerful (and long-rumoured) GS F flagship.
Launched in 2005, the current GS has been a slow seller for Lexus in 2011. With the imposing lines seen in these images however, we'd expect the Japanese luxury brand's new executive express will make a strong impact in its segment when it arrives next year.
An international launch date for the all-new GS has yet to be announced, although a late 2011 or early 2012 unveiling is likely. Watch for news in the lead-up to the Frankfurt, Los Angeles and Detroit shows.
Update: new information suggests these images were not created by Lexus, but rather they are the work of gifted 'photoshopper' Theophilus Chin. Was Mr Chin so close that Lexus chose his images for consumer feedback?
The survey we've seen has proven legitimate, but a Lexus Australia spokesperson has confirmed the images were not created by or for Lexus. The wording of the survey is clear however: these images offer a solid preview of what's to come.