The Lexus GS is a series of mid-size/executive cars sold by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota. Designed as a performance sedan competing in the mid-luxury class, the GS slots between the entry-level/compact executive IS and full-size/flagship LS, and shares its chassis with one of Toyota’s longest-running platforms: the S-series which has been used under multiple generations of the Toyota Crown premium sedans. Four generations of the GS have been produced since 1993, each available with six-cylinder engines and rear-wheel drive. V8 engines were offered in the second and third generations, and all-wheel drive and hybrid versions debuted in 2005. The first two generations had a Japanese domestic market equivalent, the Toyota Aristo (“Aristo” is Greek for “the best”), which was sold from 1991 until the Lexus marque’s domestic debut in 2005. Though largely identical in exterior and interior design, the GS and the Aristo differed in their engine and transmission combinations as well as equipment packages. The GS name stands for Grand Sedan.
The first-generation Lexus GS began sales in the United States, Europe and selected markets in Asia in 1993, where it was introduced with an inline-6 engine and exterior bodywork designed by Italdesign Giugiaro. The second-generation model premiered in 1997, using a new platform, in-house styling, and adding a V8 version for the first time outside Japan. The third-generation GS, which premiered globally for the 2006 model year, was produced in V6, V8, and hybrid versions, the latter known as the GS 450h performance hybrid. The third-generation models were the first GS sedans to be sold domestically in Japan.
The fourth-generation Lexus GS premiered in August 2011 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where models introduced included the V6-powered GS 350, hybrid GS 450h, and performance-tuned F Sport variants. A lower-displacement V6 model, the GS 250, premiered at the Auto Guangzhou Exhibition in November 2011, targeted at Asian and European markets. In some markets such as North America, the GS shares the mid-size sedan category in the Lexus lineup with the front-wheel drive ES.