The fourth-generation Lexus GS is a revolution for a brand long known for luxurious high-tech cars delivered with an unparalleled service ethic, but a deadly dull image and looks unhappily suggestive of tarted-up Toyota.
The brand decided an assertive and individual visual presence was needed to rival Euro competition, plus a focus on greater driving pleasure, and an injection of character.
To that end a longer, more rigid body sits atop new suspension with a broader track, and a choice of three engines, the 154kW/253Nm 2.5-litre 250, the 233kW/378Nm 3.5-litre 350, and the 213kW 3.5-litre 450h hybrid, all fitted with a six-speed sequential auto.
Each gets a sport variant with luxury packs available for the 350 and 450, and all boast more passenger space plus a larger boot.
As for the car's rep for OTT specification, depending on variant you could get 18-way adjustable electric seats, 10 airbags, a front passenger footrest, a 17-speaker audio system with 12.3-inch screen and deodorising, moisturising air con - a spa for your car, says Toyota's marketing GM Neeraj Lala.
The driving pleasure promise proves no idle boast as we found at Hampton Downs. No previous GS could shine here but this one does, not least because these engines now deliver aural soul. Cruising remains whisper-quiet, but acceleration prompts a heart-warming under-bonnet roar.
At last, a genuine alternative to established Euro brands.
The new GS launches from $102,900, $11,000 under its predecessor, topping out with the $142,900 450h F Sport.