We’d like to believe that these are the first spy shots of the Lexus GS successor, caught during some benchmark tests at the Nurburgring.
The size of the prototype certainly fits the bill, as well as the fact that Lexus brought a Mercedes E-Class to benchmark against it.
There are a lot of rumors suggesting that Lexus has decided to axe the GS from its line-up, with the current model being the last of the GS family. Another report suggests that the Japanese premium car maker has decided to replace the GS with a new ES model.
Part of the reasoning behind this is financial, with the ES being based off Camry’s cheaper front-wheel drive platform, which is Toyota’s much advertised global TNGA, and the current GS riding on a more expensive rear-driven architecture.
Lexus could also decide to give the model a completely new nameplate but at this point we have more questions than answers. Despite the camouflage, we can already see that the design of the new Lexus will be more grounded, featuring a smaller grille that the one featured in the current model.
The only thing we can be certain about is that the prototype is a hybrid, thanks that yellow round sticker on the rear window, which is mandatory for all hybrid test cars on the Nurburgring due to safety regulations.[Update: As our readers pointed out in the comments, and upon closer inspection, this does not seem to be the replacement for the Lexus GS but rather Toyota’s mid-size JDM Crown. Despite the model not being available in Europe, the company may have brought it to Germany for further development by its European arm.]
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops