By Samuel Ee
*Shown above: Mr Koji Sato, Deputy Chief Engineer of Lexus. He was in Singapore recently to launch the new Lexus GS sedans at the GS Studio.
The new Lexus GS mid-sized saloon may look like a radically different model with its distinctive spindle grille and arrowhead lamps but deputy chief engineer Koji Sato calls the design an "evolution".
The youthful Lexus executive sketches out the nose of the previous third-generation GS, pointing out the slight curve of the headlamps and grille.
Then he adds a pair of brake ducts below, flanking a lower air intake, before marking out the "spindle" shape around the central elements to illustrate the nose of the fourth-generation car.
"So the design is not new," he emphasises in fluent English. "It is a natural evolution of the brand's face."
More importantly, he says this shows that as a premium brand, Lexus has heritage.
Specially designed rooms
Mr Sato was in Singapore this week to launch the new Lexus model at the GS Studio in a two-storey building at 19 Leng Kee Road. From now until May 31, the various versions of the GS250 and the GS350 will be on display at this dedicated location with its specially designed rooms.
One room provides the Sensory Experience, which tells the story behind the development of the car's Mark Levinson audio system with the accompanying soundscape.
Another room is darkened to show off the GS in a different light, literally.
The LED running lights will henceforth be a hallmark of the Lexus brand, explains William Choo, the commercial director for Lexus at authorised distributor Borneo Motors Singapore.