My first impression of the second-generation Lexus GS sedan: The taillights and the headlights are the same. That’s so cool! Yes, it was the appreciation of a simpleton, but I was on the right track. The car’s aged beautifully.
Editor’s Note: We’re going to keep testing out this slideshow thing. We’re responsible for making traffic, and they make a lot of traffic. We understand that the UX is bad and we’re in the process of fixing it. We appreciate your patience.
The first Lexus GS, penned by Italdesign Giugiaro, was also a looker. Really, it was more aesthetically significant than its successor as one of the best examples of car design transitioning from the “boxy” of the ’80s to the “rounded” of the ’90s.
But the second-gen, which came out toward the end of the ’90s, evolved that original iconoclastic GS design in a mature and elegant way. The new-for-’98 Lexus GS feels fully formed, and not just because the front and rear end lighting mirrors itself.
It’s chunky without being bulky and has a presence without being garish.
2004 was the last year of the GS’s most beautiful body, and the third-gen that replaced it for ’05 started getting flabby and the car’s distinctiveness has been steadily melting away since then.