Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lexus GS Aerosedan—Too Smooth for School

Long and smooth, low and elegant, my Lexus 450h Aerosedan would stand out from a crowd.

C H O P — One of my older chops, this Lexus is an aerodynamicized GS 450h, the performance hybrid model. I loved the very first GS back in the early '90s, reportedly partially styled by the Italian master Georgio Giugiaro, but since then the design has become watered down and inert, in my humble opinion of course. 

My changes serve two purposes. First, it's highly aerodynamic, lessening the resistance to airflow, increasing speed and gas mileage and decreasing the noise of air rushing past it. Second, it gives this hybrid that all-important "look-at-me-I'm-saving-the-world" appearance that the highest-selling hybrids possess. And I don't mean that in a derogatory way. I think it's important for the general buying public to see just how many people ARE buying hybrids. Conventional thought, and that in the enthusiast magazines as well, was that hybrids would only sell on the coasts, in major urban areas. The fact you can see streets full of Priuses almost everywhere now, shows how wrong that idea was. I think the more Priuses that were seen on the road made them more palatable to the rest of the public. If the Prius has looked like a Corolla, I don't think that acceptance would have happened so quickly. 

Lexus hasn't followed that formula with its hybrid models until this year, with its oddly named HS250h—really the 'h' at the end is Lexus's hybrid brand-name, the "HS" is one "H" too many... The other Lexus models look almost exactly like their gas counterparts, the RX450h, GS450h and the LS600h, to the detriment of the hybrid movement in my opinion. On the other hand, the HS model is awkward, not merely distinctive, and is selling quite poorly. Perhaps 'different' as in ultra-aerodynamic and sleek, might have been a better way for them to go, rather than differently sculpted as in odd and ungainly.


  1. The design reminds me of Rover SD1(1976-86) with is the quintessential English design of all time and perhaps one of my favorite cars when growing up. I remember seeing one parked outside on of Long Island's more fancier districts. To me, this is Britain's answer to the Citroen

    Listening to Kraftwerk's The Robots, also popular in the era.

  2. i'll be the first to admit I've loved that Rover since the day I first saw in in a magazine in the '70s. I've always been fond of 6 -light hatchbacks, such as the Citroens of the '70s as well. I have a Matchbox car from the early '70s of a gold Bertone show car with similar line. They're all just so sleek and elegant.