Design Review: 2016 Lexus GS F SPORT Brings LF-Gh Concept to Life

Lexus GS F SPORT 2016

When the 2016 Lexus GS F SPORT appeared at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week, there was a clear sense of déjà vu. It wasn’t the spindle grille or the separated LED DRL, not even the similarities to the GS F unveiled in January — it was something a little earlier: the 2012 Lexus LF-Gh concept.

Originally shown at the New York Auto Show in 2011, the LF-Gh concept was the first true full-spindle from Lexus. Polarizing at the time, this design has found its way onto every Lexus model from the LX to the CT. The latest vehicle to wear the Lexus signature hourglass grille does more than pay homage to the original concept car, they are near identical.

Let’s start with the front ends:

Lexus GS F SPORT vs Lexus LF-Gh

The 2013 GS production model shared many of the shapes seen with the LF-Gh concept, but the details were refined to more pedestrian levels. This was the first model to show the new Lexus design direction, and the boldness of the spindle grille was smoothed out to soften the transition.

Now well into the spindle grille era of Lexus, it’s no longer necessary to play it safe. The new 2016 GS F SPORT draws direct inspiration from the LF-Gh all over the place — the shape of the grille outline, the tri-LED headlights and separated LED DRLs, the overall shape of the front bumper all show a connection to the concept. It would appear that Lexus was planning a bolder GS all along.

Looking at rear end of the 2016 GS, the shapes inside the tail lights are a clear throwback to the LF-Gh and appear much closer to the concept than the 2013-2015 model:

Lexus GS F SPORT vs Lexus LF-Gh

Much of the side detailing remains similar between the 2013-2015 and 2016 models, but with this mid-cycle update, Lexus has fully realized the GS they previewed with the LF-Gh concept.