Lexus GS: Fourth Generation

Lexus Discontinues the GS Sedan in Europe

Lexus GS Cancelled in Europe

It’s official. According to a recent post on the Lexus UK Facebook page, the GS sedan will be discontinued in Europe:

Since the launch of the first generation GS in 1993, we have sold about 74,000 units in Europe, including 20,000 GS hybrids. This year, sales in Europe amount at 1,494 units (Jan-Oct), a decrease of 20% vs. Jan-Oct 2016.

New development work would have been required in order for the GS to comply with the forthcoming change in emission regulations that will become mandatory in Europe by 1st September 2018. Given the fact that the GS is positioned at the higher end of the E-premium saloon segment where sales perspectives are limited, we have evaluated that such investment could not be justified.

The fate of the GS has been an ongoing concern since rumors of its cancelation started last year. Lexus Europe is the first to make a public announcement, and it’s currently unknown if and when other regions will follow suit.

Comments
@Joaquin Ruhi

Celsior = LS
Windom = ES

Nice idea though, but here we are!!!
maiaramdan
@Joaquin Ruhi

Celsior = LS
Windom = ES

Nice idea though, but here we are!!!
I knew Celsior=LS. That was a typo I just fixed. Thanks for helping me catch it.

Windom=ES only applies to 2nd thru 4th-gen ES. The original ES equivalency was Camry Prominent and Vista.
Toyota missed a lot of chances unfortunately
S
I am a HUGE fan of the Mark II family, although my preferred Bubble Era car is the Crown. It was among the many things that truly shocked me how far ahead of the world the nation was when I first visited it in the 90s.

For those unfamiliar with the model, or those who only saw the inferior NA-spec Cressida, the Mark II is the epitome of Bubble Era Japanese auto engineering. Sure there's the GT-R, NSX, RX-7, Supra, all the fancy super sports, but nothing represents the Era better than the Mark II. The model is the entry-level premium car situated below the Crown, but is also within the "compact-size" (length<4700mm, width<1700mm, engine<2000cc) regulations so buyers can enjoy lower taxes. During a time of unlimited wealth, literally everyone buys a premium car. And guess what? The X80 Mark II, the most iconic iteration, became the best selling automobile in Japan in 1988 and 1989, which coincides with the peak of the Bubble Era. It was the sweetheart of Japanese auto industry for over a decade.

The 1st-gen ES250 was based on the V20 narrow-body Camry/Vista. This is not the all-conquering overengineered masterpiece that is the wide-body XV10 Camry/Spectre, but it's a rather humble compact size family sedan which didn't sell that well in Japan: it's what the Corolla is today. The sole reason for the existence of the ES250 was to fill the showroom so buyers don't walk into a Lexus dealer confused by only one available model. And indeed it was outsold by the LS400; it needs to be mediocre because the LS is the star. We are quite familiar with the rest of the history: with the legendary XV10 generation the ES slowly built up momentum and gained the reputation of a more affordable LS. It has the same emphasis on soft, quiet, and smooth ride which is more consistent with the brand image at the time, in contrast to the relentless speed demon that is the GS/Aristo. But over time it became the most anti-enthusiast premium sedan in the segment with a very old buyer demographics.

Had the Mark II been chosen as the basis for the ES, then it won't just be space filler: it would be the entry-level premium sedan that people want. Just look at this:
>>Engine option of either an efficient 2-liter or a plentiful 3-liter, if you want some boost there is a twin-turbocharged 1G-GTE with over 200hp, and 200hp in 1989 is A LOT. Regardless of the choice, everything will be a silky smooth Inline 6.
>>Fully-independent double wishbone rear suspension for uncompromised ride quality and driving dynamics. Optional adjustable semi-active suspension, the world won't even understand what it means. Fear of those rear wheels going loose is calmed by available limited-slip differential, traction control, and electronic stability control.
>>All the best interior equipment you will find on a Mercedes S-Class. Oh wait, I don't think the S-Class or the 7-series had a CD Player, because all CD players were made in Japan at that time. Don't forget to show off that LED digital dash (I think Americans had similar things, just less fancy) to the neighbors. Their reaction: LED? What is a LED?

And do I even need to mention the X90 and X100 generations? With those turbocharged JZs, the ES would run circles around the big dumb V8-powered M5. A 2JZ-GTE in an ES is just unfathomable in our version of the universe.

Of course when the bubbles burst, their whole auto industry crash landed and brought down the Mark II triplets. The ES could just switch to the Crown platform like the GS originally was, and the entry-level role is taken over by the IS/Altezza, another car that shares the longitudinal RWD DNA. The consistency is not lost.

My point is, had the 1ES been based on the X80 Mark II, the reputation of the brand would be polar opposite of what it has now (or to be fair, two years ago). Lexus would be remembered as the daring brand that builds nothing but the best. The ES would be a car of uncompromised engineering, a perfect balance of comfort and sportiness, and an enthusiasts' favorite (instead of the most hated). Would it enjoy the same financial success as the Camry-based ES does in our timeline? Maybe not. But the brand as a whole would be healthier because there isn't this very disruptive model that mess up the pricing structure. And more importantly, it would be considered a serious competitor to MB and BMW.

But alas, the Japanese had a nasty habit of keeping the best JDM, so the rest of the world (with the exception of Aussies and Kiwis, lucky bastards) never had the chance to drive the engineering marvels they built in the Bubble Era. And now we are at the situation today.
ssun30
I am a HUGE fan of the Mark II family, although my preferred Bubble Era car is the Crown. It was among the many things that truly shocked me how far ahead of the world the nation was when I first visited it in the 90s.

For those unfamiliar with the model, or those who only saw the inferior NA-spec Cressida, the Mark II is the epitome of Bubble Era Japanese auto engineering. Sure there's the GT-R, NSX, RX-7, Supra, all the fancy super sports, but nothing represents the Era better than the Mark II. The model is the entry-level premium car situated below the Crown, but is also within the "compact-size" (length<4700mm, width<1700mm, engine<2000cc) regulations so buyers can enjoy lower taxes. During a time of unlimited wealth, literally everyone buys a premium car. And guess what? The X80 Mark II, the most iconic iteration, became the best selling automobile in Japan in 1988 and 1989, which coincides with the peak of the Bubble Era. It was the sweetheart of Japanese auto industry for over a decade.

The 1st-gen ES250 was based on the V20 narrow-body Camry/Vista. This is not the all-conquering overengineered masterpiece that is the wide-body XV10 Camry/Spectre, but it's a rather humble compact size family sedan which didn't sell that well in Japan: it's what the Corolla is today. The sole reason for the existence of the ES250 was to fill the showroom so buyers don't walk into a Lexus dealer confused by only one available model. And indeed it was outsold by the LS400; it needs to be mediocre because the LS is the star. We are quite familiar with the rest of the history: with the legendary XV10 generation the ES slowly built up momentum and gained the reputation of a more affordable LS. It has the same emphasis on soft, quiet, and smooth ride which is more consistent with the brand image at the time, in contrast to the relentless speed demon that is the GS/Aristo. But over time it became the most anti-enthusiast premium sedan in the segment with a very old buyer demographics.

Had the Mark II been chosen as the basis for the ES, then it won't just be space filler: it would be the entry-level premium sedan that people want. Just look at this:
>>Engine option of either an efficient 2-liter or a plentiful 3-liter, if you want some boost there is a twin-turbocharged 1G-GTE with over 200hp, and 200hp in 1989 is A LOT. Regardless of the choice, everything will be a silky smooth Inline 6.
>>Fully-independent double wishbone rear suspension for uncompromised ride quality and driving dynamics. Optional adjustable semi-active suspension, the world won't even understand what it means. Fear of those rear wheels going loose is calmed by available limited-slip differential, traction control, and electronic stability control.
>>All the best interior equipment you will find on a Mercedes S-Class. Oh wait, I don't think the S-Class or the 7-series had a CD Player, because all CD players were made in Japan at that time. Don't forget to show off that LED digital dash (I think Americans had similar things, just less fancy) to the neighbors. Their reaction: LED? What is a LED?

And do I even need to go on when the X90 and X100 generations came in? With those turbocharged JZs, the ES would run circles around the big dumb V8-powered M5. A 2JZ-GTE in an ES is just unfathomable in our version of the universe.

Of course when the bubbles burst, their whole auto industry crash landed and brought down the Mark II triplets. The ES could just switch to the Crown platform like the GS originally was, and the entry-level role is taken over by the IS/Altezza, another car that shares the longitudinal RWD DNA. The consistency is not lost.

My point is, had the 1ES been based on the X80 Mark II, the reputation of the brand would be polar opposite of what it has now (or to be fair, two years ago). Lexus would be remembered as the daring brand that built nothing but the best. The ES would be a car of uncompromised engineering, a perfect balance of comfort and sportiness, and an enthusiasts' favorite (instead of the most hated). Would it enjoy the same financial success as the Camry-based ES does in our timeline? Maybe not. But the brand as a whole would be healthier because there isn't this very disruptive model that mess up the pricing structure. And more importantly, it would be considered a serious competitor to MB and BMW.

But alas, the Japanese had a nasty habit of keeping the best JDM, so the rest of the world (with the exception of Aussies and Kiwis, lucky bastards) never had the chance to drive the engineering marvels they built in the Bubble Era. And now we are at the situation today.
That's the point I was trying to make, but you said it so much better and more eloquently than I could've. :thumbsup:

J
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