2016 Lexus LX570 and GS sedan debut in Pebble Beach

Photo: 2016 Lexus LX 570 Photo 2

New turbo-four, eight-speed automatic take hold in the lineup

The 2016 Lexus LX570 and GS took their first public bow in Pebble Beach on Thursday. Both get a freshening up of body panels, a massaged spindle grille and mechanical updates that make them both a bit more capable than the cars that came before.

Starting with the LX, Lexus changed every body panel but the doors for 2015. The grille was restyled with satin chrome trim and LED headlights, turn signals and fogs. New 20-inch wheels sit in the corners (21s are optional). The rear lights and bumper also get a new look.

Mechanically, the LX570 continues to house a 5.7-liter V8 making 383 hp and 403 lb-ft of torque. A new eight-speed automatic transmission does the shifting as opposed to the six-speed in the last model. A new Drive Mode Select system adjusts powertrain and suspension responses. That system works with Lexus’ adaptive variable suspension, which continually adjusts damper rates during driving. A height-control system can lower the car by 2 inches for easy entry and exit. A Torsen limited-slip locking center differential distributes power, which is normally 40:60 front-rear. An Active Traction Control system (A-TRAC) can switch through rock, dirt, mogul, loose rock, and mud and sand, depending on the difficulty of the terrain.

The LX570 can tow 7,000 pounds. A panoramic-view camera is new for 2016, which helps when moving a trailer, off-roading and wiggling through tight spaces. A 12.3-inch screen displays a combination of views.

Elsewhere inside, the LX gets a few new trim options, heated and ventilated second-row seats, four climate zones and bigger dual rear screens. Siri Eyes Free lets you play music and  get navigation instructions through your Apple iPhone.

The Lexus Safety System-Plus is standard. It comes with a pre-collision system, pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert, intelligent high beam, radar cruise control and more. 

Moving to the GS, the big news is the addition of the 200t model, sporting a 241-hp, 258-lb-ft, 2.0-liter turbocharged four. Lexus estimates it’ll get 33 mph on the highway and says it’s an important trim. Currently half of the luxury sedans in the U.S. now house a four-cylinder engine, according to Lexus. 

Last year’s V6 goes from 306 hp to 311 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque to 280 lb-ft. The GS450h hybrid continues with a 338-hp combination of motor and engine. Optional all-wheel drive is controlled by a central diff that sends 30 percent forward, 70 percent rear in normal conditions. The system can split 50:50 when necessary.

Like the LX, the GS gets new interior colors and trim options, upgraded multimedia tech and Lexus Enform. A restyled grille sits in front with bi-LEDs. The rear bumper and taillights are also refreshed.

Pricing hasn’t been announced, but Lexus says both will fall within striking distance of competitors. The last LX started at about $83,000, while the GS came in at about $49,000, for reference.

Gallery: 2016 Lexus GS 200t

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