MARK RECHTIN

Lexus on the prowl

NEW YORK -- This is the new face of Lexus. Bold, brash, perhaps stealing a bit from "Predator" movies.

But maybe that's what the brand needs - a little arrogance and attitude. Its cars are long in the tooth, its styling too understated.

The concept LF-Gh unveiled on the eve of the New York auto show hints at the next-generation GS sedans, which have notoriously underperformed against the 5-series and E-Class on the showroom floor.

Using typical Lexus-speak, marketing VP Dave Nordstrom says the next GS represents "a huge opportunity...It's never been as strong as it's capable of."

The concept LF-Gh unveiled on the eve of the New York auto show hints at the next-generation GS sedans, which have notoriously underperformed against the BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class on the showroom floor. Photo credit: MARK RECHTIN

The GS should arrive in early 2012, which Nordstrom predicts will be "a very good year."

That's because, if product cadences are any guide, a redesigned version of the entry-luxury ES likely will also arrive in calendar 2012, and redesigns of the LS and IS sedans won't be far behind.

The aggressive styling of the LF-Gh is to carry across the lineup.

Given the shortages of product to occur this summer as a result of the Japan earthquake, Lexus likely will cede the best-selling luxury brand title to BMW or Mercedes.

But watch out in 2012. Lexus will be back.

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