The GS 450h doesn't get a power boost to go with its new mean mug. (In fact, the new 338-horsepower, Atkinson cycle V-6-based Hybrid Synergy Drive system is down two ponies from the current generation.) What Lexus is expecting is a 30 percent bump in fuel economy when the sedan finishes EPA testing. The 2009 GS 450h rolled a combined 23.2 mpg when we tested it, so we're guessing the 2013 will reach a combined 30.
The new GS benefits from a bevy of lighter materials and new Lexus suspension technologies. Lexus employs new aluminum control arms, a stiffer vehicle platform, and an updated rear multilink setup with improved geometry. New technologies include the Lexus Dynamic Handling four-wheel steering system that also rolls in the alphabet soup of Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS), and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM).
Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) works in tandem with the electric power steering to turn the rear wheels up 1.5 degrees to boost stability at speed (by turning them with the front wheels above 50 mph) or to reduce the turning radius (by turning them against the fronts below 50 mph).
All new Lexus GS models will receive an updated remote touch interface and an array of driver safety features, but only the hybrid will be available with a bamboo-finished steering wheel that, according to Toyota, "reinforces the sustainability of the GS 450h."