Categorized between an entry level compact executive car and a full-length flagship LS model, the Lexus GS430 was first introduced to the market in 1993. This mid-size luxury car was part of the second generation of Lexus GS cars—a complete line of vehicles that was created for performance, featuring detailing that was usually found on premium Japanese sedans. Though GS cars had many external features, they were styled with simplicity—a trait which was taken from European car designs. GS cars also utilized one of Toyota’s longest running platforms—the S-Series. Here’s a glimpse into the changes and transformations of the Lexus GS430 through the years.
First generation (1993-1996): The Lexus GS
The development of the GS started way back in 1988 and its bodywork was designed by Italdesign Giugiaro—a famous design and engineering company based in Italy. A quick look at the aerodynamic appearance of the GS reveals that its design was based on the flagship Lexus LS and the performance SC coupe. Three years after, it was first introduced to the Japanese market as the Toyota Artisto. And after two years of domestic success, the Lexus GS finally arrived in the United States in 1993 and it was placed above the brand’s ES luxury sedan. Upon initial release, all models were rear-wheel drives and they were equipped with superior drivetrains—it was powered by a 3.0 L 2JZ-GE straight engine, which could churn out up to 227 hp and was furnished with a four-speed automatic transmission. It also spelled luxury inside as it had walnut wood trim for the center console, leather seats, optional Nakamichi stereos, a moonroof, etc.
Second generation (1997-2005): The arrival of the GS430
The second generation GS was developed upon the release of the first generation in the market. Chief Engineer Yasushi Nakagawa supervised the design process and the work was finished after 18 months. The newly designed GS was introduced at the 1997 Detroit Auto Show and they featured new front engines and a rear-wheel drive midsize platform. In 2001, GS cars underwent a makeover and the GS430 was introduced to the market. This model was equipped with clear tail lights, a new grille, and tinted Xenon headlights. It was also furnished with an upgraded V8 engine, which boasts of a 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 6.7 seconds. Overall, in terms of sales, the second generations of GS cars sold better compared to first generation models.
Third generation (2005-2011): The end
The design for the third generation of GS models was completed in 2002 and it made its debut in 2003 with the LF-S concept car. It made its next appearance at the 2004 North American Auto Show, showcasing the new production version of the GS. During this time, the Toyota Aristo was dropped from the brand’s lineup and Lexus finally made its domestic debut. In 2008, the GS430 was replaced by the GS460 and this model was equipped with the new 4.6 L 1UR-FSE V8 engine that could churn out up to 342 hp and an eight-speed automatic transmission.