Lexus has always had two midsize luxury sedans in its line-up. The front-wheel-drive (FWD) comfort-oriented Lexus ES has always outsold the sporty rear-wheel-drive (RWD) Lexus GS for much of their history. Unfortunately, sales for the Lexus GS has declined to a point that the midsize sports sedan merely represents a small chunk of the automaker’s sales globally.
In 2019, 51,336 units of the Lexus ES were sold in the US, which is way more than the 3,378 units for the Lexus GS. Thus, the Japanese luxury automaker’s midsize luxury sports sedan is saying farewell for the 2020 model year through the release of the Lexus GS 350 Black Line special edition.
Exclusive to 200 units for the US-market, the GS 350 Black Line is based on the GS 350 F Sport with a few additions inspired by the high-performance, V8-powered GS F. These additions include black F Sport wheels, black grille, black rear spoiler, and orange brake calipers.
On the inside, the GS 350 Black Line features red accents on the doors, steering, and center console. Carbon fiber interior trims have also been added to provide a sportier interior atmosphere. In addition, Lexus USA has collaborated with Zero Halliburton for a bespoke two-piece luggage set which comes with the GS 350 Black Line. The exclusive luggage features unique Zero Halliburton for Lexus badges and interior lining embroidered with various Lexus design elements.
The Lexus GS 350 Black Line is still powered by the 2GR-FKS 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6 engine, producing 311 hp and 380 Nm of torque. Buyers can either opt for RWD or all-wheel-drive (AWD) while the only transmission choice is an 8-speed automatic.
Meanwhile, in Japan, Lexus is also releasing its own farewell to the GS called the GS Eternal Touring. It also has the same upgrades as the GS 350 Black Line for the US, but the Japanese special edition model will also be available for the F Sport variants of the GS 300 and GS 450h hybrid variant.
The GS 300 is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged petrol engine producing 240 hp and 350 Nm of torque and is mated to an 8-speed automatic. On the other hand, the GS 450h uses a naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine in conjunction with a set of electric motors. Total system output is 296 hp and 490 Nm of torque, with power sent through a CVT.
Lexus USA will reveal pricing for the GS 350 Black Line nearer to its launch date of Summer 2020. On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, Lexus Japan has announced pricing for the GS Eternal Touring, which starts at JPY7,100,000 (US$66,238). The Lexus GS will officially end production in August 2020, putting an end to the 30-year run of Lexus’ sporty midsize luxury sedan.