08/11/2011—In just one week, when Lexus reveals the 2013 Lexus GS at an event during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, it will mark an end of the car’s four-year development cycle that for the most part has been able to stay out of the spotlight—though on five separate occasions in the past year, the public was given a glimpse of Lexus’ next GS sedan.

The very first look at the new GS came way back in November 2010, when an “engineering mule” was spotted near Nürburgring, Germany by spy photographers:

GS Mule | ®KGP Photography

These first photos didn’t reveal much in the way of details, though the strategically placed duct-tape did suggest that the next-generation GS would be riding on a (slightly) wider platform. Really though, the more important fact at the time was that the new GS was far enough in development to bring an engineering mule out on public roads.

From there, things stayed quiet until April of this year, when Lexus debuted the LF-Gh concept at the New York International Auto Show:

Lexus LF-Gh

Meant to showcase the “bold future direction” of Lexus, the LF-Gh was a design study that hinted at where the new GS might be heading—but it wasn’t until an actual prototype was spotted in July that we saw how much the concept would shape the production model:

Camouflaged GS | ®Lexus and the Pursuit

Photographed in a Cerritos, California shopping mall parking lot by a Facebook fan, this camouflaged GS was covered completely in black vinyl and purposely deformed by sculpted sheets of foam-core, yet it appeared to retain some of the LF-Gh’s overall shape and design.

Now, normally these brief and blurry photographs would be the final sighting before the reveal of a full production model, but Lexus took a decidedly different approach, and last month brought in journalists from major automotive magazines to drive camouflaged versions of the GS.

Camouflaged GS II

These prototypes kept much of the black vinyl wrap seen earlier, but had one key difference—the front end was left largely exposed, further revealing the influence of the LF-Gh’s bold new front end. This all culminated with a teaser image released by Lexus this month:

Lexus front end

As you can see, it’s been a long, camouflaged road to Pebble Beach Resort, but in a few days from now, on August 18, the 2013 GS will finally be revealed in full—and all the vinyl and tape that’s masked the model throughout its development will be pulled away. (Be sure to check or the Lexus Facebook page next week for coverage of the Pebble Beach GS World Premier.)


Special thanks to Paul Williamsen of Lexus for his insight, and to Lu Xuan Guo for use of his shopping mall spy photography.