Until now, car makers have introduced new models at the world’s major auto shows, Frankfurt (September), Los Angeles (November), Tokyo (also November) Detroit (January), Paris (February) and New York (April), to headlines from gathered media, followed by crowds of the car buying public. Lexus and Infiniti are breaking the mold by introducing two important new models at the world’s most famous gathering of vintage and antique cars, the Pebble Beach Concours d”Elegance.
Pebble Beach is arguably largest gathering of six-figure and seven-figure antique and classic cars in the world, along with those who can afford to own them, plus the media who write about and them. So it’s a perfect place for two top luxury brands to make headlines, and it gives both brands a jumpstart on all the intros due at the LA Auto Show in November.
Lexus is revealing the all-new 2012 Lexus GS 350 mid-size luxury sport sedan. This is the fourth-generation GS, completely redesigned inside and out, with the brand new Lexus design philosophy. That includes a distinctive new front grille designed to be the signature new look for all future Lexus vehicles, and a new platform designed to make it sportier and more efficient. According to the website Topspeed, the new GS is heavily inspired by the LF-Gh Concept, with the same direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers a total of 303 HP at 6,200 rpm and 274 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,600 rpm. There’s also a 5.0-liter V8 engine packed with about 450 HP. At the 2011 NY Auto Show, Lexus also teased a hybrid model.
Infiniti is unveiling its new three-row, seven-passenger JX crossover at Pebble Beach. Infiniti plans to put the seven-passenger, three-row JX on sale in early 2012 as a 2013 model. The crossover will be built at Nissan’s plant in Smyrna, Tenn., and shares its platform with the Nissan Altima, Maxima and Murano. The JX will be available in front-drive and all-wheel-drive versions. Stay tuned for pricing and other details.
The 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is August 18-21, and includes important charity fund-raisers. This year, it honors the 125th anniversary of a patent by a guy named Gottlieb Daimler that changed the world, and devotees can expect to see a collection of iconic Mercedes-Benz vehicles, including the 1950s gullwing SLS, which many consider the most desirable and sexy car ever built.
Most definitely, Pebble Beach is becoming a event for introducing new cars, as well as showing off historic, vintage vehicles.