Thanks to an unveil in Pebble Beach we finally have our first good look at the 2013 Lexus GS350—we previously drove heavily camo’d prototypes—and, with it, the future look and styling direction of the Lexus brand. The company also let drop that it would unveil the inevitable hybrid version at September’s Frankfurt auto show. About a month after that, the company will show the F-Sport version at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. The new GS350, the fourth generation of the company’s mid-range sedan, will be the standard-bearer of Lexus’s new, more “passionate” approach to the premium-car market. Our first driving experience in camouflaged examples of the car, in both standard and F-Sport versions, bear out that oft-repeated passion claim. The GS350’s styling is considerably, and thankfully, more subtle than the frankly hideous LF-Gh concept car from this year’s New York Auto Show. The ’13 GS sits on a two-inch-wider track, giving it a more planted look. It is, as is the fashion, festooned with LEDs front and rear. Its one truly distinctive visual signature is a new front grille shape that Lexus calls “spindle” shaped. Okay. It looks something like a large square grille that been cinched in about two-thirds of the way up either side. Expect to see a lot of this shape in the coming years. When the GS350 goes on sale in February of 2012, it’ll be powered by a largely carry-over 3.5-liter V-6, which uses both port and direct injection. The engine makes 306 hp at 6400 rpm (a bump of 3 hp from the last GS350) and 277 lb-ft of torque at 4800. The car carries a six-speed automatic transmission. It will be available in rear or all-wheel-drive versions. Inside the slightly larger interior is mounted a massive 12.3-inch infotainment screen on which owners can noodle with Pandora, conduct local searches on Bing, and a host of other options. Lexus has packed that interior with all manner of standard and optional electronic whiz-bangery. The optional Mark Levinson audio system pumps out 835 watts. Sensors in the seats allow the climate-control system to direct flow to passenger and not empty seats, says the company, which also claims a nice bump in system efficiency for the effort. There’s a new infrared camera mounted to the steering column that keeps an eye on where your eyes are pointed. The camera is integrated into the car’s pre-collision system, so that if a crash appears imminent and the driver is not looking ahead, he’ll get an earlier warning signal than the system would otherwise provide. The system can, of course, initiate braking as well. There’s a bevy of other tricks too, including night vision, a head-up display, blind-spot monitoring, and active lane-keep assist. The company has not yet announced pricing but we expect it to start in the $48,000-to-$50,000 range. Pleasantly surprising as the shape may have been, price is one thing we knew wasn’t going to change much on this one.