If you look at the original teaser image of the 2012 Lexus GS350 below, you might be hard pressed to visualize anything more than a bigger IS350 with a giant grille. And while that description actually isn’t too far off, we’ve played with the picture to draw a few additional details into the light.

This isn’t the first time we’ve covered the next GS. Lexus conceptualized the car earlier this year in New York, then we spied a disguised car last month in Germany. Just a week later, we were invited to drive an equally camouflaged prototype. Now we see the uncovered front end, and we’re just a few weeks away from seeing the entire thing laid bare at the Pebble Beach Concours on August 18.

Back to this teaser: Not much has changed through the development process, from what we can see. The size and shape of the concept’s grille—which sort of looks like the profile of a witch’s cauldron—carries over, but with added chrome trim; we applaud Lexus for leaving the massive maw in place. The headlamps don’t look to be comprised wholly of LEDs, but the accent lights certainly are. Additional details gathered through our mad Photoshop skills include the lower grillework and the placement of the fog lights in the lower fascia. Everything is as we expected, and this GS should take Lexus design a step forward.

The interior will receive a similar overhaul. We know models with navigation will use a massive 12.3-inch screen just beneath a new analog clock, and our drive also uncovered signs of playfulness sorely lacking from the last model. Better looking and better to drive? Sounds good to us.

By Stuart Fowle