To earn the Top Safety Pick designation, a vehicle must earn a score of “good” in frontal impact, side impact and rear impact crash testing. It must also earn a score of good in roof strength testing, which is an indicator of vehicle safety in a rollover accident.
To measure the strength of a vehicle’s roof, the IIHS uses a steel plate to compress a corner of the roof at a constant rate. The test rig measures the amount of force necessary to produce five inches of crush, which is them compared to the vehicles weight to calculate a strength-to-weigh ratio.
The 2013 Lexus GS held up to a force some 4.88 times greater than its weight, easily surpassing the IIHS’ requirement of a four times greater reading to earn a “good” mark in roof strength testing.
The all-new 2013 GS takes Lexus’ midsize luxury sedan in a slightly different direction, too. Concerned that its image was becoming too stodgy, the automaker has taken great efforts to promote the new GS series as sporty cars, not just comfortable cars.
There’s even talk of a higher-performance GS-F version, which could take on sport sedans like the BMW M5 and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG if given the green light by Toyota executives.
That’s not to be confused with the F-Sport package already available for 2013 GS models, which is limited to appearance and suspension upgrades.