Lexus will soon be added to a growing list of automakers installing HD Radio in vehicles. The luxury brand recently announced its first model to offer the technology is the upcoming 2013 GS 350 sedan, which was revealed last week at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance near Monterey, California.
The decision to add HD Radio to the GS350 puts Lexus in good company, as nearly 20 automakers - including Audi, Bentley, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and Tesla - also offer the technology. While the 2013 GS350 is Lexus's first model to utilize HD Radio, the feature will likely spread throughout the remainder of its range within a few years.
Used by more than 85 percent of AM and FM stations in the US - or around 2,000 in total - HD Radio technology features a digital signal designed to enhance traditional radio stations, improving sound quality and reception. Lexus takes HD Radio a step further by offering the technology's popular "iTunes tagging" function in its vehicles, allowing users to "tag" songs they like so they can be purchased later on iTunes.
The 2013 GS350 is the fourth generation of Lexus's upscale GS sedan. Unveiled among high-dollar vintage and classic cars at the Pebble Beach Concours, the newest GS features updated styling inside out, new technology including active chassis control and the automaker's distinctive new "spindle" grille.
Expected to debut early in 2012, the next-generation GS350 will soon be joined by the sporty GS350 F-Sport and fuel-saving GS450h Hybrid, which will help the sedan fight established rivals like the BMW 5 Series, Infiniti M and Mercedes E-Class. The automaker has not yet announced pricing for the upcoming GS, nor has it confirmed whether the V8-powered GS460 model will reprise its role as the flagship GS trim level.