Lexus is working on an ultra-fuel-efficient entry-level Lexus GS to take on small-engined large German sedans like the BMW 520d, Mercedes-Benz E220 CDI, and Audi A6 2.0 TDI. Instead of going diesel though, Lexus is set to introduce a small petrol engine teamed with a hybrid system.
Lexus has already revealed the new Lexus GS 450h hybrid, which comes with a large petrol engine for outright power, backed up by a hybrid system to reduce overall fuel consumption and emissions. An entry-level model will apparently offer even greater efficiency.
In a recent Auto Express report, Lexus GS deputy chief engineer Koji Sato said the company is developing an entry-level GS that would offer low emissions and fuel consumption. “We are working on a number of solutions to offer low CO2 emissions and these include a small hybrid,” he said.
Sato also said the company wouldn’t turn to diesel technology like its German rivals, saying, “Lexus has a strong association with hybrid and we want to continue to develop this”.
According to the report, the new Lexus GS hybrid is likely to use a four-cylinder petrol engine linked up to a hybrid electric drive system to provide a combined output of around 134kW of power. Emissions and fuel consumption averages are expected to be around 120g/km and 5.6L/100km, respectively.
Final decisions and specifications are expected to be announced in mid-2012. We’ll keep you updated. The 2012 Lexus GS 350 will go on sale in Australia around May/June, and will be followed by the GS 450h a few months later in the second half of next year.