Lexus Australia is considering introducing the Lexus GS 250 to rival the entry-level variants of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
The GS 250 – currently on display at the 2011 Guangzhou Motor Show in China – is powered by a smaller petrol engine and comes with fewer standard features than the mid-spec GS 350, which will arrive in Australia in the second quarter of 2012.
A Lexus Australia spokesman said the GS 250 was “under consideration” for our market but was not confirmed at this stage. He said the base model GS 250 had been designed predominantly for China and select European markets, where it will launch in the first half of 2012.
The Lexus GS is one of the only models that is outpriced by its key German rivals in Australia. The outgoing GS 300 is priced from $94,900 (before on-road costs), making it considerably more expensive than the Audi A6 2.0 TFSI ($77,900), and the BMW 520d and Mercedes-Benz E220 CDI (both $83,300). The GS 250 would provide Lexus Australia with a direct price competitor for the entry-level Germans. Prices of the new GS range will be confirmed closer to its local launch.
The Lexus GS 250 is powered by a slightly more powerful version of the IS 250’s 2.5-litre direct-injection V6 petrol engine. It produces 154kW of power and 253Nm of torque – 79kW/123Nm less than the new 3.5-litre GS 350. The GS 250 accelerates from 0-100km/h in 8.6 seconds and uses fuel at a rate of 8.9 litres/100km on the combined cycle, making it slower but more efficient than the GS 350.
Lexus says the GS 250 will be available with the 12.3-inch infotainment screen, ‘S-flow’ air conditioning system and a new 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. These features will be offered as standard or as options depending on the market.
The GS 250 also incorporates Drive Mode Select for adjustable vehicle dynamics, as well as a number of advanced safety systems including Pre-Crash Safety, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Sport Monitor and Night View.
The Lexus GS 350 will go on sale in Australia around April/May next year, and will be followed by the GS 450h hybrid shortly after, around May/June. The F Sport package will be offered as an option on both models from launch.