Lexus’ product planning chief Karl Schlicht wants a GS-F

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 27, 2012

Lexus’ senior Toyota management has yet to approve of product planning chief Karl Schlicht’s plan to start production of a top-performance GS-F super-saloon that will compete with the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. There have long been rumors that a GS-F is included in Lexus’s drive to boost the brand’s sporting image instead of being known as a producer of cars that are incredibly safe but are uninspired.

The GS-F would then be the last piece in a five-part product strategy. Lexus’ launch of the V10-powered LFA supercar, smaller V8-powered IS-F sports saloon and more focused F Sport trim levels in its standard range has already taken place.

Lexus is also reviving its lineup to have more distinctive designs. It also wants to focus more on the driving dynamics. Schlicht said that with a GS-F, there would be a “solid pyramid structure of performance models.” He said that it’s crucial that Lexus retains its refinement. If approved, it’s probable that the GS-F would be a powerful grand tourer instead of being an utterly focused driving tool.

Lexus hasn’t provided details of the powertrain to be used on the GS-F but sources said that it may be a detuned version of the LFA’s 4.8-litre engine. It would be decreased to 4.6 litres and would deliver about 450bhp, with an emphasis on improving low-end torque.

Schlict said that the new GS inspires the appearance and driving dynamics of the new IS. He said that the “new GS leads to the new IS.” The unique ‘spindle grille’ on the GS was used on the newly revised RX. The next-gen LS would also be expected to get the bold front end.

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