Lexus is working on a small hybrid engine so that its new GS luxury car could compete with its European rivals that offer higher fuel efficiency. Koji Sato, deputy chief engineer, product planning, told Auto Express that it is developing several solutions so that CO2 emissions will drop. A small hybrid is one of the things being considered.
The launch for the new GS in the UK will take place this summer. Only two versions will be offered: the top-of-the-line GS 450h with a 338bhp 3.5-litre V6 hybrid and the entry-level GS 250 that’s equipped with a 206bhp 2.5-litre V6.
The new GS, a small efficient and low-emissions hybrid, is expected to go up against popular models such as the BMW 520d and Audi A6 2.0 TDI. Lexus currently isn’t planning to make a diesel version. Sato said that Lexus is strongly associated with the hybrid, something that it wants to continue to work on.
There aren’t many details about the new powerplant but it’s believed to be positioned at the range’s entry point. It’s also likely to be a four-cylinder petrol engine coupled to an electric motor.
It’s expected to have a combined power output of around 180bhp. Sato said that this engine’s fuel economy rating and CO2 emissions level will be comparable with those of the BMW 520d. This means that this model would have emissions of about 120g/km of CO2 and have a rating of about 50mpg.
Buyers get big tax savings with this new model due to its low emissions. This makes it more attractive to the market in the UK and Europe, especially to company car drivers.