It has been announced that Lexus plans a version of its luxury GS vehicle with a small hybrid engine - in order to compete with BMW and Audi.
The company's Deputy Chief Engineer of Product Planning, Koji Sato, told Auto Express "We are working on a number of solutions to offer low CO2 emissions and these include a small hybrid." He added that no diesel version was planned at this stage.
The new GS will be launched in the UK next summer, but it will only be available in two models: the GS450h with a 3.5-litre V6 hybrid that develops 338bhp, and the GS250 with a 2.5-litre V6 that develops 206bhp.
A smaller and more economical hybrid with lower emissions would allow the new GS to compete effectively against top of the range European models such as the Audi A6 2.0 TDI and the BMW 520d.
At present there are no details available about the engine of the new model. It is, however, likely that it would be an entry level combination of a small four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor. Total power output will probably be in the region of 180bhp.
According to Sato the new engine will have to deliver CO2 emissions and fuel economy on par with that of the BMW 520d, so when those interested eventually sign for the auto finance deal, they should expect a car with fuel consumption of about 50mpg and CO2 emission levels of around 120g/km.
An official announcement is expected before the GS is launched in the UK next year.
Author - Louise Hutchinson
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