It takes cojones to make a serious pass at an established performance icon, especially if you don’t have any sort of real performance pedigree. In this particular case, a recent report has attached the BMW M5 as a rival to a possible high-performance iteration of the 2013 GS. As you may have heard, this is the same GS that could also be on the receiving end of the LFA’s 4.8-liter V-10. Let the crazy conjectures begin.
British publication Autocar says there remains a strong desire within Lexus to put together a true performance GS to challenge the M5. In Autocar’s words, the GS “would offer the M5 a genuine rival for both performance and dynamic ability given the driver-focused developments in the all-new GS’s chassis.”
On paper, the easiest way to produce a rival is to have comparable engine power; it doesn’t matter what the method of induction is or how many cylinders there are. The F10 M5’s twin-turbocharged V-8 is responsible for 560 horsepower per European tuning standards (the final United States model could be different). According to an earlier report, the LFA’s 552-horsepower V-10 would indeed fit in the GS engine compartment, but there’s no clear indication as to how much the 10-cylinder would be detuned for sedan duty. Obviously, having all 552 of those horsepowers available to combat the new M5 would be ideal, but reality could dictate otherwise. At the very least, we’d hope the V-10 retains at least 500 horsepower to match the E60 M5. In today’s day and age, the transmission would almost surely be an automated manual or some type of automatic.
At this point, all we can do is make conjectures about the powertrain. Even without knowing exactly how much is left to be wrung out of the IS F’s 5.0-liter V-8, an eight-cylinder certainly wouldn’t be a stranger in the new GS. And as we’ve been seeing from upscale hybrid offerings, a powerful hybrid system that is focused on adding power rather than limiting gas consumption would certainly be an interesting approach. However, that wouldn’t fall in line with Toyota’s bigger motives.
It’s harder to pin down the handling and “feel” parts of a car without seat time, but early impressions of the base GS appear to be favorable. Since Tesla is also apparently targeting the M5 with the sport version of its Model S electric sedan, there may be some intriguing matchups lurking around the corner.
Have you already come up with a plan for the new GS where it can take on the M5? Feel free to share it in the comments below.