Lexus has been working on expanding its hybrid lineup in the past few years with the addition of cars like the CT 200h and the upcoming 2013 ES 300h. According to a new report, it may be looking to even add a second hybrid version of the GS sport sedan next year.
Auto Express is reporting that Lexus is looking to add a so-called GS 300h model to pair with the current GS 450h hybrid. The smaller hybrid would be to better combat the hyper-efficient diesel-powered executive sedans from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes in Europe. Lexus’ deputy chief engineer Koji Sato told Auto Express “We are working on a number of solutions to offer low CO2 emissions, and these include a small hybrid.”
The current GS hybrid uses an electric motor paired to a 3.5-liter V-6 for a full powertrain output of 338 hp. According to Auto Express, either a smaller-output version of the V-6 could be used for the new hybrid or the same powertrain setup from the ES hybrid could be ported over. The 2.5-liter I-4, electric motor, and CVT from the all-new ES 300h could theoretically be used in the GS; however, it would probably take some reconfiguration to work on the GS platform, as the ES is front-wheel drive whereas the GS is rear-wheel drive. Lexus also makes the front-wheel drive CT 200h hatchback with a 1.8-liter I-4, the front- or all-wheel drive RX 450h crossover with a 3.5-liter V-6, and the all-wheel drive LS 600hL sedan with a 5.0-liter V-8.
The 2013 Lexus GS 450h is rated at 29/34 mpg city/highway. Its closest rivals are the Infiniti M35h, which also uses a 3.5-liter V-6 mated to an electric motor and is rated at 27/32 mpg, and the Porsche Panamera S Hybrid, which uses a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 paired to an electric motor and is rated at 22/30 mpg.
Not much more is known about the supposed GS 300h, but Auto Express says to expect more information this fall, as the car could debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. It also expects that the second GS hybrid will go on sale next year with a price tag of around £30,000 (about $46,000); the current GS 450h retails for £44,995 in the U.K. ($69,868).
Source: Auto Express