The Lexus GS-F rumors are back out in full force, and judging from the conflicting reports from Inside Line & Motor Trend, it’s less a question of if Lexus will be making it, but rather what will be powering the high-performance sedan — let’s start with Inside Line:
Although Lexus officials refuse to confirm the existence of the GS F, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda hinted heavily at the model being in Lexus’ future plans during a recent roundtable with journalists in Pebble Beach, California.
“I want Lexus to be the brand chosen by the most sophisticated of drivers,” Toyoda told us. “I want Lexus to compete around the world with global Lexus models. And don’t worry about high-performance Lexuses like F Sport and F models going away.”
If the GS F does make production, speculation is that it will be powered by a supercharged version of the 5.0-liter V8 used in the IS F. Lexus has noticed Cadillac’s recent success with supercharging in the CTS-V, and may choose that route over more complex and more expensive turbocharging.
Power should be in the 550 range, which is well above the 414 hp the V8 now makes in the IS F. The two cars are expected to share the same eight-speed automatic transmission.
Compare that with what Motor Trend had to say from the very same event:
[Lexus GS chief engineer, Yoshihiko Kanamori] hints the future 2013 GS F model will carry LFA design cues – and possibly, its super powers – in the form of a version of the 4.8-liter V-10 engine found in the $400,000 supercar. Why? Because it fits.
Mr. Kanamori said Lexus never planned to carry on with the V-10 project, but that it was “technically feasible to fit the engine into the new GS.” Further proving the idea has been seriously pondered, he said the engine would have to be detuned to deliver more torque instead of power.
“But I am not sure,” he said. “We have some plan for the next F model.”
At this point, both publications are simply speculating, but if I were a betting man, I’d be putting my money on Inside Line and a V8 powered GS-F. There may be enough room in the engine bay for a V10, but I don’t think there’s room in the market — detuned or not, the extra expense of the LFA’s engine would likely price the car right out of competing with the BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG, and I don’t think that’s a battle that Lexus wants to miss out on.