Lexus Planning Four-Cylinder GS Hybrid?

Lexus GS 450h

Lexus GS deputy chief engineer Koji Sato recently spoke with Auto Express, and shared some welcome information that a “small hybrid” engine for the GS is in the works:

Although there are no details on the new powerplant, it is likely to sit at the entry point to the range and is likely to be a four-cylinder petrol engine allied to an electric motor. Combined power output should be around 180bhp.

Sato said the engine would have to boast fuel economy and CO2 emissions on a par with the BMW 520d, so expect the model to emit around 120g/km of CO2 and return around 50mpg.

A decision is ‘imminent’ said Sato on the exact specification of the new hybrid engine, with an announcement expected ahead of the GS’ launch in the UK next summer.

From the numbers, I would assume the new Camry Hybrid engine (200bhp & 52 “British” mpg) is the unspoken powerplant — but regardless of engine details, a four-cylinder hybrid GS would be huge news for the European market, allowing Lexus to build on the success of the CT 200h, and in turn, create some real momentum for the brand moving forward.

One other detail to note from the Auto Express article:

In related news, Sato also said there was a strong desire within Lexus to produce a high performance BMW M5-rivalling GS F model, following in the footsteps of the IS F. “The GS has an all-new chassis with wider tracks, double wishbones at the front and a mulit-link rear set-up. It would make a very good base for a performance car,” he added, although admitted that there are no official plans for one just yet.

At this point, there has to be a “wait & see” approach with a possible GS F — so much will depend on how well the new GS sells.

[Source: Auto Express]


  1. "yet" is good enough for me atm.
  2. Even in the USA BMW now has a high-efficiency turbo four cylinder (the 528i), so this seems like a great idea to me. Especially if the majority of the technology is already there. I'm not sure 180hp is going to feel sufficient in the GS, seeing as the BMW 528 has 240hp, and an astounding 260 lb/ft or torque. It'll be interesting to see what comes of the rumor.
    • You have to remember that for Europe the 520d is the benchmark - BMW sell literally tens of thousands of them. Europeans have had to accept lower power as the price of eco taxes, which for 6-cylinder engines are punitive (or just simply unaffordable). The big question mark here is TORQUE. Diesels may lower headline power outputs, but that's not the issue when beautiful BM diesels can give you heaps of torque across the power band. By contrast, petrols feel gutless and have to be revved right up to get decent shove. Can Lexus deliver a petrol hybrid with great fuel efficiency AND torque? They failed miserably on the CT200h.
    • While torque fluctuates with rpm on internal combustion engines, electric motors have flat torque curves. That means that regardless of rpm, if the electric motor is on, it's producing maximum torque. Think of a 4 cylinder hybrid as an electrically supercharged engine. The CT isn't very quick but the new GS 450h is going to be a rocket
    • As Justin notes, the real target for a 4-cylinder GS would be the BMW 520d -- but at the same time, I'm hoping Lexus puts a little more "pop" into the Camry hybrid system rather than just porting it directly. It would get plenty interesting to see a 528i competitor, though. 
  3. i think you can delete the "question mark"...during the Frankfurt Motor Show back in September Lexus and Toyota made no secret about it that the GS will become 2 hybrid options when he comes to the market in 2012. They told me that Lexus/Toyota will bring 10 new or updated hybrid models until the end of 2012.
  4. Happy to see LEXUS is taking interest in multiple engine variants, hybrids, petrol, horspower, etc. They are planning right and it will give incredible numbers of sales volume in the very near can tell the GS-F is definitely in the background bulging and waiting to be announced.....I can understand the concern of waiting to see how well the GS delivers, before saying anything definite about the beast GS-F that will follow.
  5. I don't think so. I think he may be referring to the CT sedan..
  6. You can take this as truth, or with a grain of salt If they REALLY haven't addressed the GSF already, it would take at least 18 months to get to market I don't believe they've made all of this work to become sporty, but choose to come up short when it's time to measure manhood...... BD
    • Absolutely agree with you -- not releasing a GS F makes zero sense to me, but considering the last-gen GS sales performance, there has to be some corporate reluctance. I still believe 100% that we'll see a GS F.
  7. Sc

    Give us CT250
  8. I heard the GS250h is coming 2013 when the IS250h launches (with the same motor).  And yes its almost certainly the system from the 2012 Camry hybrid.  Expect Euro CO2 numbers to be quite a bit lower than 120g though...
  9. Stupid plan. Keep 6-cylinders only.
  10. I would actually prefer the smaller power plant  coupled with an electric motor (aka. hybrid). Saving gas is my concern, not getting an extra 4 seconds off the line.  I've had 4 cylnder cars most of my life and never had a problem passing people even when carrying 4 passengers.  If the meat and potatoes of the car (style and options) are available as the larger platforms then it is my vehicle of choice.
  11. JVX

    Looking at the IS for example, they sell more IS250s than IS350s.  I believe this is a good strategy. The smaller engine will make the GS a bit more affordable for the younger crowd, like me.  I own an IS250 and I love it. My next target is the GS.  If the 4 cylinder version is within reach, I'm all for it.
    • Couldn't agree more -- I've started thinking hard about my next car, and a four-cylinder GS hybrid would be at the top of my list.
  12. Perfectly reasonable but please for the love of god don't do it Lexus. I don't mind Lexus cars having less than six cylinders but they have to seperate their models. I mean the GS350 already has the same HP as the IS350 soon they're going to be the same car.