With four-cylinder engines making up to 40% of all Audi and BMW midsize sedan sales in the USA, the release of the Lexus GS 200t and its 2.0L turbo engine has come at an excellent time — from WardsAuto:
“We’re planning to start out in the mid-20% range with the 2.0L turbo, and we will see what the market calls for,” [Lexus corporate marketing manager Brian] Bolain says. “We will see if we need to go up as high as (the Germans) have gone.”
Globally, the segment skews even more aggressively toward 4-cyl. engines.
“In China, for example, sales of vehicles equipped with 2.0L turbo or smaller engines represent over 63% of the sales volume in the segment,” [VP of Marketing Brian] Smith says. “We’re excited this new 241-hp engine will allow us to respond to that strong global consumer demand.”
The GS 200t will produce 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, as compared to the Audi A6 2.0T with 252hp and 273 lb-ft of torque and the BMW 528i and its 240hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.
Things are certainly looking up for the GS, with sales growing 10% over the first half of this year. By comparison, the BMW 5-series is down 15%, the E-Class has dropped 36%, and the the CTS is 40% below last year’s sales.
One more interesting fact about the GS:
A pleasant surprise for Lexus is the popularity of the GS F Sport, which uses the same 3.5L V-6 but adds track-tuned chassis enhancements and a number of interior and exterior design flourishes. The F Sport now accounts for up to 40% of the mix and is bringing more young males to the brand, Bolain says.