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Looking to compete against BMW’s 520d and Audi’s A6 2.0 TDI, Lexus is flexing its hybrid muscles and developing a smaller hybrid engine for its new-generation GS. Given its success in building and selling hybrid engines and models, it’s no surprise that Lexus is looking to add a smaller h-variant for the European market, which will also be getting the GS450h and GS250 upon release.
The North American market will receive a GS350 and GS Hybrid, along with the high-performance GS F Sport, so it’s unknown whether or not we’ll see the smaller hybrid engine. Chances are though, Europe will get a smaller, more affordable four-cylinder powerplant with around 180-hp. Lexus is looking to be competitive with BMW’s 520d, aiming to get around 50-mpg.
Lexus confirms that a decision is around the corner regarding the smaller hybrid engine and that an announcement should be made prior to GS’ launch in the UK next summer.
GALLERY: 2013 Lexus GS350
Lexus is introducing a world’s first with their 2013 GS 450h, boasting the first premium performance sedan to be equipped with a V6 Atkinson cycle gas engine and two-motor hybrid system in a front engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicle. The hybrid version of the 2013 GS made its official debut at Frankfurt Motor Show packing 338-hp with a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds.
Fuel consumption numbers are not official yet, but Lexus expects the 450h to be over 30-percent more efficient than its predecessor and is targeting SULEV II certification. There will also be five driving modes available to the hybrid luxury enthusiast, Normal, Eco, Sport S, Sport S+ and EV.
Exclusive to the hybrid model of the GS is a unique three-lamp design, aligning the turn signal with Lexus’ first high and low beam LED lamps in a single horizontal row. And of course, Lexus will employ its blue hybrid badging on the vehicle. The GS450h will also come standard with 17-inch wheels, with 18-inch rollers as an option.
Much of the interior and safety features will match those previously announced on the GS 350 model.
No pricing was announced on the GS 450h.