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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
The hybrid engine that first appeared in the Lotus Evora 414E concept is supposedly attracting interest from 3 major manufacturers, according, according to a Lotus official.
Chief project engineer Lee Jeffcoat told Inside Line that there is interest from “several OEMS in 5,000-10,000 units annually, for a potential annual output of 30,000 engines,” as well as smaller companies looking for 1,000 engines per year.
Among the unique features on the engine are an intake manifold pipes cast into the block, a vestige from the original prototype that used a combined head and block. The engine is capable of forced induction, but a supercharger apparently provides greater results. The engine can be packaged in nearly any configuration, and displacement has grown from 1.2L to 1.3L and now makes 47 horsepower, or 67 with the aide of a supercharger.
[Source: Inside Line]