Lexus is plotting to launch a high-performance GS-F super-saloon to rival the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. Product planning chief Karl Schlicht revealed to Autocar that he would “love to see” a GS-F make production, although he conceded that he “didn’t yet have it approved” by senior Toyota management.
A GS-F has been long-rumoured as part of Lexus’s drive to shake off its stodgy image as a maker of safe yet uninspiring cars. The GS-F would be the final piece in a five-part product strategy to boost Lexus’s image and its sporting credentials.
Toyota’s luxury arm has already launched the V10-powered LFA supercar, smaller V8-powered IS-F sports saloon and more focused F Sport trim levels in its standard range. It is also renewing and refreshing its line-up with more distinctive designs and a greater focus on driving dynamics.
“With a GS-F, we would have a solid pyramid structure of performance models,” said Schlicht.
He said it was important that any Lexus kept its refinement. So, if approved, it’s likely that the GS-F would be as much a potent grand tourer as an out-and-out focused driving tool.
No details have been given of the GS-F’s powertrain, but insiders have hinted that it could be a detuned version of the LFA’s 4.8-litre engine. It would be reduced to 4.6 litres and around 450bhp, with an emphasis on boosting low-end torque.
The new GS will also inspire the look and driving dynamics of the new IS, Schlicht revealed. “The new GS leads to the new IS,” he said. “We need a new one.”
The GS’s distinctive ‘spindle grille’ has been fitted to the recently revised RX. The next-gen LS is also in line to receive the bold front end.