Lexus is planning to take on the BMW M5 with a super-saloon version of the GS, powered by the LFA’s V10, and will follow up that car with a new SC aimed at the likes of the Mercedes SL.
The new SC will be unveiled in mid-2014, although the current car is due to finish production this July, leaving a four-year gap between the two cars. However, the next model will be a hybrid, powered by a 5.0-litre V8 and an electric motor driving the rear wheels only.
The high-performance GS-F saloon will arrive in 2013, with a detuned version of the LFA’s 4.8-litre V10.
Lexus engineers are working on reducing the engine’s capacity by around 200cc to 4.6 litres and power to 450bhp. The idea is to improve low-range torque, although even with the reduced power output the GS-F will become the most powerful road-going Japanese saloon ever built.
The GS-F will be fitted with Toyota’s first torque vectoring differential. Similar to the diff used on BMW’s M cars and the likes of the X6 SUV, the ‘torque split unit’ actively apportions drive between the rear wheels to aid handling. A similar system is also expected to be fitted to the new SC.
Before the new SC and GS-F arrive, Lexus will unveil its first hatchback at next month’s Geneva motor show.
The CT200h is a hybrid five-door and will go on sale in 2011. It’s based on the Prius platform but has been modified to provide a more sophisticated ride and handling; the Prius’s torsion beam rear suspension has been replaced by a double wishbone layout.
The powertrain electrics have been designed specifically for the Lexus, ensuring punchier power delivery from the electric motor. And the CT200h will have lithium ion batteries, making it the first Toyota product to do so.