Lexus could expand its GS line-up with an M5-rivalling performance version – but no diesel variant

Lexus is considering launching a BMW M5-rivalling version of its new GS – but there are still no plans to launch a volume-selling diesel version.

Insiders revealed to Autocar on the new model’s Los Angeles launch last week that the firm “would love” to launch a high-performance GS. It is also said such a car would offer the M5 a genuine rival for both performance and dynamic ability given the driver-focused developments in the all-new GS’s chassis.

Autocar has previously learned that the new GS-F would be powered by a detuned version of the LFA’s 4.8-litre V10, reduced in capacity to 4.6-litres and in power to around 450bhp.

Lexus is offering an expanded new GS line-up for the UK from summer 2012, with the staple GS 450h hybrid model being joined by a 2.5-litre V6-powered GS 250 entry-level version.

See a picture of the latest Lexus GS 450h F-Sport

But the firm is still not planning to launch a four-cylinder diesel version of the new GS, believing its hybrid version offered “all the benefits for people who might otherwise choose diesel”.

It is also planning to offer more hybrid versions to compensate for the lack of diesel options, with a smaller petrol-electric set-up earmarked for the new GS.

Lexus Europe vice president Andy Pfeiffenberger said: “If you’re looking for diesel, I suppose you’ll be buying another brand.”

He added that Lexus doesn’t want to be a “vanilla brand”, offering bland looks and conventional powertrain options.

“We’ve been vanilla long enough,” he said. “If some buyers don’t like the new GS’s design, that means we’re doing the right thing. The re-starts of Lexus as a strong brand in the marketplace is kicking off with this car.”

Mark Tisshaw

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