Lexus made waves with the new GS luxury sedan when they opted for exclusive V-6 power. The GS 350, launched at Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance, would only offer a V-8 engine in the yet-to-be-released GS-F high-performance variant.
It is a pretty bold move, but it follows a trend of engine downsizing. The competition nearly all continue to offer V-8 engines in their mid-size cars however. Today Lexus is taking the downsizing trend even further with a GS 250 model. The IS 250 has always been known as a base model variant, and the moniker comes to the GS as well. They must really be planning the GS to count for a lot of volume.
The car has been introduced in China, at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou. The GS 250 follows two other trim levels already released, the standard GS 350 and GS 450h hybrid. 250 means a 2.5-liter V-6, putting out just 209 horsepower and 187 pound feet of torque. Those figures result in a decidedly un-luxury-like 8.6-second 0-62 mph time. The GS 250 is paired with a close-ratio six-speed automatic transmission and, like the other cars, is available with Lexus’ line of F Sport accessories (pictured).
For now Lexus says that the 250 will be sold in China, Japan and Europe. North America is interestingly lacking from that list. Could it be they opt to keep this one an international-market car only?
Given Lexus’ more upmarket status here in the U.S and a potential conflict with the IS 250, that could be the case. The question will be what they do with the next-generation rear-wheel drive IS. BMW has moved to a base-model four-cylinder with the new 3-Series, and word on the street is that other competitors such as the Cadillac ATS will be following. Lexus has seen a hesitance to have turbocharged engines though. We just want to see the V-8 powered GS-F sports sedan already….