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2012 Lexus GS: UK to get GS 450h & GS 250 – but no diesel

Thu, 28 Jul 2011

2012 Lexus GS to get a 2.5 litre V6 in the UK - the GS 250

The more we learn about the 2012 Lexus GS the more appealing it becomes which, considering the current GS is the most appealing driver’s car in the Lexus range, bodes well for the new GS.

We know, for example, that Lexus intend the new GS to be a “…high-performance concept that can deliver an inspiring driving experience.”, which is an easy PR statement to make, but a not so easy promise to fulfil. But if early reports are anything to go by, it’s all looking rather interesting.

Autoblog has been playing with the 2012 GS 350 – a car we won’t get in Europe – and has been very impressed with it. We don’t need to consider anything much about the new GS apart from its handling and performance -the build quality is a given – but on that front there seem to have been big advances.

Lexus head engineer Koji Sato said of the 2012 GS that  “Joy of driving was the number one priority”, a statement we wouldn’t have expected any more than the accompanying statement which says that the new RWD platform in the 2012 GS is “specifically for fun and rewarding driving.”  Has the spirit of Hiromu Naruse returned to guide Lexus?

And Autoblog seem to concur after a day with the new GS. “As a sporting proposition, the 2012 GS is vastly superior to the car it will replace” they concluded. They also went on to say that the 2012 GS was so well sorted it could handle far more power than was on offer.

In the UK, Autocar has had a play with the first non-hybrid lump in a GS for some time – the 2.5 litre V6 in the 2012 GS 250. They obviously had less power to play with than the Americans, but they too found the 2012 GS a big step forward for the driver.

It’s a shame the UK and Europe will only get the GS 450h and the GS 250, although it’s good to see that Lexus are finally seeing the light on the hybrid Hobson’s choice they offer on the current GS.

The lack of a diesel may hurt sales in Europe and Lexus tell us there are “No plans for diesel in new GS“. Of course, that’s exactly the phrase Jaguar used when we asked them about the 2.2 litre diesel in the XF.

But maybe it’ll take a while for Lexus to recover from allowing the new GS to have something other than a hybrid – and turning the GS in to a proper driver’s car - before it decides on more power plants.

From a sales perspective it’s surely a no-brainer to add a diesel to the 2012 GS – just as Infiniti has to the ‘M’ – but what the new GS sounds like it’s crying out for is more power to explore the new suspension and  joy of driving Lexus seems to have managed to endow on the GS.

Could the answer to that be the Lexus GS-F? We do hope so.

(15 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

By Cars UK