It is no surprise that Lexus is widening it’s use of the 8AR-FTS engine as it looks to compete more directly with BMW, Audi, and other manufacturers making use of turbo charged engines. The first turbo Lexus was the NX 200t, a compact crossover SUV which has out sold the BMW X3 since it’s debut in late 2014. In it’s newest appearance, the Lexus turbocharged engine makes its way to the GS.
Lexus’ turbo design focuses on reduced friction, efficiency optimized turbine blades, and a reduction in noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) which is apparent when standing outside the vehicle. It’s engine is silent compared to a BMW 2.0 liter turbo like that in the X3. Using twin scroll turbos (in opposition of twin turbos), Lexus has reduced complexity, space, and most importantly turbo-lag. Turbochargers compress intake charge to aid in combustion giving equipped vehicles more power and greater fuel efficiency. So what does this mean to the upcoming 2016 GS 200t?
First of all, the GS 350 is not going anywhere anytime soon. The Japanese auto maker will still offer the GS with a 3.5-liter V-6 in both Rear-Wheel and All-Wheel (or All-Weather) Drive. The GS 350 received some minor tweaks to create 311-horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque which propels the vehicle from 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds. In comparison, the GS 200t will be offered as a Rear-Wheel Drive vehicle and provide 241-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. To further aid in the performance of the GS 200t, power will be delivered via an eight-speed transmission. Fuel economy for the GS 200t has been rated at an estimated 22/33/26 mpg (city/highway/combined) versus 20/29/23 mpg of the RWD GS 350.
Other changes to the 2016 Lexus GS models include added cargo room, added bi-LED headlamps, new exterior colors, and new interior trims. The GS will still feature a large, 12.3-inch infotainment screen but with updated graphics and the ability to display maps on full screen.