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Exclusive: Twin-turbo V8 Lexus rumour gains weight

As emissions targets get tighter and rivals more powerful, Lexus faces having to introduce forced-induction to its performance models, which might be sooner rather than later…

WHILE IT HAS ALREADY been reported there’s rumours the next GS F (and BMW M5 rival) could be powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 – and that if that engine does enter the Lexus stable it will be makings its way into an LC F – Practical Motoring has learned that a forced induction V8 will indeed be entering the lineup and that Lexus will have more to say at this year’s Tokyo motor show.

Currently, Lexus’ flagship performance cars are powered by a 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine which, although sounding sweet, lacks some of the gusto and efficiency of turbocharged rivals. But Lexus is yet to confirm if it will be dropping or sidelining the Yamaha-derived engine for a forced induction V8.

However, an anonymous source with knowledge of the upcoming North American Lexus LS model range confirmed to PM that Lexus will be introducing a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8 engine. The source also claims there is ‘a good chance’ that same engine will be placed into an LC F and, it would only be logical, that it will also be placed into the upcoming GS F.

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Speaking with Lexus Australia PR communications manager, Nick Raman, PM was told that Lexus had some exciting news up its sleeve for this years Tokyo motor show: “For sure, we are going to have some very interesting news”, he said, “we will have something to show at Tokyo” – but Raman could not allude if that something will be an ‘F’ vehicle or if it will powered by the speculated turbo V8.

Lexus’ latest performance coupe the LC 500, is an example of a performance car feeling pressure from forced induction. Although it produces a strong 351kW and 540Nm, its performance figures aren’t the most competitive and its combined consumption of 11.6L/100km and 267g/kg are nowhere near the proposed amount in the government’s latest vehicle emissions proposal. And this is a hurdle even Lexus admits could introduce forced-induction.

Talking to PM at the LC 500 launch, Lexus Australia CEO, Peter McGregor said we can expect to see the manufacturer evolve the naturally aspirated V8: “I think forced induction is something that is going to be looked at because it assists in terms of performance and emissions… and lower capacity obviously”

“Personally, I’d like to see the V8 continued. We’re looking at a plethora of approaches so that whatever direction the market moves in, we can move in that direction”, he said.

Question: What do you think? Should Lexus move on from its naturally aspirated 5.0-litre engine to a smaller, forced-induction V8?


2 Comments

  1. Mr Majestyk
    July 22, 2017 at 3:29 pm — Reply

    Well I guess we’ll now see the fat pig hit the 2 tonne mark if they have to add turbos and intercooler. . They should have done this years ago, but they should also use some of their billions to put all their so-called sports cars on massive diets. Typically 200-400kg heavier than their competition, well they like to pretend they are competing against the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes, which is hilarious.

  2. Monty
    July 22, 2017 at 10:38 pm — Reply

    Will they have a choice? Regulations may force them to.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae

Alex Rae grew up among some of the great stages of Targa Tasmania, an event that sparked his passion for all things mechanical. Currently living across Bass Strait in Melbourne, Alex has worked for the last decade in the automotive world as both a photographer and journalist, and is now a freelancer for various publications. When not driving for work Alex can be found tinkering in the shed on of one his project Zeds or planning his next gravel rally car.