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Lexus IS F could return to replace cancelled GS F

Lexus has killed its GS range as it consolidates its offerings, with a sportier IS tipped to fill in for the athletic GS F.

LEXUS JAPAN has confirmed that it will cease production of the Lexus GS sedan this year, with dealer orders to dry up around June and production to stop in August.

The report comes from Japanese publication BestCarWeb, which broke the story first, speaking directly with a source at Lexus Japan that said: “Recently, sales of the GS have declined, and the demand is shifting toward the Lexus ES.”

The spokesperson added that the GS, including the V8 GS F performance sedan, will be covered by both the ES and IS. In the former, the platform layout allows for front and all-wheel drive only, leaving the rear-wheel drive IS to cover the GS F if there is to be a true successor.

“By introducing ES and expanding IS, it is possible to cover the GS position. Also, the Toyota brand has expanded the body and strengthened the sporty feeling. These circumstances overlap, GS has ended,” they said

“From September to October 2020, IS will make a major minor change and slightly expand the body.” 

The news means Lexus will no longer offer the BMW 5 Series-rivalling GS but will fill the gap with the ES and looks to be considering a sportier version of the IS. Currently, performance in the IS range is topped by the IS 350 F Sport, powered by a 3.5-litre V6 producing 232kW at 6600rpm and 380Nm at 4800rpm.

Engine options for a new IS F to replace the GS F include the out-going GS F’s 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine (351kW, 530Nm), or the newer LS 500 F Sport’s 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 (read our review here) which produces 310kW and 600Nm.

It is also speculated that the latter engine will be offered as a hybrid for application in the next-generation 300 Series Toyota LandCruiser as a hybrid mill, meaning a high-performance hybrid V6 could be offered as the answer for Lexus’ future F products, replacing the V8 which Toyota will reportedly stop using.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae