- Published: Saturday, 09 January 2016 04:03
Two of Lexus’ luxury sedans get turbocharged engines to meet market demands
SINGAPORE — Borneo Motors has just added the IS 200t and GS 200t (above) to the local Lexus price list. Costing $208,000 and $268,000 respectively with COE, both luxury sedans now come with the carmaker’s first turbo engine.
First fitted in the NX 200t, it’s a four-cylinder, direct-injection unit tuned for 241bhp and 350Nm of peak torque in these cars.
The IS 200t replaces the IS 250 and is the Japanese luxury automaker’s answer to the BMW 3 Series. Its bigger cousin, the GS 200t, replaces the GS 250 and will go up against BMW’s 5 Series.
Along with the new engine, the GS has been given a mild facelift, too. It sports Lexus’ signature spindle grille, a redesigned, sportier front and rear, and bi-LED headlamps as standard.
The IS (below), though not facelifted, gets two more airbags giving it a total of 10 for improved safety.
The engine update is part of a wider trend among automakers, who have moved towards small displacement turbo engines. Volkswagen popularised them here in Singapore about four to five years ago with its TSI range of engines, and other brands have started to follow suit. It’s now impossible to buy a non-turbo BMW, for example (unless you buy an electric one).
It took the Japanese a little longer to throw their hat into the ring but Honda has a new turbo Civic on the way. Next week it will launch the Jade RS at the Singapore Motor Show, with a 1.5-litre, 184 horsepower turbo.
The Koreans, never far behind, revealed a 1.0-litre Hyundai i20 and a new 1.4-litre turbo engine during the Paris Motor Show back in 2014 giving us a glimpse of what we can expect for the future.
MORE: Hyundai heads into turbo territory
As for Lexus, a little over a year ago, the brand had no turbo models in its lineup. Now it has four — the IS 200t, GS 200t, NX 200t (above) and RX 200t (below). All are driven by an engine that was 10 years in the making. Its lengthy gestation was partly a result of the 2008 global financial crisis, and partly a product of Lexus’ careful attention to detail and unwillingness to use off-the-shelf parts.
Turbocharging and direct fuel injection allow automakers to build engines that save fuel without sacrificing power.
For Lexus, turbos might help to make a car faster, but they can be a great way to accelerate sales, too.
MORE: How Lexus plans to turbocharge its sales
ALSO READ: How Ferrari is betting on small turbo engines, too