Spied: Lexus GS-F

Our spy photographers caught a look at a Lexus GS-F inside a garage, hinting that the Japanese brand is readying a sports sedan to take on the likes of the BMW M5. The new car comes just weeks after we spotted a Lexus IS-F coupe prototype under camouflage tape.

These spy photos clearly show a Lexus GS that has been significantly tweaked. As with the prior Lexus F car – the IS-F – we spot twin diagonally-stacked exhaust tips at either side of the rear fascia, along with an aggressive lower diffuser panel, new wheels, and a prominent trunk spoiler. The wheels seen here match those we spotted on the IS-F prototype earlier this month. The changes are more extensive than those applied to the normal 2013 Lexus GS F Sport model, which has zero performance upgrades but wears 19-inch wheels, new front and rear fascias, and a smaller trunk spoiler than seen here.

As for what lurks beneath the hood of this Lexus GS-F, we have as little information as with the Lexus IS-F coupe. Previous reports indicated that a de-tuned version of the 4.8-liter V-10 from the Lexus LFA might be in the cards, while others suggest the 5.0-liter V-8 from the old IS-F could be re-used. But Lexus officials have recently admitted that neither engine meets today's emissions standards, reducing the likelihood either will appear. There's a chance that both the IS-F and GS-F could move to a turbocharged V-6 engine, with the unit in the GS tuned for more power. Alternatively, Lexus could amp up the hybrid system from the GS450h for improved performance. A version of the nearly-500-hp hybrid system in the Lexus LF-LC concept is also a possibility.

The 2013 Lexus GS350 uses a 306-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, with either rear- or all-wheel drive. The Lexus GS450h has a 286-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 and 180-hp electric motor, combining to produce 338 hp and EPA ratings of 29/34 mpg (city/highway). Pricing for the Lexus GS350 starts at $48,145 (including an $895 destination charge), while the GS450h starts at $60,345.

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