The rumor mill is churning over at Toyota with reports that the Japanese automaker is finally building a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine, codenamed 943F, that it plans to use on the fifth-generation Lexus GS. The model is scheduled to make its debut in late 2017 or early 2018 and will be marketed as a 2019 model. But, according to Japanese media outlet Mag-X, the big takeaway from the fifth-gen GS is the turbocharged V-6, the first production V-6 that Toyota will build in its long and illustrious history.
While there hasn’t been any confirmation coming from either Toyota or Lexus, there is an argument to be made for Lexus to get a turbo V-6, none more so than the increased importance being placed by automakers in downsizing their engines as a way of addressing the increasingly stringent emissions regulations. For its part, Lexus also needs a forced induction V-6 because a lot of its competitors already utilize a similar engine in some form or capacity. It may be time for Toyota ’s premium brand to join the fray in that regard and expand its V-6 offerings past the turbocharged inline-sixes that it has used in the past.
If Toyota does take this step, don’t sleep on the possibility of another model eventually using the same engine. Again, this is all speculation but if Toyota wants to maximize the seemingly limitless potential of the returning Supra sports car, having a turbocharged V-6 as an engine option is a great way to do it. At the very least, it would be able to make a big statement in differentiating the sports car with the Toyota GT 86, which currently uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. That’s been one of Toyota’s goals anyway so it only makes sense for the company to give the Supra the same turbo V-6 that it is reportedly developing for the Lexus GS.
Why it matters
The big subject here is that turbocharged V-6 and the possibility of it coming to fruition. On the one hand, Mag-X seems to believe that this powertrain is going to be built. On the other hand, we’re still waiting for some kind of confirmation on the issue. Personally, I’d like to see it happen because it just makes a lot of sense from so many different points-of-view.
Not only will it give the Lexus GS something new to offer, but the engine could also be used in a variety of applications, including on the upcoming Toyota Supra. Excuse me for going back to that again, but other than some kind of hybrid, isn’t a turbocharged V-6 engine an ideal powertrain for the Supra? I think it is, because there’s enough meat there to achieve an output of 400 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque for the returning sports car while also establishing it as a true and traditional sports car. By the way, those numbers are the rumored output of the turbo V-6 and if that’s the case, it can perfectly slide into the Supra and the sports car will immediately have a new layer of legitimacy.
Hopefully, there’s more truth to this report because the fifth-generation Lexus GS needs to have something buzz worthy if it hopes to make a splash in its segment. At the same time, the Supra would definitely benefit from having a turbo V-6 at its disposal. It’s a win-win scenario in my book.