Lexus has revealed a competitor for the entry-level luxury large cars offered by its European rivals, in the form of the GS 250 sedan.
As reported earlier this year, the GS 250 will enter as the most affordable offering in the international 2012 GS range, but an Australian debut remains unclear at this stage.
While it will face off against a host of turbocharged four-cylinder petrol models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, power for the GS 250 is provided by an updated version of the 2.5 litre petrol V6 driving the smaller IS 250 sedan.
Power is rated at 153kW and 252Nm of torque, giving the GS 250 a claimed 0-100km/h time of 8.6 seconds - two-hundredths of a second down on the IS.
Matched with a six-speed "6 Super ECT" automatic transmission, the V6 offers fuel consumption figures of 8.9 l/100km.
By comparison, BMW Australia's newly-launched 520i and updated 528i sit either side of the GS 250 for power and performance.
The four-cylinder 520i delivers 135kW and 270Nm, with a 0-100km/h time of 8.0 seconds and fuel consumption at 6.4 l/100km.
The more powerful 528i four-cylinder lists 180kW and 350Nm, with a 6.3 second 0-100km/h run and 6.7 l/100km. How realistic those fuel figures are remains to be seen, however.
These lower-end variants in the 5 Series range are strong sellers for BMW in Australia, and it's the same story for the four-cylinder offerings from Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
The GS 250 could go a long way towards stealing those buyers: less interested in power, but more in the look, prestige, size and space of the larger 'executive' models.
For now, Lexus Australia has confirmed that it is considering the GS 250 for Australia, but a firm decision could be some time away.