Auto Nsider Review: 2016 Lexus GS200t F-Sport

54.5 MPG.   That’s the overall corporate gas mileage target for 2025.

 

And 2025 is not that far off anymore.

 

So what’s a Company like Lexus to do?   What’s everyone to do for that matter?

 

For one thing, we’ll see more electric vehicles…lots more…more hybrids, too.

 

But for right now, smaller, turbo-charged engines are the answer to squeezing out those government-mandated ever-higher MPG numbers.

 

And what’s impressive about how Lexus goes about this is that if you didn’t see the 200t on the rear-deck lid, you’d probably never know that this wasn’t the same smooth and silky six cylinder that you’ve come to know in years’ past.

 

Actually, if you still want the six, you can have it…it’ll just cost you around 5K more than the 200t’s mid-$40’s starting point.    I’m just not sure you’ll need it.

 

The 200t has 241 HP vs. the six’s 311.   Sure, 70 “missing” HP sounds like a lot, but the two cars’ torque figures are only 22 ft lbs apart….meaning that your stop-light to stop-light performance will barely differ.    The turbo four will get you from zero to 60 in 7 seconds….and run over 140 top-end.   How much more do you need?

 

Lexus’ secret to squeezing out so much performance from two liters-worth of engine is a twin-scroll turbo that gives you both low-end “grunt” as well as your high-speed boost.   Running through an 8-speed automatic helps, too.   Seems as tho’ you’re always in the engine’s “sweet spot”.

 

If the 200t wasn’t a proper performance package, it’s doubtful that Lexus would have come out with an F Sport option for the little turbo.   As with all F Sport variants, you add larger alloys, interior and exterior trim, and serious braking and handling pieces…..all for an extra $7,670 on the 200t.

 

In short, the new-for-’16 Lexus GS 200t costs a few thousand less than last year’s 350….a good $5,000 less than this year’s….gets 33 HWY MPG vs the 350’s 29….and offers all the performance that most folks want or need.

 

What’s not to like?

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