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Lexus rethinks hybrid-only plan for UK

Lexus has re-thought its plans to sell only hybrid versions of its models in Europe.

The new GS, which is just being rolled out across the UK, will be available with a 2.5-litre petrol engine by popular demand.

Paul Van der Burgh, director of Lexus Europe, said that customers, particularly in the top-selling countries - Russia and the UK - still want the option of a petrol engine rather than a hybrid.

He said: "There are some 7,000 petrol GS owners out there since the car was launched in 1993 and they have remained loyal to us and we want to keep them.

"We are making petrol models for other markets around the world so there is no great cost implication in making them available for Europe."

The new model goes on sale next month and the GS250 petrol starts at £32,995 with the luxury version costing £35,995 and the F Sport version £39,995.
 



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Lexus signed off 2014 with its highest UK sales total since 2007.

The 11,572 vehicles sold represented an increase of more than 28% on 2013 as the brand closes in on the sales high of 15,000 achieved before the recession.

Central to this success is the performance of the new IS saloon, which almost doubled its 2013 sales figure.

Notably more than 90% of IS sales have been the petrol-electric hybrid IS 300h, which is intended to compete directly against rival diesel models.

The momentum generated during the past 12 months has the potential to increase further during 2015, not least with the arrival of the new NX, Lexus’s first crossover model.

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