The Daily Drivers: 2016 Lexus GS FAug 16th, 2016
Let’s try to imagine the thinking that led to the development of the new Lexus GS F sedan. You can almost hear some rebellious executive: “Hey, a lot of consumers still think we’re a stodgy luxury brand — let’s show them. We’ll produce a V-8-powered thrill ride and we won’t even use a turbocharger.”
Appearance: The GS F is based on the existing GS 350 sedan and is four-door sibling to the RC F coupe. It doesn’t wear the huge spindle grille as well as the sleek coupe, which may put off some buyers, but then this car is not for everyone. Why else would it come in a color called Molten Pearl, a shimmering orange bound to attract attention. The other clues that this is no ordinary sedan can be seen in bodywork that includes large front-fender vents, carbon-fiber trunk-lid spoiler and 19-inch forged aluminum (with matching orange brake calipers) and quad exhaust tips.
Performance: The 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V-8, the same as in the RC F coupe, pumps out 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque that can pin you to the seat when you step on it. Yes, the throttle response is great, and the estimated 0-60 time is 4.5 seconds. Any hard acceleration comes with a engine growl — that’s why we love a V-8 — although this one is sonically enhanced with Active Sound Control. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic with the requisite paddles, which you’ll want to use in the Sport S and Sport S+ drive modes (the others are Eco and Normal). The cornering is sharp even for such a heavy rear-wheel-drive sedan (4,034 pounds) helped in part by the Torque Vectoring Differential — a first for Lexus — which distributes power between the inside and outside rear wheels when turning. The TVD allows you to pick among three settings with a switch on the center console: normal, slalom or track. The steering is precise, if a bit on the dull side.
Interior: The highlight of the cabin is a pair of “F”-exclusive high-backed, perforated leather sport buckets that may be the coolest seats we’ve seen this side of anything wearing a Porsche badge. The seats have pronounced bolstering to both keep you in place and provide support. The second-row seats mimic those up front and can comfortably accommodate two adults. Elsewhere, the cabin displays its go-fast pedigree with carbon-fiber trim, an almost-too-thick sports steering wheel and a customizable dynamic instrument cluster inspired by Lexus’ LFA supercar. A large 12.3-inch split-screen multimedia display is set into the dash and its size makes it easy to read. It’s controlled by Remote Touch Interface, which we liked better than Lexus’ trackpad, but the infotainment system seems in need of an update. And if you tire of listening to the V-8 symphony, there is a 17-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound system.
Our 3 favorites
Engine: High-revving and responsive.
Seats: A great combination of form and function.
Philosophy: A naturally aspirated V-8 and rear-wheel drive? That’s a muscle car.
Best of both worlds: Performance and comfort in one package. And it’s less than $100K.
Acceleration: The power can pin you to your seat on hard acceleration.
Cornering: Thanks to the torque vectoring differential, turning a corner is precise and confident.
The bottom line: The GS F doesn’t have the outrageous horsepower output of some of its rivals and it’s definitely not cheap. But it’s fun to drive and has more than enough attitude to change opinions about Lexus.
2016 Lexus GS F
Price: $84,440 base start, $87,665 as tested
5.0-liter naturally aspirated V-8,
8-speed sport direct-shift automatic transmission with paddle shift and manual mode, RWD with torque vectoring differential.
Horsepower: 467 at 7,100 rpm
Torque: 389 pound-foot at 4,800 rpm
0-60: 4.5 seconds
Curb weight: 4,034 pounds
16 miles per gallon city, 24 mpg highway
Safety features: 10 airbags, Smart Stop Technology, intelligent high-beam headlamps, high-speed dynamic radar cruise control, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, precollision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, backup camera
Disclaimer – The pricing in this article may not be accurate or reflected for the Canadian market. Please visit or call Ken Shaw Lexus for complete accurate pricing.