WTOP Car Guy Mike Parris says the GS-F is sporty and muscular, but still has the luxury touches of a Lexus.

WASHINGTON — The new 2016 GS-F is a sedan from Lexus with a sporty side and powerful V8.

Lexus has been a popular choice for luxury vehicles, and now they want to crack into the sporty side of the luxury market. The GS is a midsize luxury sedan, and the F letter is a big deal for Lexus, as it now competes with the muscle sedans from Cadillac, Audi, Mercedes, BMW and even Jaguar.

The GS-F loses the usual V6 of a regular GS and adds a 5.0L V8 that’s good for 467 hp. It’s not as powerful as the 640 hp Caddy we looked at a few weeks back, yet the $86,770 price tag is very close. But this is a V8 that likes to rev, as the most power is made at 7100 rpm — pretty high for a V8.

There is a also a slick-shifting eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters that do a good job of manual shifting — or you can let the quick transmission do it for you. This is a pretty good-handling car. It likes back roads. This is only a rear wheel drive car but it has a torque vectoring differential, which allows more power to a certain rear wheel in a turn, and it seems to work.

The suspension is set up for a sportier ride but it didn’t really punish you during daily use. You do feel rougher roads a bit more. Fuel economy is 19 mpg combined, and I managed 19.7 in 557 miles of driving with premium grade fuel.

The Lexus GS-F has a sportier look than other Lexus GS models, with bold front-end styling that is capped off with a large grill up front. There are air inlets right behind the front wheels that actually function and add some visual appeal to the side. Large 19-inch wheels look racy and help define the muscle look.

The rear end has a tasteful carbon-fiber spoiler, and the quad exhaust completes the sporty sedan transformation. This is still a larger sedan with a larger presence.

One place that is still all luxury is the interior, with leather seats that look sporty but are very comfortable. I drove it all day, and more than 400 miles, and the seats were comfortable the entire time. There are a lot of adjustments. My wife said her heated seat could’ve been warmer so that’s one demerit. Rear seat room is good for two, or a third for shorter trips. There’s good leg and headroom and the trunk is a decent size, too.

The fit and the materials are top notch, with nice leather and soft touch materials. The aluminum and carbon-fiber trim adds a bit of a splash to the interior. LED lighting, with different color schemes for the instruments, is a new touch for 2016. There is a large 12.3-inch screen for NAV and radio functions, and you can have a split screen and multiple functions — a nice feature. The mouse-like controller can be very touchy, so it’s better to use voice controls. The voice recognition is very good.

Lexus has added some spice to the midsize sedan class with the new GS-F, throaty V8 soundtrack and all. It still has the luxury interior and top-notch fit and finish that you expect from a Lexus, so a run on a back road or an all-day road trip is still an enjoyable drive.