2016 Lexus GS-F Review

On The Track With the Lexus GS-F

Driving enthusiasts of sufficient experience will recall Lexus made its official entry into the performance segment with the introduction of the second generation of the GS back in 1998. The rear-drive GS 400 sedan was introduced with a 300-horsepower 4.0-liter V8 capable of generating 310 ft-lbs of torque. The most aggressive model Lexus had ever introduced, it is a direct ancestor of today’s Lexus GS-F.

Power now comes from a 5.0-liter normally aspirated V8 with 467 horsepower and 389 ft-lbs of torque. This engine exhibits outstanding smoothness while delivering a seemingly never-ending stream of power. With it, the GS-F gets to 60 in just over four seconds and runs the quarter in just under 13 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 168 mph.

When you consider this is a four-door sedan with a curb weight in the 4000-pound range, those numbers look even more impressive. An eight-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters conducts output to the rear wheels. Fuel economy comes in at 19 mpg overall. And yes, you’re going to love the way the V8 sounds at full throttle.

Remarkably, even with this outstanding performance potential, the Lexus GS-F delivers a full contingent of the luxury features upon which the Lexus brand has been built. Supple leather upholstery is complemented by suede-like accents, along with aluminum highlights and carbon fiber trim.

Remarkably, even with this outstanding performance potential, the Lexus GS-F delivers a full contingent of the luxury features upon which the Lexus brand has been built. Supple leather upholstery is complemented by suede-like accents, along with aluminum highlights and carbon fiber trim.

A pair of exceptionally comfortable racing-inspired seats cradles the driver and front passenger, while the rear seat offers sufficient legroom and breadth for four adults—five if you absolutely must. The trunk is good for 14 cubic feet of cargo and a pass-through port in the seatback permits the accommodation of longer items such as skis.

Standard features include a 12.3-inch video display with navigation and a 12-speaker surround audio system. The GS-F is also equipped with Enform Remote, which can start the engine, adjust the climate control system and monitor the vehicle’s position from your smartphone. Controls are well laid out and highly legible. Everything falls readily to hand and is quite rational in operation for the most part. We say “for the most part” because of the inclusion of the Lexus Remote Touch interface. While the menus are logical in structure, its mouse-like controller lacks precision and can be infuriating to use. A simple dial would be SOOOOO much better.

Frankly though, given the way this car goes over the road, we’re tempted to give the interface a pass. Beautifully balanced, the GS-F has wonderfully accurate steering, turns in crisply, clings to the road like a deeply held political belief on Facebook and brakes with similar conviction. It’s also incredibly compliant in the ride department, even while handling with so much resolve.

Stability is outstanding, so the faster the GS-F goes, the better it feels. Wind and road noise are mostly banished from the cabin and the sensation of speed is well muted. For this reason, you’d best keep an eye on the speedometer. The GS-F is always moving faster than it seems to be.

Thanks to its variable drive modes, ride quality is also commendably smooth about town for a high performance sedan—even over irregular pavement. Easily one of the best all around four-door sedans on the market, 2017 Lexus GS-F pricing starts at $83,940.

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