2016 Lexus GS F Road Test and Review.
Lexus have brought out the big guns in the shape of the new 2016 Lexus GS F. In the way the BMW M5 is a clinical instrument, the Lexus GS F is like a street fighting brawler, with more brawn than brain.
The Lexus GS F is a serious machine that has a devilish personality that’s a lot of fun.
The Lexus GS F (the F pays homage to the Toyota owned Fuji Racetrack in Japan) has a naturally aspirated 5.0 litre V8 under the bonnet that pumps out 351kW and 530Nm.
It is happy to rev to 7100rpm, and in doing so, produces a guttural scream that is about as nice a noise as you’ll find anywhere. You couldn’t be blamed for holding the 8-Speed auto in first gear just to hear the mechanical wail again and again.
You’ll need to stick to 1st gear to reach that 7100rpm redline though, hit the rev limiter in second gear and you’d be well over the national speed limit.
You’d get to the top speed of 270km/h quicker than you’d realise too…100km/h flashes up in just 4.6 seconds. The Lexus GS F is a seriously fast car.
Lexus has bestowed the GS F with huge brakes with 6 pot Brembo calipers that do a great job of pulling up the big sedan time after time with no hint of fade.
The GS F handles itself beautifully in corners. It’s a firm ride without being overly harsh, body roll is kept to a minimum and it possesses some serious front end bite, with a sharp turn in devoid of understeer.
It’s quite happy to oversteer with all that power being fed to rear wheels, and with sports plus mode selected it’ll even give you a bit of predictable slip.
There’s a fully adjustable torque vectoring differential that splits the amount of torque between the left and right driving wheels for added control.
The achilles heel of the big Lexus is the indecisive eight-speed automatic. Holding gears too long when you don’t want it, and a hesitant to kick down when you do. Flipping between normal and sports mode doesn’t find a happy medium for the gearbox either, it’s irritating, but not a deal breaker.
The only other irritating feature of the Lexus is the fiddly mouse like control for the infotainment system. Too often you end up selecting a radio station you don’t want to listen to or calling your Mum when you really wanted to order take away.
There is however an awful lot to love inside the Lexus GS F cabin, the massive 10-inch screen fits beautifully into the dash, its high resolution colour graphics are as good as anything else on the market, the alcantara lined dash, roof and console lid add some sporty elegance.
While the big, endlessly adjustable front seats hold you snug without cutting off blood supply to your kidneys.
The GS F is as functional as the garden variety GS Lexus models; generous rear legroom, an enormous boot, and a brilliant parking package with camera and sensors that make it very easy to live with.
There’s no shortage of safety features, you’ll get forward collision warning, auto city emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, adaptive radar cruise control and steering assist…along with the obligatory traction and stability control and a suite of airbags.
As you’d expect, the build quality is exceptional and it’s a handsome car.
The Lexus GS F doesn’t come cheap, expect a price north of $148,000 when you add on road costs, and you can option a number of enhancement packs, the most expensive is $7,900 and that gets you lots of carbon-fibre inserts, ventilated seats and 19 inch wheels.
The engine is a peach though, it delivers power effortlessly accompanied by a truly inspiring soundtrack, it’s a supremely competent handler and immerses you in high quality luxury.
While it’s not the precision instrument that the BMW M5 is, it is also considerably cheaper. It makes a strong case as a great alternative to the Germans….just don’t buy an orange one!
NUTS and BOLTS - 2016 Lexus GS F
Engine: 5.0 litre V8 developing 351kW and 530Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Price: from $148,800