Throaty rumbles and nimble handling aren’t just for sport coupes. Meet the all-new 2016 Lexus GS F performance sedan.
It is not a standard luxury sedan or track car. The GS F rolled into the North American International Auto Show today with a growl, four doors and enough cabin space to comfortably accommodate five adults.
The GS F sports sedan, which combines a luxury cruiser with the handling of a sports car, is the latest vehicle to join the company’s high-performance “F” lineage that began in 2008 with the IS F sedan, then the fabulously exotic LFA in 2012, and just last year, the RC F coupe. Based on the mid-size GS luxury sedan, the GS F should not be confused with the GS 350 F SPORT. The GS F builds upon the GS 350 F SPORT with a comprehensive set of upgrades that re-engineer the car. From its engine, to its driveline, suspension and overall tuning that optimizes its reflexes, the GS F is an entirely new animal to the Lexus showroom.
“The cars with the ‘F’ designation are meant to generate a very positive feeling when you’re behind its steering wheel, to be something that’s fun to drive no matter who is driving or where it’s being driven,” said Yukihiko Yaguchi, GS F chief engineer. “With the GS F, we wanted to make a special car that not only would exceed the expectations of the most discerning driving enthusiast, but also something that most people can enjoy. In that way, the GS F embraces the virtues of sound, response and power, the cornerstones of the Lexus ‘F’ brand.”
A Naturally Aspirated V8 and Dynamic Eight-Speed Gearbox
Under the hood will be a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 that produces a sonorous 467 hp (473 PS)*and peak torque of 389 lb.-ft. (527 Nm)* with a 7,300 rpm redline. The powerplant will be mated to a quick-acting eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters for manual-shifting capabilities. The GS F also has four different driving modes: Normal, Eco, Sport and Sport S+, the latter designed specifically for the racetrack or your favorite challenging road. As sweet-sounding and powerful as the engine is, the DOHC 32-valve powerplant can offer a measure of fuel efficiency, incorporating the Atkinson cycle in certain driving conditions.
Handling Honed on the Famed Nürburgring
The GS F will feature structural reinforcements and an exclusive suspension system matched to the car’s added power. The newest member of the “F” line boasts a level of handling and agility uncommon in a mid-size luxury sedan that was honed on Japanese circuits such as Fuji Speedway and perfected on the famous Nürburgring Nordeschleife.
GS F’s impressive track and twisty road manners are the result of a custom firm suspension, along with wider forged wheels shod with staggered Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires (255/35-19 front, and 275/35-19 rear). The suspension combined with an enhanced braking system relying on 15-inch front rotors that are available with bright orange 6-piston calipers help give the GS F remarkable high-speed handling and braking capability. Carrying over 300 pounds less mass than key German sedan competitors, the GS F offers a near sports car level of nimbleness and agility. These features help provide near-neutral handling balance and a high degree of driver control.
At the rear of the car, Lexus’ Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) with two electro-mechanical clutch packs, will be part of a long line of standard equipment that’ll make the GS F’s handling stand out from the crowd. The TVD features three operating modes:
Standard (default) provides a balance of agility and firmness;
Slalom emphasizes nimble steering response and agility; and
Track emphasizes control during high-speed circuit driving.
Distinctive Styling That Defines “Form Follows Function”
“Fun to drive, it’s what characterizes all cars wearing the F badge, and it was our intent to design the GS F to exude that character,” said Yoshiharu Nakajima, project chief designer, Lexus Design Division. “The styling philosophy of the GS F is one of form following function. For example, the GS F’s spindle grille was born to further enhance the car’s aerodynamics and internal cooling, while the air outlets in the front fenders, first applied in the IS F and then the RC F, have been adopted in the GS F because of its efficiency. The styling direction of the GS F is one that promotes Lexus’ commitment to ‘Progressive Luxury,’ and I feel this car conveys that brand message flawlessly.”
The GS F features a unique version of Lexus’ trademark “spindle” grille, with a distinctive mesh pattern reserved for F models, and large gaping air vents that have been integrated into the front fascia. Slim canted LED headlights with the signature Lexus L-shaped daytime running lamps complete the car’s aggressive face. The GS F sits noticeably lower and wider than other GS models, resulting in a planted stance that, along with its front fender air outlets, forged 19-in. alloy wheels, and carbon fiber accents make it instantly recognizable as an F model. The rear is highlighted by a subtle carbon-fiber rear spoiler and trapezoidal tailpipes with four chrome exhaust tips that powerfully suggest that this car is meant to be driven hard.
Inside the sheet metal, the GS F’s cabin is designed to exude the look and feel of a jet fighter’s cockpit. The interior is styled in an elegant form-follows-function theme, with all controls placed within easy reach of the driver. Residing behind the exclusive “F” branded steering wheel, is an electronic instrument cluster that can be configured among four different displays, depending on the driver’s preferred driving style: Normal, Eco, Sport S and Sport S+. Also, custom front and rear seats have been implemented to provide the vehicle’s occupants with more lateral support while not sacrificing comfort.
Along with all the sporty touches, the GS F retains a luxurious feel, thanks partly to the high-grade Alcantara trim on the doors, on the center console and above the instrument panel. An analog clock adds a touch of class to the already elegant dashboard that features a 12.3” central video monitor controlled by the Remote Touch Interface on the center console. The GS F offers the optional 17-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Audio system that will satisfy the most demanding of audiophiles, but when drivers want to listen to the music provided by the engine, they can simply change the drive mode to “Sport” or “Sport S+” to engage the Active Sound Control. The Active Sound Control system is similar to the one found in the RC F but is enhanced with rear speakers. All occupants can enjoy the driving experience complete with robust exhaust note.
Adoption of the New Standard Comprehensive Safety Package, Lexus Safety System+
The GS F will feature an updated suite of standard safety features including Pre-Collision System with automatic braking and pedestrian detection, Radar Cruise Control with full stop from certain speeds, Lane Keep Assist, Automatic High Beam and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. This package of features is called Lexus Safety System+.
New Racing Logo to Enhance “F” Brand Appeal
Motorsports has become a growing passion for Lexus, evidenced by its active participation in the Super GT racing series when it introduced the SC 430 GT500 racecar in 2006, and the launch of the RC F to Super GT racing series in 2014. With the debut of the RC F GT3 concept last year, Lexus has every intention to be part of the international GT3 competition in 2015. As further proof of its intentions to develop a globally unified approach to top tier racing, Lexus has created a new organization to spearhead such efforts and introduced the new Lexus Racing logo at the North American International Auto Show.
The new, sharp-looking logo is meant to enhance the appeal of Lexus’ “F” brand, which includes the GS F, while letting the motorsports world know that it’s serious about international GT3 racing, officially designated by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile
(FIA) as “Group 3: Cup Grand Touring Cars.”