F is the letter that is used to mark failure. However, in Japan, it is the opposite. Anything that is linked with this symbol is given a lot of respect. For instance, Mount Fuji is considered to be one of an awe inspiring natural wonder. The country’s Fuji International Speedway is its version of the Nurburgring. When an assault on the luxury car business was planned in the late 80s by Toyota, Circle F was the code given to the Lexus LS 400 flagship.
However, although there have been 15 F SPORT models from Lexus, an F badge has been given only to three cars: the feisty 2008 IS F compact sedan, the 2012 limited edition LFA two-seater and the recent RC F coupe. Now, there is a new addition to the Lexus family with the new GS F sports sedan, which arrived last December as the 2016 model.
The GS F is essentially an RC F with an additional two doors, a real back seat and fresh design ahead of the A-pillars that come with the mainstream GS sedan. This well-designed special vehicle with a spindle grille is the F for families who can spend $87,470 on an alternative to BMW’s M5, Audi’s RS7, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, and Cadillac’s CTS-V.
Our Lexus GS F test car that came with a premium paint that costs an extra $595. We thought the price was fair and coupled with the fact that the paint job was spectacular, we were impressed with that too.
The GS F features premium triple-beam LED headlamps and LED tail lamps to increase visibility and appeal from almost every angle. These LED lights are perfectly matched to light the way of a high-performance vehicle. The intelligent high-beam feature also gives you extra illumination when there is a clear road ahead to provide additional visibility for you as well as other drivers on the road. You can also temporarily switch the headlights to low beam when there is another vehicle ahead.
The vehicle gives you exceptional performance with important additions. The GS F provides functional air outlets in the hood as well as fenders to keep the engine and brakes cool respectively. It also has aerodynamic ducts that are set low in the front bumper channel which gives you additional air to three important parts of your vehicle: the front brakes, the engine oil cooler, and the transmission air cooler.
Your vehicle’s glass-like finish is preserved and protected by the premium paint used on it. The engineers at Lexus reworked the behavior of the paint at the molecular level until a high-density coating, which is exceptionally elastic, was achieved. This coating allows for the paint to deform on impact, then spring back to its original gloss. Along with its unique elastic qualities, the coating also has high resistance to the effects of sunlight as well as acid rain, ensuring that its beautiful exterior is preserved no matter what the weather. The best part is that you do not have to go through the hassle of maintaining it or giving it special treatment.
The quad exhaust reduces back-pressure to give you improved high-rpm output. This means that it is tuned to give you more than fabulous looks and a throaty sound.
The 2016 Lexus GS F has a carbon fiber-wrapped spoiler fabricated in the same workshop where the world-famous LFA supercar was developed. The benefit you get out of this is reduced weight to lower the center of gravity of the vehicle and increased downforce so that you are firmly planted on the ground.
You will be mesmerized by the wheels and tires too. The GS F has 19-inch forged-alloy wheels with impressive staggered tires: 255 on the front and 275 on the rear.
Are you looking for car seats that provide comfort for you as well as your passengers? Well, then you should be blown away with the smooth leather–trimmed F spec sport seats that embrace you from hip to shoulder. How come your bed cannot do that?
These low-set seats have a one-of-a-kind foam construction that is designed to disperse body pressure, which helps increase support and keep you firmly and securely planted in your seat as you make turns.
The headrests come with an embossed “F” which adds a striking design element and the stitching patterns on the seats and seatbacks provide more than aesthetic appeal. The pattern’s shape and position are inspired by specially-crafted athletic sportswear to provide you with enhanced muscular support and greater grip in high-G situations.
When you are tearing around the track, you never have to worry about losing even a split second when you need to reach for the controls to give you optimum performance. The sport steering wheel is designed with a unique shape and thick grip to make it feel like it has been molded to your hands. You will love how the voice-activated controls and shifters are right at your fingertips.
The racing pedals’ distinctive dot pattern is included not only to add style to the vehicle’s interior. The rubber pads’ size and position are specifically designed to give your foot better grip as you go lap after lap.
The GS F has a moonroof with power tilt/slide that you can conveniently open or close with just one touch of a button.
Are you looking for a vehicle with an interior that gives you comfort and luxury? Then the GS F is certainly the one for you. The perforated leather-trimmed interior is designed to keep you and your passengers comfortable every time you are on the road. The high-quality soft leather gives the interior a sophisticated look.
A combination of superior craftsmanship and unmatched comfort, the interior features a steering wheel and shift knob that is trimmed in hand-selected quality perforated leather.
Do you like driving with music? You will appreciate the 835-watt Mark Levinson Surround Sound Audio System, which includes 17 speakers and is powered by a 12-channel digital amplifier. With the GreenEdge speaker technology, you get two times the output of conventional speakers while the mid-range Unity speakers give you a sensation of openness. Because you get a significantly wider sound dispersion, you get a larger sweet spot, which means that every passenger is enveloped by an incredible three-dimensional sound that gives even the best home-audio systems a run for their money. The total cost of the Mark Levinson Surround Sound Audio System is $1,380.
Available at the price of $105, the carpeted trunk mat is designed to protect your carpeting from soiling and premature wear. The plush mat also provides extra cushioning for your cargo. It is shaped with precision to fit your trunk space perfectly and can be easily removed for cleaning.
When it comes to fuel economy, the GS F sports a 24 highway, 16 city, and 19 mpg combined, by leveraging different intelligent technologies, which includes a high compression ratio, automatic stop-start functionality as well as an intuitive variable valve timing; this is rather stunning for a 467 horsepower vehicle.
While it is definitely feasible to reach these numbers, you would do well to stick to Eco Mode, which does not stymie the attainment of these figures while being easy on the brakes as well as the gas pedal. Eco marks an environmentally-friendly addition that mellows the throttle action and lowers the energy expended for climate control.
But if you like to drive hard and love to drive when using as much as that power as possible while still be safe, your mpg results may be a little underneath these numbers – perhaps 17 or 18 combined.
Like the RC F we drove a couple of months ago as well as last year, the GS F also comes with the 5.0-liter V-8 engine. This is good for 389 lb.-ft. of torque and 467 horsepower. Lexus says that this is terrific for a top speed of 168 mph and a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.5 seconds.
The stunning V-8 engine is powerful, durable, and deftly engineered, rendering it ideally suited to cruise its way on the highway. The motor combines the best of both the worlds of the Atkinson-cycle operation and Otto-cycle, which is viscerally performance-oriented. There are as many as 4 drive modes to choose from: Eco, Normal, Sport, and Sport+.
Not surprisingly, the last two modes are specifically aimed at those who have a penchant for seeking unbridled, raw performance. For the purpose of urban driving or most types of driving, you can safely rely on normal mode without thinking about this too much. You already have to think about whether you want to listen to music or talk radio right?!
The engine is complemented beautifully by the embedded 8-speed automatic transmission unit which is comparable to the dual-clutch transmissions found in BMW rivals. After getting acclimatized to its steering-wheel mounted paddles, driving the Lexus GS F becomes an incredibly pleasant experience. The car is easy to drive even while taking sharp turns, thanks to its light steering.
The body roll is largely minimized and the tires remain firmly grounded even after the engagement of the traction control system. The ride comfort is as appropriate as you would expect from a top-quality luxury car of this grade. It is just that the throttle response is not as compelling as it is in competitors such as the Mercedes Benz E63 AMG and BMW M5.
Overall, the vehicle performed outstandingly well. We had a lot of fun driving it – we are convinced that you will feel the same way too.
Your heart will race when you see the track-inspired instrumentation in the cockpit. Whenever you need the most supreme and the maximum amount of performance, you can quickly read the data on the full-color LCD multi-information display that the makers have placed within the gauge cluster. You can receive readouts including performance information such as Drive Mode, odometer information, and gear position. The in-dash display also provides multimedia linkage to give you the ease and convenience of viewing incoming calls, song titles, and much more.
You harness the ability to do and see more with the first-ever 12.3-inch large split-screen high-resolution multimedia display in the industry. Providing simultaneous and immediate access to climate or audio controls and various systems such as navigation, the new display gives you added convenience with a full-screen map.
You also receive a greeting from the system with a customizable image when you turn on the ignition button – we think this is pretty cool. The Navigation System, which is voice-activated, has the ability to map millions of points of interest all over the country and also display information in English, Spanish, and French. And, apart from offering up-to-date weather and traffic information, simulated views of highway junctions and 3D views of your city, it gives you images of the current speed limit you are on and can also identify gas stations nearest to you when you start running low on fuel.
Another tech feature we thought was quite cool is the illuminated entry system. As you approach your vehicle, lights that are placed on the side-view mirrors automatically light up the ground next to the doors so that you avoid stepping on puddles or any other potential hazards. And as you enter, the interior lights up with white LED illumination.
Now when it comes to SmartAccess, the SmartAccess key fob is a nifty little feature that gives you a lot of convenience. You can both lock as well as unlock the doors and also activate the push-button ignition without having to take your keys out of your pocket. When the sensors detect your SmartAccess key, it unlocks the door when you touch the handle of the front doors.
If you are looking for the most comfort and convenience in your vehicle, the GS F is for you. It comes with a handy Remote Touch that allows you to move with ease through logical menus of the features in the car. It is centrally located to give you both comfort and convenience with the buttons placed on either side. This makes it accessible to both you and your front passenger.
The center console is another handy feature that includes a sliding armrest, mini-jack, storage bin, accessory power outlet as well as USB connectivity so you can easily charge your mobile devices. The on-board audio system also gives you convenient playback access.
You should like the full-color Heads Up Display. With this cool feature, you can project important information about your speed, RPM, current gear and audio onto your vehicle’s windshield. Best of all, you can adjust the displayed information to your preference.
Apart from making it easy to place, and calls and transfer phone numbers to your car with just the touch of a button, the Bluetooth audio technology in the GS F allows you to conveniently access and control your compatible device’s entire library of music and even stream audio from the web – all this while your device is still in your pocket! It does not get much cooler than that!
The Lexus Enform is designed specifically to enhance your driving experience. It consists of 5 products. You can enjoy a complimentary service for the first year. This suite of branded connected services gives you convenience, peace of mind and entertainment within your reach.
Lexus Enform Safety Connect gives you peace of mind as you can always be sure that you will get assistance when you need it. No matter what type of emergency situation you are in, from collisions to car theft or inability to call for help, assistance will be dispatched directly to your vehicle’s GPS location. You can enjoy complimentary Enform Safety Connect for the first year of ownership.
With the Lexus Enform Service Connect, you can get remote access to information about not just the status, but also the maintenance needs of your vehicle. You can get easy access via the My Lexus and Beyond mobile app or LexusDrivers.com to important information on everything from vehicle health reports and maintenance alerts to fuel level and mileage. This service is free for the first year of ownership.
You will seriously enjoy the hi-tech Enform Remote mobile application as it helps make everything so easy. It allows you to remotely lock as well as unlock doors, start the engine, check your fuel level as well as the status of your doors and windows. No more struggling to find your vehicle in parking lots with the Enform Remote. Also, if you loan your vehicle to another driver, instant alerts will be delivered to you, if, for example, the other driver exceeds the preset mile limit or speed. This too is complimentary for the first year of ownership.
The Lexus Enform Destinations gives you convenient en-route navigation assistance 24 hours a day from a live response center agent who can help you out when you need to find certain locations and upload the destinations automatically to your Navigation System. Are you planning to go on a trip? Well, you will definitely appreciate Enform Destinations as it allows you to search, save, and upload destinations from just about anywhere. This is free for the first year of ownership.
With the Lexus Enform App Suite, you can get easy access to all your favorite mobile apps through the center console display in your vehicle. All you have to do is download the app on your compatible mobile device and you can listen to live radio nationwide, stream music, search local listings, buy movie tickets and even make restaurant reservations. The App Suite also has advanced voice recognition that allows you to access and control its features more easily than ever before. You can enjoy the complimentary Enform App Suite for the first year of ownership.
The GS F’s full-LED headlamps feature an eye-catching three-projector design as well as LED side turn signals, allowing you to make a statement before you even arrive at your destination.
The 10-standard-airbag system is a dramatic feature, especially if you have kids in your family. The front passenger seat is designed to detect whether a child or adult is occupying it or is vacant. If the system detects a child or empty seat, it keeps the passenger’s front, knee, and side airbags from being deployed. There are two chambers featured in the front passenger’s seat which creates an indentation in the center impact area. This gives effective protection to the occupant in case of a severe frontal collision.
The LED rear combination lamps take the exterior design to the next level. They are built to create a powerful presence while improving efficiency since it consumes less energy. LED tail lamps can be extremely helpful for you because they last longer and also illuminate faster. This may give drivers behind you more reaction time to the brake lamps. To explain this with a little more clarity, these lights indirectly help safeguard and protect your car’s backside by giving drivers behind you an earlier warning sign when you hit the brakes!
If you are in a rear-end collision, you will thank Lexus for its Whiplash Injury Lessening Seatbacks. These front seatbacks are designed to push backward so that energy is absorbed and deflected in a rear-end collision. The seats also come with active headrests that are designed to reduce the space between the headrest and the occupant’s head. It helps limit excessive head movement and lower the severity of the whiplash-type injuries that you might sustain if you are involved in an accident.
The Pre-Collision System (PCS) with pedestrian detection is an awesome feature to have in your vehicle. It detects other vehicles in your path under certain conditions. If the system determines that a frontal collision is imminent, it automatically prepares Brake Assist to give you increased brake force. It can automatically begin braking before the actual impact and even stop the vehicle at speeds over 60 mph.
Lexus’ first-ever GS F starts at an MSRP of $84,440. If you add the Mark Levinson Surround Sound, the carpeted trunk mat and the premium paint, it comes to a total of $87,470.
What we liked: Eye-catching spindle-grille, exceptional handling, luxurious and comfortable interior, majestic and awesome cooling ducts, carbon fiber spoiler and quad exhaust.
What we didn’t like: We believe the GS F needs less natural understeer and a little more hp. We also think the tech features could be something more to write home about. The tech aspects were a little weak – we would like to see a little more innovation on this front.
The Lexus GS F has some stiff competition and while its handling is up to par with the rest of them, it is no match for its rivals when it comes to power. The BMW M5 is the leader in this class and offers excellent acceleration and track-ready handling. But it is a tad too heavy compared to the GS F.
The Mercedes-AMG E63 and Audi RS 7 are both excellent in terms of comfort, but their track capability is a little disappointing. The cost of these cars is also significantly more than the Lexus GS F.
The 2016 Lexus, GS F has a superb interior, which feels like it has been designed and built to last with its high-quality materials and craftsmanship. If you are looking for a vehicle that gives you amazing looks inside and out, contains luxurious comfort, and sustains excellent performance, the Lexus is the car you should give your nod of approval too.
Photo Credit: Lexus