Lexus have been making luxury cars for years, they’ve recently been producing some fantastic performance models too. The best part though is that neither feature is lost in the GS F. It is the combination of a four door luxury car with a fire breathing V8. We spent the day with the GS F cruising the Adelaide Hills followed by some track time in Mallala. Two very different driving experiences and both pleasurable.
Model: GS F
Engine / Transmission: 5.0-litre quad cam eight-cylinder, eight-speed Sports Program Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission
Vital Stats: 351kW @ 7100rpm/530Nm @ 4800-5600rpm
Lexus Claimed Fuel Economy: 11.3L / 100km
Price: From $148,800
Wow factor: While the price may sound high for someone looking for a A to B car, finding a competitor in this price range for what you get is extremely difficult. And this is a good thing! Being a large and luxurious four door sedan AND having performance credentials to match eg 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds it isn’t easy to know who it is battling against. The BMW M5 is miles more expensive as is the Audi S6, a Holden SSV might have the V8 under the hood and similar performance however the luxury of a Lexus isn’t there either. For the money, you’re getting a great value package.
Most impressive: After taking the GS F on some laps around Mallala circuit we then went passenger side with Alan Jones, former F1 World Champion. No matter how good you think you can drive a car, you will be blown away at what it can do in the hands of a real racer. The GS F is a true performance car and while it can easily be something you park near the office each day quite subtly, it is anything but subtle on the track. The GS F is by no means slow around the circuit, throwing you hard into the comfy Lexus seats, holds stable around corners and stops you like a tidal wave at the beach.
Least impressive: There are some minor issues we experienced with the GS F during our day out together. The info-tainment system has all the bells and whistles however navigating the system will take some getting used to or just lead to ultimate frustration, the controls are extremely difficult to use. Underneath we found the gearbox, even when in Sport+ mode, to not provide enough hold in-between gears. Plant your foot in this mode and it will change gear well before reaching peak power and the same on the down shift. Full manual mode was the only choice to really make use of the V8 power.
Sweeping statement: Lexus are almost creating their own space with the GS F. It is a car that you could happily drive to work and enjoy the ride, yet also a car which you could do hot laps at a track on the way home. It will be very comfortable for four adults, will pack a lot of luggage in the boot and get you where you need in typical Lexus luxury – quickly. It isn’t the best performance car on the planet, nor is it the most luxurious – but for around $150,000 where else are you looking?