Lexus GS F Review (2018): All Natural V8 Horsepower

The Lexus GS F starts at $84,440.  And guess what?  For that you get a fully loaded car, save for a few options.

What are those options?  Orange brake calipers for $300, upgraded paint (this color or orange), and a Mark Levinson system that adds 17 speakers with 835 watts of power for $1,380.  Otherwise, $84,440 gets you all this.

What exactly is “all this?”  Some might call it a “sport saloon”, a “sport sedan”, or even a sport luxury.  Me?  Well, I’d just have to agree with the aforementioned.

Powering this 4300 lb sedan from a stop to 60mph in just 4.5 seconds is a naturally aspirated V8.  It produces 467 horses and 389 lb-ft of torque.  It’s all mated to a non-dual clutch 8-speed gear box that is smooth as Jiffy peanut butter soaking in the hot sun.  There is a full manual mode for those that can appreciate revs in the stratospheric range, which mind you, reach as high as 7300.  That all being said, top speed maxes out at 168 mph.   To which end you’ll never achieve the GS F’s 16/24/19 MPG rating.  But you didn’t need me to tell you that.

Bringing things to a complete stop is a Brembo setup; 14.9-inch rotors up front, 13.5-inch rotors in the back, and six and four-piston calipers clamping down respectively.  These sit inside 19-inch wheels wrapped in rubber that looks a little thick for the car’s proportions, but that’s just my opinion.

Turn your attention the front of the car and you’ll notice a GS F specific body kit which helps stabilize this sedan.  You’ll also notice these projector like triple beam headlights.  Go to the back, and you’ll find a carbon fiber spoiler, which Lexus likes to point is made in the same shop that was used to develop the LFA super car, a now 6 year old project.  Just saying.  Oh, and don’t forget about the quad exhaust that sounds great.

Jump inside and you’ll immediately notice the 12.3-inch screen – presumably the same one we saw in the RX last month.  It offers the same split screen capabilities, which I liked, and now familiar mouse system.  But i’ve since discovered it’s next to impossible to look at a list of all satellite radio stations; just presets.

To the left of that is the driver’s cluster, which leverages the LFA template, providing a full color display that changes in accordance to what setting the vehicle is in: eco, normal, sport or sport+.  More on those in a second.

Looking up you’ll find a HUD for speed and turn by turn directions.  And then turn your attention back this way, and you’ll notice the 10 way powered sport seats – heated and ventilated – that do an admirable job to keep you snug as a bug during switchbacks.  I would have liked to see controls to influence lateral support but not a deal breaker.

Return your eyes to the center stack, and you’ll locate the climate control system.  It’s dual zone, with these fairly impressive temperature gauges that count up or down like an old bedside alarm clock.  Operation is moderately intuitive, but doesn’t match that of Audi’s Q7 or TTs, which we reviewed a few weeks ago.

Now, there are a variety of safety and performance features that I haven’t touched on.

Safety: There is pedestrian detection (it will stop you from running someone over), cross traffic alert, blind sport monitoring and lane departure alert.  There is also adaptive cruise control, though it won’t bring the car to a complete stop or start it from a stand still.  Suffice to say Lexus has some catching up to do when compared to Mercedes and Audi.

Performance: there is a TVD, or torque vectoring differential.  This is big in any performance car.  And unlike other car makers, Lexus’ system doesn’t use brakes to distribute power to the inside or outside wheels. No, instead they use clutch plates. Nevertheless, there are three modes: Slalom, Track and Standard.

As mentioned there are a handful of driving modes.  Sport and Sport+ not only progressively tighten things (steering and suspension), but also sharpen throttle and hold gears longer.  Engine nosie in both of these modes are pumped through the speakers, which is a shame, bc it only masks the wonderful gurgle of the V8.

So did i like the Lexus GS F?  Yes. Especially for those that seek a luxury sports car that’s pricing is routed in blissful simplicity.  That and a sports saloon that can be driven with comfort every single day of the year.

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Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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