Competes with: BMW M5, Cadillac CTS-V, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
Looks like: The GS got an IS F Sport nose, and then some
Drivetrain: 467-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 with eight-speed automatic transmission
Hits dealerships: Late this year
Lest you confuse the new 2016 Lexus GS F with the extant F Sport version of the GS sedan, the two look quite different — namely because Lexus went all Darth Vader on the F with a conjoined, mammoth version of its spindle grille that recalls the smaller, redesigned IS. It’s the easiest way to differentiate the GS F from the GS F Sport, whose cosmetic differences and suspension/braking upgrades build on the GS 350 and hybrid GS 450h.
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Tearing around a racetrack would probably differentiate the cars, too. The GS F uses a naturally aspirated, high-revving V-8 that’s good for 467 horsepower at a zingy-high 7,100 rpm – substantially more than the GS 350 (306 hp) or hybrid GS 450h (338 hp between the engine and electric motor), F Sport or no.
Lexus will show the 2016 GS F at next week’s 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and we expect it to go on sale sometime late this year.
With the new grille, the GS F adopts a look that probably should have graced the GS F Sport in the first place. That car still splits the upper and lower openings in conservative fashion, as F Sport cars go, rather than slapping the whole thing with a gaping, hourglass swath of mesh. That’s what Lexus did to the F, whose styling aligns with other F and F Sport cars in the brand’s lineup.
In back, quad tailpipes stack vertically with two apiece on each side, like on the RC F. Nineteen-inch wheels wear P255/35R19 front and P275/35R19 rear tires.
The GS F has similar sport seats to the RC F, complete with faux belt loops that flank the integrated head restraints. Two-tone stitching adorns the center console, with contrasting blue stitching in certain areas. Full details on standard and optional features are still pending, but Lexus promises “a long line of standard equipment.”
Under the Hood
The GS F’s 5.0-liter V-8 makes 467 hp at 7,100 rpm and 389 pounds-feet of torque from 4,800 to 5,600 rpm. It drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Lexus has yet to release performance times, but the quickest GS hits 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, according to the automaker. The GS F should easily beat that mark; the 5.0-liter RC F hits the mark in 4.4 seconds, and the GS F is just 76 pounds heavier.
Stupefying power has no ceiling among luxury sedans, and it’s doubtful the GS F will show its taillights to a Cadillac CTS-V or Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG – competitors with forced-induction V-8s and enough power to scorch 60 mph in the high 3-second range. But acceleration isn’t everything, and Lexus promises a unique suspension and structural reinforcements for the GS F. A torque-vectoring rear differential, adopted from the RC F, meters power between the left and right wheels to improve the car’s cornering dynamics.