Newest addition to the F model range
The 2016 Lexus GS F was officially rolled out at the North American International Auto Show adding to the F performance range while still maintaining the luxury and comfort the brand is renowned for worldwide.
The GS F is a four-door sedan that seats 5 adults comfortably while providing the handling of a sports car. It is the latest addition to the F performance range that started with the IS F in 2008, the LFA in 2012, and just last year, the RC F coupe.
Even though it is derived from the GS sedan, it shares more with the RC F - including the engine, its driveline, suspension and overall tuning - than the GS 350 F SPORT.
"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. 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," said Yukihiko Yaguchi, GS F chief engineer.
Powering the GS F is a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 that produces a sonorous 473 PS and peak torque of 527 Nm with a 7,300 rpm redline. The engine is 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.
The GS F, tested extensively on Japanese circuits such as Fuji Speedway and perfected on the famous Nürburgring Nordeschleife, will feature structural reinforcements and an exclusive suspension system matched to the car’s added power including Lexus’ Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) with two electro-mechanical clutch packs. It has 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 braking system uses 15-inch front rotors that are available with bright orange 6-piston calipers.
"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. 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," said Yoshiharu Nakajima, project chief designer, Lexus Design Division.
The GS F’s ‘spindle’ grille uses a mesh pattern reserved for F models. It has large gaping air vents that have been integrated into the front fascia and slim canted LED headlights with the signature Lexus L-shaped daytime running lamps. The GS F is lower and wider than other GS models making 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.
The GS F’s cabin is styled in an elegant ‘form-follows-function theme’, with all controls placed within easy reach of the driver. Custom front and rear seats have been implemented to provide the vehicle’s occupants with more lateral support while not sacrificing comfort.
While being a high-performance, 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 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.
There will be no shortage of safety feature on the GS F. It will have 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.
New racing logo
In line with the official introduction of the GS F, Lexus also unveils their desire to be more involved in racing by unveiling motorsports logo. Lexus has actively participated in the Super GT racing since it introduced the SC 430 GT500 racecar in 2006, and more recently the RC F to Super GT racing series in 2014. This year, Lexus plans to use the RC F GT3 concept in the international GT3 competition this year.
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."