Not content to let those makers have to themselves the market for cars that rule the left lane of Germany's Autobahn, Lexus last year gave the GS its F performance brand treatment to create the GS F. The car moves into the 2017 model year unchanged.
While lesser GS models make do with V6s and hybrid powertrains, the GS F is a different kind of beast, powered by a 5.0L V8 that cranks out 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque. This is an old-school approach to creating an upscale performance car in a marketplace where the Germans have embraced forced induction for cars like the BMW M5, Benz E 63 and Audi S6.
Lexus is also less subtle about the GS F's potency, giving its sport sedan flagship an even larger version of the brand's spindle grille that's flanked by large air intakes. At the rear, it's set apart with quad stacked exhaust tips and a carbon fibre spoiler; 19-inch wheels complete the GS F's aggressive look.
While other high-performance sedans have begun to adopt all-wheel drive, the GS F instead sends power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed transmission, where a torque vectoring differential does the work of distributing it left and right. There's also a linear adaptive variable suspension, four selectable drive mode settings, and Brembo brakes to handle stopping duties.
GS F also differs from its German competitors by leaving off fancy stuff like an adjustable suspension. That might turn off buyers who want the latest tech in their fast sedan, but others will really like how this car delivers uncomplicated, comfortable speed.
Natural Resources Canada fuel consumption ratings are 14.9/9.7 L/100 km (city/highway). That's notably higher than an Audi S6, for example, with its turbocharged 4.0L V8, rated for 13.3/8.8 L/100 km.
Being a luxury car first, the GS F brings a long list of upscale features that includes a heated steering wheel, three-zone automatic climate control, 17-speaker stereo, navigation with a 12.3-inch display, eight-way power front seats with heat and ventilation functions, rear door sunshades, auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors and a power-adjustable steering column.
Safety kit includes a pre-collision system, automatic high beams, dynamic radar cruise control and lane departure alert with steering assist.
Pricing starts at $97,100; there are no options offered.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed