Wednesday, October 5, 2016

2016 Lexus GS-F: The Brand’s First Competitive BMW M5-Series Fighter

Highlight: This is the first time the midsize vehicle has added close to 500 horses. Its reported that the vehicle goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $86,770 (base model $85,390)

Seating Capacity: Five

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; electric parking brakes; LED daytime running lights; hill launch assist; electronic brake force distribution; a stability control system; Bembro brakes; and a tire pressure monitoring system; blind spot; a rear traffic cross alert system; a lane departure warning system; a pedestrian detection system; a radar-activated cruise control system; and automatic rain sensing wipers

Standard Equipment: 19-inch wheels; an 8-speed automatic transmission; 10-way power front seats; leather F-trim specialized sculpted-like seats; F-trim performance series; F-series leather wrapped steering wheel; a power moonroof; power folding exterior mirrors; a double wishbone suspension system; LCD gauges with such features as a choice of lap time and torque distribution; 12-inch nav screen; power folding exterior mirrors; a carbon fiber rear spoiler; and a heads up display system

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: Mark Levinson 17-speaker/835-watt audio system

Other Trim Level:

GSh (hybrid)

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 12-speaker /299-watt AM/FM/CD

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 5.0-liter, 8-cylinder/467-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New:  The GS-F is a modified performance version of the GS, with front and rear overhangs, making the midsize luxury vehicle sleeker, wider and longer. The all-new GS-F is available in eight colors and pumps out a whopping 467-horses from underneath the hood.

Why: The midsize GS has finally found what it has been lacking, juice or what some refer to as power. The bold looking spindle grille with the edgy exterior design has been begging for more horses and the Lexus performance team has finally responded. A 467-horsepower, eight cylinder engine has been tuned to compete with the likes of the BMW M5. And by all accounts, they finally got it. That is, the folks at Lexus.

Yes, this is the first time the fourth generation GS has found the inner strength to unleash all of the power that the polarizing fascia has been seeking. This power breathing Lexus rides on a double wishbone front muti-link rear suspension, with Sachs-sourced shock absorbers.

Unlike the M5, Lexus has been able to find the perfect balance of luxury and performance. This new luxury-performance hot rod, with its form-fitting, sculpted front seats were designed specifically with the F-series in mind.

Besides the seats, the GS-F is great for cruising around town or for flexing its prowess muscles on the track. Yes, there are no compromises with this midsize performance luxury vehicle.  In fact, even with all of this power being pushed from this 8-cylinder engine, Lexus offers enthusiasts  a variety of  driving modes: normal, eco, sport s, sport s plus.

And this well-equipped vehicle has an extremely limited option list.

Furthermore, this Lexus offers a huge, easy-to-use infotainment screen and a much-needed heads up display system, which is designed to keep one out of trouble with the law.

But: We had to point out that the horsepower of this fire breathing luxury sedan is on par with all of its competitors, but one. And that happens to be the Cadillac CTS-V that pumps out a whopping 640-horespower for roughly around the same price, as the Lexus GS-F.

Moreover, it would be great if Lexus considered adding a manual transmission to the line up. This would just help cement in the mind of performance enthusiasts folks like us that this brand is serious about going head-to-head with BMW M-performance series. Lastly, the optional 17-speaker crystal clear audio system should be a standard feature on the vehicle.

Verdict: With the exception of a diesel engine and the availability of a plug-in hybrid, the midsize GS has almost every powertrain covered. Buyers can opt for a 4-cylinder, 6-cylinder or the much-welcomed 8-cylinder engine in either a rear wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration.  In a vehicle that needed a lift to spar sales, the limited edition GS-F is just what the true driving enthusiasts yearned for. It’s got the look, the power, the balance ride and the Lexus name behind it!

Competition:  Audi S6; BMW M5; Cadillac CTS-V; and Jaguar XFR

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