Lexus GS-F review New Zealand
On the mark, right on, on the mark, on the button, there are loads of terms that mean the same thing, basically when something is right or correct in my opinion it’s spot on.
I have a small family, we’re pretty much middle of the road in financial terms (actually a little lower than that) however we do like a touch of class when we can get it. We do all the usual, school runs, football practice, the odd night out and sometimes we even invite the extended family or friends out to play. My point is, that from a car ‘needs’ point of view we don’t need too much from it, reliability is a given as is safety (but from a car ‘wants’ point of view now that’s a whole different conversation).
Lexus gave me the keys to their new GS-F, they call it a performance sedan, I call it a car that goes a long way to building a bridge between my needs and wants.
From a bit of a distance (and possibly the right angle) the GS-F could be mistaken for a general runabout (okay I’m stretching a little but you get the point) it is a 4 door sedan that is in line with the segment. But move closer or approach from the front and the picture changes dramatically. It sports the trademark hourglass Lexus grille and menacing ‘eyes’. Huge air scoops fill the lower front corners and jagged ‘barbel’ looking pointy bits complete the running lights – there is a lot going on at the nose of this car and just as much going on under the bonnet.
The GS-F has a brute of a 5L naturally aspirated V8 that produces 351kW’s of grunty power and 530Nm of torque. 0-100 comes at a rate of 4.6 seconds and the brakes are strong enough to pull your face off. The 8 speed auto transmission is not that keen on being driven slowly but happily jumps up and down that range at speed but all this pales into insignificance when you stamp down hard on the accelerator and hear the V8 roar exactly as it should – the grunty tone is out of character for the big sedan and that makes it all the more sweeter. Drive modes can be selected at the turn of a dial and you can move from Eco (with a rifle look instrument dial) to Sport + (the fun department). It handles well for a car that feels a little heavy, this due to the tuned suspension and is helped by the carbon fibre front and rear spoilers.
Behind the front wheel arch (that contains 19” Alloys) Lexus have subtly placed the F badge; which in turn draws your eyes to the GS-F’s side gills, tall horizontal vents that begin a strong bodyline that runs along the foot of the doors. Around back it has darker taillights and sporty quad exhausts.
Inside Lexus have thrown a lot of money at the GS-F. The leather sports seats are wonderfully hugging and the Alcantara dash has been handstiched in Blue. The instrument panel is electronic and crystal clear as are the graphics on the indash 12.3” display screen.
Toggle thought some of the F performance settings and you get to the torque distribution display which is good and the G-force display which is better (but not necessarily for the reason you may think). The G-Force display provides you with a little yellow spot in the centre of a circle – pull away fast and the spot goes down with a ‘G’ reading (up to 1 G) and vice versa under braking. Yes you start off spend a bit of time seeing how far you can get the spot moving (I don’t think I made 1G accelerating) but I found a better use – rush hour traffic. I spent my near hour commute trying to keep the yellow spot static. It’s really therapeutic (especially as people cut across you and you resist the urge to stop people pushing in). I didn’t manage to keep it there the whole way but not too far off. The resulting by product is that the ride is smoother and fuel economy is increased – so not too bad after all.
The GS-F is a loud and snarly car when you want it to be and relatively sedate when you don’t. It’s a very luxurious sports car that more than delivers is the interior department while having enough space for 5 adults when required.
To top it all off this performance sedan has a G-Force monitor and for that reason alone (from my point of view) it’s spot on.
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