The new Lexus GS F super-saloon you see here will form the centrepiece of the Lexus stand at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), aka next week’s Detroit show. And as well as ushering in a new performance saloon, it’s our first look at a revised GS range.
It’s essentially a four-door version of the RC F; the two cars share the same 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8, benefiting from a split-mode operation which lets the lump run in Otto and Atkinson combustion cycles to focus on power or emissions depending on drivers’ demands.
In the GS F, the V8 produces 467bhp at 7100rpm and 389lb ft of torque between 4800-5600rpm. No performance figures have been issued yet, but it’s clearly going to be fast; the lighter RC does 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and tops out at 168mph.
Japan’s rival to the M5, RS6 and E63
There’s something pleasingly leftfield about fast Lexuses; for a brand that’s built its reputation on refinement and hybrid excellence, Lexus enjoys throwing the occasional sporting curveball. Hence the LFA and its first go-faster model, the V8-powered ISF.
There’s a hint of the double-decker quad pipes at the rear of the GSF, too, albeit in a slightly less extrovert fashion than its little sibling, whose four exhausts were in fact fake (peer behind the finisher and there were just a pair of conventional pipes).
The fast GS is down on the power of its rivals (552bhp M5 and RS6, 549bhp E63), but we’re glad about that. It’s not all about power wars, you know…
Will the Lexus GS F handle like the class best?
That’s still to be determined, obviously. The latest F uses an eight-speed automatic with manual-shift override and it sends drive to the 19in rear wheels through a torque-vectoring differential, standard like on the RC F. Drivers can select one of three driving modes:
• Standard ‘For a balance of agility and firmness’
• Slalom ‘Emphasising nimble steering response and agility’
• Track ‘Delivering stability in high-speed circuit driving’
Lexus claims the GS F will be the lightest car in its class at 1830kg, despite some beefing-up of the chassis to provide a stiffer platform for the suspension to work from.
A 2015 GS facelift too
The overall dimensions of the GS aren’t chaining – this is still a big car at 4915mm long – but it’s clear from these first photographs of the fast version that the whole GS range will be facelifted; the front end adopts the tick day-running lights, new headlamps, refreshed ‘spindle’ grille and new lower air intakes.
Expect to see the refreshed GS range and F fast one in UK showrooms by autumn 2015.