The literature on the 2018 Lexus GS F I drove said it was a sedan. However, after driving the GS for a week, I realized the GS F had the heart of a thoroughbred and the speed of Pegasus.
This Lexus was born to run. The 5.0 L V8 features direct and port injection, VVT-iE (intake camshaft), and VVT-i (exhaust camshaft), and produces 467 horsepower and 389 lb.-ft. of torque, while consuming 24 mph highway and 19 mpg city.
The eight-speed sport direct shift transmission with steering-wheel-mounted “F” spec paddle shifters passes this power to the wheels, which in turn are harnessed by F-Adaptive Variable Suspension. The double-wishbone front and multilink rear, with coil spring over linear-solenoid monotube shock absorbers, keep the vehicle firmly planted on the road.
The torque-vectoring differential distributes power as needed. Brembo ventilated disc brakes with high-friction pads and front rotors with opposed six-piston aluminum calipers provide the stopping power. They work together to give this Lexus all the performance power, and poise one needs for some serious, fast driving.
Inside, the cab is as beautiful as it is powerful under the hood. Advanced electronic tech includes an industry-first 12.3-inch expansive high-resolution split-screen display, and a HUD that projects a range of essential data onto the windshield for convenience and quick flow of information.
I really like the wide screen, but the remote touch interface controller used to retrieve information (DVD, CD) takes a little patience and a certain degree of technological proficiency to master. I was still working on that mastery at the end of the week.
Smooth leather-trimmed F Sport seats providing 10-way power adjustment for the driver and eight-way adjustment for the front passenger are nice features. So are the “F” leather-wrapped steering wheel and the Alcantara door trims and armrests. However, in my opinion the sport seats were a little small and too tight-fitting.
The rain-sensing automatic wipers and power tilt and slide moonroof with one-touch open/close, power-folding exterior mirrors, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio added a cheerful and refreshing atmosphere with ambient lighting in the interior. A couple of small-sized open compartments would have been an added convenience for keys or a phone.
On the exterior, the Lexus GS F presents a well-defined character. From the chiseled front fascia with air intakes that channel cooling air toward the front brakes, to the rear diffuser that foils aerodynamics drag, all elements work together to enhance the driver’s experience.
The Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+) is a standard package of advanced active safety equipment that offers driver and passenger the very best in driving safety. These are often mentioned but rarely fully explained in detail in a car review. I would like to take a few moments and do just that for better reader understanding.
The pre-collision system with pedestrian detection is engineered to detect obstructions in the path of your Lexus under certain circumstances. Should the system detect a pedestrian or determine a frontal collision is imminent, it’s designed to automatically prepare the brake assist for increased brake response. In some cases, it would completely stop the vehicle.
The lane-departure alert with lane-keep assist combines with all-speed dynamic radar cruise control to help keep you safely cruising in your lane. It lets you travel at the needed speed without allowing other vehicles to set your pace or slow your drive.
Intelligent high beam headlights provide visibility with added illumination by defaulting to the high-beam mode, then temporarily switching to low beams when it senses the headlights or taillights of vehicles ahead.
The 19-inch forged alloy wheels with staggered tires add to the exuberance of the drive. This Lexus is made to go fast and still being well-mannered. Lexus’s dynamic handling combines dynamic rear steering and variable gear ratio steering to help keep the vehicle stable at any speed. The enhanced traction can be called upon when going into a curve or if weather becomes a factor.
The 2018 Lexus GS F is not made for the faint of heart. Its powerful engine is for those seeking the edge—those pushing it a little more.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $84,350.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at [email protected]