Lexus is gunning for BMW M and Mercedes-AMG with its line of souped-up ‘F’ models. We’ve already seen the BMW M4-rivalling RC F and now Lexus is aiming squarely at the M5 with this, the GS F.
All the usual super saloon acoutrements are present and correct: beefed-up styling, an interior swathed in alcantara and torque vectoring aided, Nurburgring-honed handling.
Then there’s the engine. Surprisingly for Lexus, it’s not a high-tech hybrid. Instead, it’s a pleasingly old-school naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8, shared with the RC F.
But there is a problem. Against the thumping twin-turbo motors in the M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63, it gives away quite a lot of power and, especially, torque.
The Lexus’s 470bhp and 391lb/ft of torque play the Beemer’s 552bhp and 501lb/ft, and the 577bhp and 590lb/ft produced by the E63 S. That’s a pretty big deficit.
The GS F is a good chunk lighter than both at 1,830kg, 40kg less than the E63 and a whopping 115kg less than the M5. So performance could even out.
Of course, the proof will be in the pudding. You could argue that the M5 and E63 in particular are getting a bit too powerful and can be difficult to manage in the real world. So less power might not be a bad thing.
For his part, chief engineer, Yukihiko Yaguchi, said: “With the GS F we wanted to make a special car that would not only exceed the expectations of the most discerning enthusiast, but which could also be enjoyed by all drivers.
“In this spirit, it embraces the virtues of sound, response and power – the cornerstones of the Lexus F brand.”
The Lexus GS F goes on sale in the UK later this year. Full prices and specs (including performance figures) will be announced nearer the time.