The GS F is something of a wild card in today’s Lexus line-up, albeit a very welcome one. In among all that Lexus (Hybrid) Synergy Drive DNA and a product family that oozes comfort and refinement there’s the GS F, an angry, raw Japanese street racer that if you don’t see coming, you’ll certainly hear.
Japan’s take on what had become the status quo of performance variants of executive sedans is a deliciously old-school 5-liter V8, naturally aspirated for good measure. But though this engine might seem a throwback to yesteryear at first glance, it’s actually not. If anything, it’s a reminder of simpler and more enjoyable times before turbocharging became mandatory. Based on that wonderful IC F motor, the GS F’s powerbase is actually the most powerful V8 creation yet from Lexus, pushing 477ps, 12% more than its previous-generation hothead cousin.
Most engine parts are new, including the intake manifold and throttle body; intake and exhaust valvetrain; motor-driven VVT; cylinder head and cylinder-head cover; the D-4S dual injection system; spark plugs; piston and piston rings; connecting rod; crankshaft; crank main bearing and cap; and the exhaust manifold and heat insulator. High on the development agenda was making sure that the 4,969cc 32-valve DOHC engine could easily cope with high and instantaneous torque, much like the highly revered halo LFA.
Compression ratio of the GS F’s V8 sits at 12.3:1, helping boost torque across the rev range, which is up to a peak of 530Nm at 4,800-5,600rpm. Titanium inlet and exhaust valves, new high-strength forged connecting rods and new main-bearing materials all serve to further increase rpm. Crank pin diameter, connecting rods, big-end bearing size and crank counter-weight size have all been reduced, lowering reciprocating weight. It’s all pretty sophisticated for an ‘old-school’ V8. Such power means the GS F is lots of fun. An 8-speed SPDS transmission channels output from the V8 to help launch the car to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds. Perhaps even more impressively, 80-120km/h takes just 3.7 seconds and a 0-400m standing start can be done in 12.5 seconds. Top speed, electronically limited, is 270km/h (168mph). The GS F is still a Lexus, so not mentioning fuel economy would be strange. Lexus claims just over 10.8 l/100km (26mpg) on combined, but it’s hard to care when flooring the accelerator catapults the GS F forward and releases that sonorous, wonderfully deep and bassy NA V8 growl. Sometimes being different from the rest of the family can actually be a wonderful, wonderful thing.