2020 Lexus GS F Review | By Larry Nutson | The Auto Channel
2020 Lexus GS F
Refined and Fast
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Now in its fifth year on the market, the Lexus GS F is a high-performance sedan built for driving enthusiasts. It first appeared in 2016 and continues today with a 5.0-L V8 that cranks out 467-horsepower.
I remember the days when most every high-performance car was some form of 2-door coupe. Not anymore. You can get four doors and five decently comfortable seats in what I like to refer to as a street-legal race car. Practicality, performance and fun-to-drive all in one package.
Yes there was a time when you could opt for “the big engine” in the family sedan. But today, along with the big power you also get the chassis, suspension, brakes, and wheels and tires that allow you to use all that power to the max.
Slip behind the steering wheel, slide down into the high bolstered sport seat and punch the start button for the 5.0-L V8. The exhaust rumble lets you know right away there’s something about to happen.
The direct injection V8 has a race car like 12.3:1 compression ratio for both good efficiency and max power. The engine revs to 7,300 rpm. There’s 389lb.-ft. of torque that gets put to the rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic.
Zero to 60 mph is in 4.5 seconds. Top speed is 168 mph. The quarter mile is covered in 12.8 seconds.
Brembo makes the brakes. Up front they’re 14.9-in. ventilated rotors with six-piston opposed aluminum calipers and high-friction brake pads. In back it’s 13.5-in. ventilated rotors with four-piston opposed aluminum calipers, also with high-friction brake pads.
Connecting the GS F to the road are staggered size 19-inch BBS forged aluminum wheels. They’re 9 in. wide up front fitted with Michelin Pilot Super Sport 255/35ZR19s and 10 in. wide in the rear with 275/35ZR19s.
In between the engine and the tires and helping to keep everything under control is a rigid body structure with front and rear body braces and a compliant suspension system. The Linear Adaptive Variable Suspension system adjusts its dampers over a wide range of settings.
A Drive Mode Select feature gives the driver the ability to adjust between NORMAL, SPORT S, and SPORT S+ modes, as well as a CUSTOM mode to make your own choices.
For safety on the road standard advanced driver-assist safety (ADAS) features include Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, Intelligent High Beam and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
The GS F has a 12.3-inch display with Lexus's Remote Touch Interface infotainment system. A rectangular mouse-like controller, that takes some getting used to, is used for access.
The GS F has minor updates for 2020. New are 19-inch matte black wheels and the change in some design elements from gray to black. Blue Brembo brake calipers are also offered. New white seats with black inserts offer another choice, along with the black or red choices.
The GS F is offered in only one configuration priced at $85,010, plus a $1,025 destination charge. A head-up display ($900) and Mark Levinson 17-speaker premium audio ($1,380) are the only functional options, besides trim, color and the polished BBS wheels ($600) choice.
The Ultrasonic Blue Mica GS F I drove had a bottom line price of $89,510.
Behind the wheel of the GS F the exhaust rumble at start gives you a bit of an adrenaline rush. Rumbling along on your neighborhood street has you itching to push down on the throttle pedal. Finally at a highway on ramp you can tromp down on the throttle, get pushed back in the nicely supportive, high bolstered sport seat and enjoy the throaty roar of the engine intake. Before you know it you’re going fast, very fast.
I was wanting for a race track with the GS F. I had to settle for a couple open highways and some cloverleaf off ramps. That said, cruising through quiet, tree lined neighborhoods at 25 mph is just as satisfying. Lower the windows, select Sport+ and with shift paddles at your fingertips there’s plenty of engagement.
In reality, a long road trip on lightly traveled highways where you could let the GS F stretch its legs way north of the speed limit would make for an ideal “social distancing” vacation.
The interior is nicely comfortable and well appointed with leather trimmed seats, Alcantara door trim, IP trim and armrests. Carbon fiber bits provide stylish accent.
Have a look at www.lexus.com for more details and facts on the GS F. It you don’t want all the performance and associated price of the GS F have a look at the GS 350 with its 311-horsepower V6 and $51,395 base price.
Yes, the GS F is a hot rod. And the sound of a V8 is music to an enthusiasts ears. And yet it also offers a spacious and comfortable interior and roomy trunk.
Thinking back again to the years gone by with performance only offered in 2-door coupes, marriage and children often meant selling your pride and joy. Not any more.
© 2020 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy