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2019 Lexus GS F 4-Dr Sedan Review by David Colman


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2019 Lexus GS F

The GS F is all business, and business is great!

By David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL


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2019 Lexus GS F
One of the great treats of my motor testing year is finding that a Lexus "F" has arrived in the driveway. In this case, the advent of a 2019 GS F meant I was in for a week of fun fast motoring. Sure, you can buy lesser, cheaper varieties of the GS sedan, like the GS 300 (241hp turbo 4) or the GS 350 (311hp V6). But Lexus has so fully tweaked the engine, suspension, brakes and tires of the GS F that it bears little resemblance to its lesser siblings. But gird yourself for the fact that the GS F also perches atop the heap in terms of price. Compared to the GS 300, which retails for a base price of $47,500, the GS F comes in at nearly twice the money -- $84,350. Is the F worth the difference? If you love to drive fast, the answer is definitely yes.

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2019 Lexus GS F
The moment you settle your butt into the all encompassing sweet spot of the "smooth leather trimmed 'F' Spec sport seats," you know that no one in the industry makes a more comfortable front bucket throne. The driver's side offers 18 way fine tuning while the passenger must make do with a mere 8 choices. Lexus has lavished abundant carbon fiber trim throughout the cabin, as well as swatches of Alcantara cloth on the upper instrument panel and door panels. Blue piping details the carbon and black suede, making the interior pop visually despite the predominance of black. If you're hungry for further sparkle, you can order one of the 100 10th Anniversary Editions of the GS F. These provide blue tinting to the carbon fiber threads, plus blue leather front sport seats. But the only exterior color you can buy for the limited edition is matte Nebula Gray, which is a difficult shade to protect from the elements. Frankly, we preferred the glossy Ultra White finish of our test GS F.

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2019 Lexus GS F
Unlike so many tinsel adorned package specials, the F version of the GS is all business under the skin. Front suspension is racing bred double wishbone rather than MacPherson strut. Rear layout is similarly precise multi-link, with German bred Sachs shock absorbers handling jounce and rebound at each corner. Brembo provides 6 piston aluminum front disc brake calipers backed up by 4 piston rears, all painted in flashy orange for an extra $300. Front and rear discs are ventilated for superior cooling. The reason for such brake department overkill is the ferocious powerplant under the hood. F technology installs a 5.0 liter V8 which churns out 467hp and 389lb.-ft. of torque. An 8-speed "Sport Direct Shift" transmission positions large alloy "F Spec" shift paddles behind the steering wheel rim to facilitate manual gear changing. Of course, you can leave the 8-speed in drive and forget about shift chores altogether.

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2019 Lexus GS F
The driveline refinement continues with use of a torque vectoring differential (TVD) at the rear. Perhaps the most noticeable traction advantage of the entire F package is the choice of wheels and tires. Lexus has elected to stagger wheel and tire size front to rear. Up front you will find 8 x 18 inch alloys fitted with 255/35R18 Michelin Sport Cup radials, while beefier 9 x 18 rear rims carry wider 275/35R18 Michelins. The legendary wheel maker BBS provides the simple yet exceptionally strong forged alloys, while Michelin manages to eke out a long life treadwear rating of TW 500 and a wet traction rating of AA from those Super Sport tires. As you might expect given this performance portfolio, handling of the GS F is impeccable, with a compliant ride quality that can be recalibrated by the driver to optimize responsiveness in either of two electable stages: Sport and Sport+. A fat knob on the center console awaits your ministrations. Be aware, however, that if you leave the drive program in its deferred choice setting of "Eco," you will be faced with a full second of wait time whenever you mash the gas for full acceleration.

The GS F is a legitimate contender for top full size sport sedan honors against stiff competition from BMW (5 Series), Genesis (G80) and Volvo (S90). Without question this Lexus is cheaper to operate over the long haul than the BMW, more fun to drive than the Genesis, and much quicker than the Volvo. If you are looking for an understated hot rod that doesn't scream speed from the outside, but provides it in spades from the driver's seat, then the GS F is your ride.


2019 LEXUS GS F 4-DR SEDAN

    ENGINE: 5.0 liter V8, 32 valves, direct and port injection, VVT intake and exhaust
    HORSEPOWER: 467hp
    TORQUE: 389lb.-ft.
    FUEL CONSUMPTION: 16MPG City/24 MPG Highway
    PRICE AS TESTED: $88,200
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2019 Lexus GS F

HYPES: 4.6 Seconds 0-60MPH

GRIPES: Doors Open Too Wide

STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10