New Models - Lexus GS
Driven: Lexus undercuts rivals with GS F
F word: The GS is the latest Lexus to get the F treatment and was benchmarked against its RC F coupe stable-mate.
GS F enters the fray with Lexus beating BMW, Audi on price
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23 February 2016
LEXUS’ first GS F sedan has launched in Australia this week priced from
$148,800 plus on-road costs, undercutting its key rivals by tens of thousands
Its debut marks the first time Lexus will compete in the full-sized sports
sedan segment and the GS F is only the fourth vehicle to emerge from the brand’
s F performance division – following the superseded IS F compact sedan, LF-A
supercar, and the current RC F coupe.
The GS F costs less than the Audi S6 ($169,510) and BMW M5 Pure Edition
($185,000), a duo of sedan competitors with vastly different characteristics
ranging between executive-express luxury and sports respectively.
For this reason, Lexus Australia head of product planning Mark Dobson struggles
to find a natural competitor for the GS F.
“It’s hard to pick what you’re comparing against,” he told GoAuto at the
national media launch of the GS F in Adelaide.
“First of all you start with price, so you go okay, the car costs $148,000 –
how far away from that price up or down do you go and still call it a
competitor? If you take other competitive models around that price, there are
other competitors – BMW, Audi – who have models in that price range, but then
you look at what (equipment) you’re getting.”
Standard equipment on the GS F is extensive, and includes a sunroof, keyless
auto-entry and start, 12.3-inch colour display with satellite navigation and
concierge services, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, colour head-up
display, tri-zone climate control, heated leather steering wheel, front and
rear heated seats with leather/Alcantara trim and power rear sunshade.
Safety equipment includes 10 airbags, pre-collision warning system, active
cruise control, blind-spot monitor, lane-keep assist and adaptive automatic
“The competitors go one way with the type of engine they put in and the
styling, and Lexus goes another way, and we’re trying to attract a different
style,” Mr Dobson added.
The GS F uses a 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine producing 351kW of
power at 7100rpm and 530Nm of torque between 4800rpm and 5600rpm. It has a
redline of 7300rpm and an eight-speed automatic is the only transmission
available. The 1825kg sedan can race from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds.
The S6 and M5 Pure Edition utilise downsized turbocharged V8 engines to achieve
4.4s and 4.2s 0-100km/h claims respectively.
If forced to pick a rival, Mr Dobson said, “I’d have to say it’s the Audi A6.”
However he said he believes the GS F is a four-door alternative to the RC F
compact coupe launched last year.
“In other particular models we can definitely pitch against one car, but I’d
say this car (GS F) is benchmarked on the RC F,” Mr Dobson said.
“They built the RC F and then said now we’re going to make this four-door sedan
(and) what do we want to make it like for performance? Well, okay, let’s
benchmark the RC F.”
“I think the Lexus F buyer is the enthusiast driver,” added newly appointed
Lexus Australia chief executive officer Peter McGregor.
“The reason we offer the two vehicles, the RC coupe and the GS sedan, is
because some people prefer to have that in a two-door version with a shorter
wheelbase, and some people prefer to have it in a four-door sedan that has the
ability to take five people – or four people in comfort – with a good amount of
luggage room as well,” he added.
“So it can serve both purposes in the GS F for the enthusiast driver.”
Mr Dobson said he believes the GS F will also act as an aspirational vehicle
for, “People who want to make a statement – I love ‘natural aspiration’ for
He also said that many former buyers of an HSV product may “absolutely” look at
buying a GS F.
“At out drive day we had an HSV as a competitor car,” Mr Dobson added. “Maybe
there are a few people who aren’t loyalists.”
Lexus predicted sales volume for the GS F of 30 units per year, however Mr
Dobson confirmed that 26 are already pre-sold.
“We thought 30 per year [but] it looks like it’s going to smash our
conservative prediction,” he said.
Compared with the four-year-old GS sedan, the GS F increases the use of
high-tensile steel and adds underfloor structural bracing to improve torsional
rigidity. The multi-link front and rear suspension are revised with ZF Sachs
fixed dampers, new springs and stabiliser bar, and forged aluminium control
arms to reduce weight.
Driver-selectable modes include Eco, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+ that alter
parameters for the electro-mechanical steering, throttle and transmission
response and engine output.
Sport S+ includes a stability control function called VDIM Expert that allows
controlled drifting in track conditions. The stability control can also be
disengaged independently. The systems work with a Torque Vectoring Differential
(TVD) to prioritise torque to one particular rear wheel, depending on the
As standard the GS F includes 255mm front/275mm rear 19-inch Michelin Pilot
Super Sport tyres and 380mm six-piston front/345mm four-piston rear Brembo
brakes with slotted rotors.
Options include “high grade” polished 19-inch wheels and carbon interior
ornamentation each costing $2500.
A higher-specification GS F is also available for $151,700 plus on-road costs,
with the single addition of semi-aniline full leather trim with front seat
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