I still cannot figure out what the hell is going on with the pricing for the GS-F. It has a 5.0L V8 that has a compression ratio of 12.3:1. That gives you an engine pushing out 467hp and a late arriving 389lb-ft @ 4,800rpm. There are a lot of interesting engine tricks and a torque vectoring differential that make for a 4,034lbs, RWD sedan that starts at $84,440.
My issues are that it isn’t a track car, the engine is made for a manual that doesn’t exist, and it makes no sense for this to cost $84,440. It shouldnt even be called a GS-F, the damn thing is a GS500 F-Sport! There, I said it!! But allow me to justify my crazed ravings with some observations.
Here we have an Audi S6. Starting at $70,900, you get Quattro AWD standard as well as the 4.0L TSFI V8 pushing out 450hp and 406lb-ft of torque that stays flat from 1,400rpm to 5,700rpm. Though the S6 weighs about 400lbs more than the GS-F, its performance is right in line with the Lexus sedan even when this Audi is on its worst days (assuming it still starts up, of course).
Your fuel efficiency in the S6: 18 city and 27 highway
Your fuel efficiency in the GS-F: 16 city and 24 highway with almost 2.5 gallons less in fuel-tank capacity.
How about something more track focused like the Cadillac CTS-V? It starts at $83,995 with a supercharged V8 delivering a world-burning 640hp and 630lb-ft @ 3600rpm. It does weigh about 100lbs more than the Lexus GS-F and the fuel economy is worse, but all that can be forgiven with the sub 12 second quarter mile time. I mean the thing is one second quicker in every way to the GS-F, much like the M5 and E63 AMG I’ll add. But come on, let’s be honest here and admit the “V” and the other full on perfomance models aren’t comparable to the GS-F. You know what is though...
The CTS V-Sport.
For $60,950 you can get the 3.6T pushing out 420hp and 430lb-ft while keeping the same fuel economy as the GS-F. The CTS in “V-Sport” form will start out around 4,000lbs and will hit 60mph in 4.4 seconds, just like the GS-F and even match the quarter mile time of the Lexus that costs $24k more.
In fact, when you get into it, the GS-F performs closer to the BMW 550i and the (defunct for the US) Mercedes-Benz E550. All of which are cars around $60k to $75K when loaded up. Hell, even the old Jaguar XFR started at $83,550 with the 510hp supercharged 5.0L while the Supercharged trim gave you a 470hp Jaaaag for just $71k.
My lawd, I just checked and even the Maserati Ghibli S Q4 starts at $78,150 (before the $15k discounts thrown in just for considering the damn thing) and will be a slightly worse performer to the Lexus without even attempting to be an interesting car in front of the exhaust pipes.
I point all this out because I think the GS-F should really be the GS500 F-Sport and cost $64k like the GS450h. There is another tier of performance that Lexus isn’t hitting for its price point. The upcoming LC500 uses the same engine as the RC-F and GS-F.
I think the RC-F is fine as a full blown “F” model since it competes with the compact coupes, much like an IS-F would be great with this 5.0L V8 (and a damn manual because when peak torque is over 4,000rpm, you need to be in control of the gears). The GS is a class up using the same engine, meaning it should be a step down in performance, hence an F-Sport. Finally, the LC500 is a class above the GS and uses the same engine so it makes sense that it is just a regular old trim like all the competition!
Lexus, seriously, what are doing? The GS-F is a great car, but in the wrong segment. Now, keep the V8 and add in the hybrid doodads from the GS450h and then you’ll have yourselves an “F” Sedan that’s worth the lease payment.