Lexus GS-F Long Term Test

It’s the bad boy bruiser that’s dropped under the radar, the ultimate stealth sports saloon and it’s ours! For a while at least.

By Shahzad Sheikh

Lexus GS-F

We are running a Lexus GS-F for a few weeks as a long term test. You can follow all our updates on social media by searching #MMEGSF & #MMELONGTERMER

The GS has been with us for six years now, and is probably nearing the end of its natural life cycle. Yet this performance variant with the same 5.0-litre V8 motor as the RC-F sportscar putting out 471bhp was only introduced last year.

It’ll do 0-100kph in 4.5 seconds and features Torque Vectoring Distribution for its rear-drive chassis – which is proper Lexus and not just a dressed up Toyota.

Lexus GS-F

This particular car is actually what’s referred to as ‘Goshi’ car – which means it’s actually a pre-production car and one of the first GS-F models delivered to the UAE, where it was probably used for testing, assessment as well as internal training and familiarisation with the car.

Which means it’s probably already had a hard life over its 11,000km before it’s come to Motoring Middle East . Which is rather brave of Lexus, but indicative of their faith in the quality of their product.

Lexus GS-F

Lexus GS-F

Price: AED350,000 ($95,000)
Engine: 5.0-litre V8, 471bhp at 7100rpm, 391lb ft @4800rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Fuel Economy: 11.2L/100
Performance: 0-100kph 4.5 seconds, Top Speed 270kph
Weight: 1865kg

Weeks 2-6 – Final Report

Total duration of long-term test – six weeks. Totally mileage, 2300km.

Click below to watch my final drive report on the Lexus GS-F – turn up the sound because the engine sound is awesome!

So here’s my favourite bits of the Lexus GS-F:

  • Performance
  • Engine noise
  • Quality construction
  • Good handling for a large exec & it’s rear-wheel drive
  • Fantastic stereo
  • Amazing AC
  • Superbly styled and comfortable seats
  • Road presence
  • Decent fuel economy
  • Cooperating and smooth transmission

Lexus GS-F

What I didn’t like about the car:

  • Price – Too high at AED350k, it should it around AED270k-280k (Chrysler 300C SRT is AED250k)
  • Can’t fully turn off traction control
  • Lack of boot space because of full-size spare wheel

Lexus GS-F

 

Week 1

The GS-F was put straight to business duties with Motoring Middle East – as befits its smart meaningful business attire and has already done nearly 1100km with us which includes two trips to Abu Dhabi – which accounts for about 600km. So with about 500km of around-town driving, it’s proved extraordinarily efficient with a fuel economy of 10.9l/100km.

Now I haven’t been hypermiling, but I haven’t really been fully exploiting all that horsepower either, so I do expect that economy to worsen over the next few weeks. By the same token, if I was hypermiling, I reckon I could get that number down to well below 10L/100k.

However, there are two Sports modes, plus settings for the Torque Vectoring Distribution with Slalom and Track modes. So this thing is begging for a bit of a thrashing and I intend to give it one. However now that we’re into Ramadan, I’m not sure when that will be exactly, but stay tuned!

The big spare wheel protruding in the boot, the slightly firm (un-Lexus-like) ride because of the sportier set-up, and the rather high purchase price are so far the only downsides that I can see with the car, and perhaps (particularly due to the latter) why this car has not been as prominent a seller as one might have expected, and indeed hoped, in this market.

Because, it’s got to be said, it’s got a serious presence and even in white has proved a bit of a head-turner with either those that are in the know when they see it drive past, or those not quite sure why a Lexus saloon looks so brutish.

It also sounds great, and I don’t know how much is because of the Active Sound Control – pressing the button for which doesn’t seem to do much – but I would say it sounds like a real burbling V8 sound for an adulterated naturally aspirated motor.

The GS-F feels quick and you get a sense that the handling would be up for a bit of fun. But that’s for later, meanwhile I can report that the air-conditioning is ridiculously powerful and even in this hot weather I have to keep turning it down within minutes of driving off. There are also cooled seats.

Additionally the Mark Levinson stereo – as featured in every Lexus – is magnificent. Great bass but also clarity. It Bluetooth’s up, and I don’t mind the unique toggle controller, although it can be a little hit or miss when you try to select things on that massive central screen on the move.

Stay tuned to our social media and this page for more updates!

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