LEXUS GS F
The regular GS doesn't have a big rear diffuser, ground effects and a carbon fibre decklid spoiler, does it?
The Lexus GS F is a V8-powered, rearwheel drive, high-performance sedan that looks a lot like it drives: fast and aggressive.
The fun begins under the hood, where Lexus engineers have chucked the plebian V6 from the GS into the recycle bin and replaced it with a 5.0L V8 that pumps out 467 horsepower and 389 lb-ft. of torque.
Power is put to the ground through the rear wheels via an 8-speed Sports Direct Shift automatic transmission complete with a manual mode and steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Handling is aided by a plethora of advanced control tech, including Torque Vectoring Differential, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management and, of course, traction control.
Lexus's AVS, short for Linear Adaptive Variable Suspension system, which allows damping to be controlled with more precision, is also standard kit.
Working hand in glove with all of this engineering is a drive mode system featuring normal, eco, sport and sport plus settings that alter the GS F's on-road comportment from excuse me, kind sir all the way up to get the hell outta my way, maggot!
Inside, the Lexus has upped the performance ante with richly finished – and quite firm – Recaro-like sport seats, steering wheel and shift knob, all of which are wrapped in perforated leather with exposed stitching that feels nice when you run your fingers over it.
A massive 12.3-inch LCD display with navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth and scads of other connectivity features anchors the centre stack, while an Alcantara-finished console lid and dash cowl with carbon fibrelooking trim inserts complete a performance-oriented cockpit that matches the car's looks.
I'm not a big fan of the rather awkward and unintuitive Lexus Remote Touch infotainment contoller, but other controls, knobs and switches are well-executed.
The GS F is designed for track use, and I can attest that it did feel at home in that environment when I drove one on the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit near Victoria last November.
To be honest, the GS F was a bit too much car for that circuit. Lots of switchbacks, hard braking zones and tricky compression turns made the GS F feel like a bit of a caged animal, but there's no doubt in my mind it has the potential to be a good tracking car – it just needs a bigger circuit where it can stretch its legs.
The Grand Prix track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park fits that bill – hopefully, I'll get the chance to hustle a GS F on that circuit someday.
In the meantime, however, I can report on the GS F's manners on public roads.
On a variety of surfaces from smooth to extremely rough, the GS F delivered a quiet and composed ride that