Lexus' GS F 5.0-litre V8 sedan landing next February
IF Australia ain't gonna build V8 sedans anymore, praise the horsepower gods we're still importing them.
Lexus has confirmed it will launch its GS F high performance V8 sedan in February next year, offering 351kW/530Nm from its naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 - the same motor as found in the RC F coupe - mated to an 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic.
And while Lexus has been turbocharging many of its new petrol models of late, it's refreshing to see an atmo V8 can still find a place in a brand's line-up to satiate purists.
And with performance figures like these, who needs boost? Lexus says the GS F will hit 100kmh in just 4.6 seconds (only 0.4 seconds off BMW's twin-turbo V8 M5), and crack the quarter mile in 12.8 seconds. You can bet it'll sound rather good doing so too.
Less good is the (optimistic) 11.3 litres/100km fuel economy, nor the 262g/km CO2 emissions, but hey, you can always buy a Prius if you can't live with the guilt.
The 'F' badge arrives on the GS sedan range for the first time and certainly adds exterior muscle to the big cruiser. The front end features "race-inspired functional air inlets and outlets", there's a lower and wider stance, carbon fibre rear spoiler and quad exhaust rear diffuser.
Typical Lexus GS comfort is retained however, with semi-aniline leather accented or Alcantara seat trim for the bucket-type front seats, a comprehensive safety suite called Lexus Safety System+ and goodies like head-up display, 17-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound system and 12.3-inch hi-res screen all coming as standard.
Apparently the performance sedan will corner handily too. Lexus says the car's handling dynamics have been developed on numerous racing circuits including the Nurburgring, with the rear-drive F scoring a torque vectoring differential with Standard, Slalom and Track modes, 15mm lower suspension, 19-inch alloys with a larger rear footprint, Brembo brake package and re-tuned steering for a sportier feel.
The new GS F looks a compelling super saloon rival to the established German set, and while it won't match the power or performance of a BMW M5 or Merc-AMG E63 S, it should significantly trump them on price when announced come February launch time.