TATLER FOCUS

Lexus is an automaker synonymous with handcrafted interiors, painstakingly stitched together by takumi or master craftsmen, that cocoon one in the lap of comfort and luxury. But similar dedication is evident in its drive, with silky smooth performance, unwavering assuredness and reliability one will only associate with the finest in Japanese engineering.

Such refinement and comfort may be Lexus hallmarks, but every so often an urge arises to push the boundaries of excellence to stimulate the senses with purpose and performance. These cars are tagged with the letter “F”, which represents the pinnacle of Lexus Sports performance developed in Japan’s fabled Fuji Speedway.

Performance Meets Luxury
The latest beneficiary of the exclusive “F” mark is the Lexus GS luxury sports sedan. As the third model in this highly exclusive line-up, the GS F joins the F marque together with the IS F and RC F, in sacred territory.

Honed by the racetrack and with a flamboyance to match, the GS F has been specially developed with the driver in mind and with a desire to fulfil the three elements of pleasure that Lexus describes as sound, response and limitless power feel. These differences are immediately telling the moment you set eyes on the car. It may retain the functionality of a luxury sports sedan, but the car receives a racier makeover with sharper features such as trapezoidal tailpipes, L-shaped air outlets on its front fenders and dramatic 19-inch forged aluminium alloys.

On the inside, the car remains an oasis of calm, with hand-stitched leather finishes enhanced by a distinctive Naguri-style aluminium interior trim and “F” embossed high‑back sports seats; a sports steering wheel; a Thin Film Transistor tachometer that delivers essential driving information with maximum clarity; and aluminium pedals to complete a vibe inspired by the hallowed LFA supercar.

A Sensory Treat
Like all Lexus models, the GS F is still a car that will turn any commute into a calm, breezy affair. Except that in this guise, it houses a fire-breathing 5.0L naturally aspirated V8 engine under the bonnet.

It is in the car’s Sport and Sport+ modes that the sedan really comes to life; with its eight-speed Sport Direct Shift Transmission harnessing the car’s 470hp and 530Nm of torque, waking the ferocious howling beast under the bonnet to have it rage from 0 to 100km/h in 4.6sec, and on to a maximum stride of 270km/h with increasing decibels as its beast of an engine hits maximum revs.

Pure, unadulterated power is addictive but the manner in which the GS F enables the driver to keep it all under control and enjoy supercar thrills is purely on his or her own terms. Rigid body, optimised suspension and large brakes all work together to soak up imperfections on the road, but the party trick is in its torque vectoring differential, which juggles the car’s driving characteristics to enable it to match one’s driving style. All throughout, it imbues confidence and exhibits stability, even when driven enthusiastically.

Not often does a car this mesmerising come forth from a Japanese maker, but when it does, it promises a degree of exquisiteness and desirability that will leave an indelible impression on the motoring enthusiast—one that evokes desire.

 Lexus GS F
Engine: 4,969cc, V8, naturally aspirated
Max Power: 470hp at 7,100rpm
Max Torque: 530Nm at 4,800–5,600rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 4.6sec
Top Speed: 270km/h
Fuel Consumption: 11.3L/100km (combined)
Price (with coe): $469,000
Agent: Lexus Boutique, 33 Leng Kee Road, tel: 6631 138 8
Website: www.lexus.com.sg/gsf

Tags: lexus, luxury carmaker, Lexus GS F