It couldn’t have been easy being one of the original Lexus GS F buyers. When the car launched in 2015 its asking price was beyond £70,000, but after 12 months had passed and odometers edged towards the 10,000-mile mark, values plummeted towards a terrifying £40,000. Of course, as is often the case with Lexus, prices for used examples eventually levelled off – although that won’t have been much comfort to anyone who endured the initial period of freefall.
All that means that this example, at £36,975, now qualifies as a used bargain. Unlike rivals such as the F90 BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63 S – which still carry a hefty premium over the GS F – Lexus shied away from forced induction and instead opted to go the naturally aspirated route for its super saloon. It gets the familiar 5.0-litre V8 producing 471hp, though you’ll need to venture towards 7,100rpm to get the full whack, while peak torque of 391lb-ft comes in between 4,800-5,600rpm. That’s all sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed auto, with a torque-vectoring differential helping out in the corners.
That may sound pretty old school, but a fair bit of tech went into Lexus’s V8 to help it keep up with the turbo-powered Germans. Direct injection, lightweight forged connecting rods and a titanium intake and exhaust valves all help boost performance, while electric variable valve timing does its very best to aid efficiency.
It’s not all engine, though. To give it a sharper edge over the standard GS luxo-barge, the F gets lighter aluminium components for the front double wishbone and rear multi-link suspension, plus beefier chassis reinforcements and upgraded brakes from Brembo (you’ll need the stopping power as it weighs 1.8 tonnes). Launch-spec cars also came with passive dampers, which are more than up to the job, although adaptive dampers were standard fit on cars made in 2017 and beyond.
As you might expect, there are numerous driving modes. Eco and Normal will get you by for the morning commute, but Sport and Sport+ are there for the drive home. These sharpen up the throttle response, loosen up the stability control and increase the weight of the steering. It’ll also activate Lexus’s Active Sound Control (a fancy term for a synthesised exhaust note), but the good news is you can switch this off in the menus. Oh, and there’s are also three more modes just for the diff. Slalom mode quickens up the steering response for those times where you suddenly come across a line of evenly spaced cones, while Track mode limits oversteer (boo) but gives you just enough slip to help rotate the car in the corners.
Other mods include a mean looking body kit with larger brake ducts, a slim vent integrated into the front wheel arches and a beefy diffuser with Lexus F’s signature double-stacked exhaust tips.
Sure, the GS F may not be as powerful as its German rivals, nor quite as glamourous on the inside, but let’s not forget that Lexus’s tend to come with bulletproof reliability. The GS is one of the more reliable cars that Lexus has to offer with no known faults to report (though that might also be because not a lot of people bought them).
This 2016 example may not get the adaptive dampers, but it does have a generous amount of options fitted, including the Premium Sound Pack by Mark Levinson and a larger 12.3-inch infotainment screen. And if you’re still worried about depreciation – we covered a GS F in 2019 with 14,000 miles for around £1,000 more than the 46,000-mile car we have here. A difficult car to justify buying new, but definitely one for the M5 alternative short list.
SPECIFICATION | Lexus GS F
Engine: 4,969cc, V8
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 471@7,100rpm
Torque (lb ft): 391@4,800rpm
First registered: 2016
Price new: £69,995
Price now: £36,975