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The Lexus GS F Is the Incognito Performance Sedan

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author photo by Will Kinton December 2016

Are you looking for an $85,000 performance sport sedan that isn't the Cadillac CTS-V? Do you think the German brands have become a bit passe? If so, then look no further than the Lexus GS F -- a genuinely good performance sedan.

The Lexus GS F may not be the fastest of the performance sports sedans in a straight line, but it's certainly fast enough: Under the hood is a naturally aspirated 457-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 that's mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, allowing it to sprint to 60 mph in about 4.4 seconds. Even though its main rivals are able to do zero to 60 in under 4 seconds, the Lexus GS F is still wildly capable of getting you in trouble if you aren't paying attention. The power makes on-ramps a particular joy -- and unless you're an absolute speed freak, it should be plenty of power for you.

More importantly, the GS F's V8 is also really loud (in a good way), even in the "comfort" drivetrain mode -- and in dynamic, it's even louder. It's a strange phenomenon to be driving a loud Lexus, but car enthusiasts will appreciate it. With that said, a lot of this sound is artificially enhanced inside the cabin, as is so often the case these days. As for handling, the GS F is far nimbler than you'd expect a 4,200-pound car to be. It's quite lively in the turns, and it's a genuine joy to drive quickly. In a sentence: You will find yourself smiling while driving this car.

Inside, the GS F gets carbon fiber trim everywhere -- and I'm starting to think it's time for this fad to die. Yes, the GS F is sporty, but I really don't think a liberal smattering of carbon fiber adds anything to the visual appeal of an interior unless you're driving something that could be considered a supercar. These trimmings of sportiness also carry over to the gear selector, which teases us by looking like a manual shifter -- but it has "PRND" printed next to it. Unfortunately, in today's world you can't really blame Lexus for that decision -- we can only blame ourselves. Otherwise, the seats are firm but comfortable, and the dash is crowned by a really good-looking clock. I'm a complete sucker for analog clocks in cars.

All in all, the GS F is a great choice if you want something fast. It's much stealthier than its competitors, which is a desirable trait, especially when you have 457 hp at your disposal. Sure, it's not as fast as the competition -- but the GS F's $84,900 base price also makes it cheaper than virtually all rivals. More importantly, it's fun, it's fast, and it sounds great -- and that makes it an option worth considering for those in the market for a performance sport sedan, even in spite of the "L" badge on the front.

Lexus GS F

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New 2017 Lexus GS Models
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MSRP $88,520
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Lexus GS F Is the Incognito Performance Sedan - Autotrader