Lexus GS F, first contact: face to face with the “BMW M5” that arrived from Japan

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The F family, the letter chosen by Lexus to designate its most performing models, is growing. It does so with the new Lexus GS F , a Lexus GS F that we have already been able to put to the test . The Japanese firm, Lexus, has chosen Madrid as the setting for its world debut, as a place to introduce the motor press around the world to its new high-flying saloon, a perfect rival for the BMW M5 , for the Mercedes E 63 AMG .

Lexus has chosen Madrid to be the epicenter of the world premiere of the new Lexus GS F.

Friday. First thing in the morning in a Madrid that refuses to say goodbye to the summer heat. From the 30th floor of the Eurostars Hotel , in one of the four towers, I have breakfast while I upload to Instagram and Twitter some of the first photos I have taken of the cars, of the GS F, who are waiting impatiently at the Hotel reception.

A waffle later we take the keys to our Lexus GS F. For the next few kilometers we will go behind the wheel of a peculiar unit that, destined for the Middle Eastern market, sports a peculiar orange tone to match the color of its brake calipers and contrasted by the carbon fiber parts , by its rims. Little or not at all discreet, the dressed workers of the four towers that pass by him cannot help not turning before the orange plant of this saloon.

We play at home and take advantage of the time available before the appointment at the Jarama to drive through one of our usual sections. We go to the Atazar dam .

An aggressive and very Japanese plant, a look at the design of the Lexus GS F

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Its wheels finished in anthracite, multiradio and really striking are 19 inches.

With the reservoir in the background, along with the entire Guadarrama mountain range , I am about to scrutinize the silhouette of this Japanese saloon. Its orange tone accentuates a line on the black gravel that transmits aggressiveness on all four sides.

That big front grill, the side intakes, the curved side sills, that big side gill and its rear, go with its rear. The lower diffuser is framed by two vertically arranged double exhaust outlets while on the tailgate, breaking with the hegemony of orange, we find a lip-type spoiler in carbon fiber, matching the applique that we find in the bumper. Forward.

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All the lines, all the features, make us think of a sharp attitude , emphasize its Japanese origin and the orange of its body does not exactly help to make this GS F a discreet saloon. Of course some other alternative, like the blue one, looks considerably more discreet, although there we will also have orange present in its brake calipers. The option of the white bodywork, highlighted by the carbon fiber elements in addition to the mentioned brake calipers, also seems to me one of the alternatives that look more sporty in sight.

Some spectacularly designed sports seats welcome us inside …

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The interior of the Lexus GS F is well accompanied by a sound system signed by Mark & ​​Levinson.

When we open the door of the Lexus GS F we come across a pair of sports seats that break any reminiscence of the original saloon and make it clear that this is a truly sporty saloon. Its white leather welcomes us with a comfortable disposition and a good grip and of course, a perfect aesthetic dressing.

Our unit sports a peculiar insert with a certain marble look, finished in gray. When riding a GS F you expect aluminum, you expect carbon fiber and yes, we can also go for a finish like that.

The touch F is very present in the seams of the steering wheel, in the seams of the gear knob and in the alcantara, a alcantara that covers elements such as the central armrest or the instrument panel sun visor.

The space available in the front seats is really good, it feels quite wide while in the rear seats we run into the drawback of a marked transmission tunnel that considerably reduces the comfort of the central seat.

In terms of quality and adjustments, good work is flawless in those points where plastic, rubber, leather, metal or alcantara come together, presenting in general lines a really good presence and I say in general lines because a server does not The look of the center console is too convincing.

Presided over by the large screen of its multimedia system, the keypad chosen for all the controls that surround the air conditioner give me the feeling of not being as current as I would like, although the air conditioner display has a lively transition halfway between digital and the analog that I do like.

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In between the aforementioned buttons and the aforementioned multimedia system screen, we come across an analog clock that reminds us that we are in front of a saloon “from a good family” as well as the noble finish of the CD slot.

The multimedia system is controlled from a joystick that is located to our right, a little closer to our body, behind the gear lever, a roulette in charge of managing the driving modes and in front a driving position that is commanded by a Steering wheel with the F sign at its base and behind which a good instrumentation appears in which the tachometer acquires a prominence that is intended to be captured by a generous digital display located on the left.

In figures: that’s how it measures, how it weighs, the Lexus GS F

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Beyond this first survey in terms of design and going to the cold figures we come across a length of 4,915 mm, a width without mirrors of 1,845 mm (2,085 mm with them), a height of 1,440 mm and a wheelbase of 2,850 mm . Its weight ranges between 1,790 and 1,865 kg and it has a 520-liter boot.

477 saloon horses: it’s time to discover how it unfolds

Prestacionalmente the Lexus GS F marks a 0 to 100 km / h in about 4.5 seconds, having a maximum speed of 270 km / h. Its mixed consumption is 11.2 l / 100 km.

The moment of truth arrives. It’s time to go back to the Jarama circuit but first we have to enjoy a few more kilometers of secondary road before storming the Madrid circuit, the home circuit.

One press of its start button and the four exhaust vents exhale with a natural low melody, a husky throb that feels authentic from the first notes, from the first beats. His purr is not exaggerated and he is even somewhat gentle as soon as we close the door.

Under its hood lies a V8 engine with 5 liters of displacement, atmospheric, 32 valves and 477 horsepower delivered to the rear axle, with a torque of 530 Nm available between 4,800 and 5,600 rpm. 477 horses that in the first instance take us in a peaceful transit behind which hides an authentic samurai that firm, with a hard face, quickly devours every kilometer of asphalt.

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For its transmission Lexus has resorted to an 8-speed torque converter-type automatic gearbox that shows good smoothness in a normal course with imperceptible transitions.

The response of its mechanics, its direction, the performance of the gearbox, the stability control … are controlled through a driving mode selector that is accompanied by a second selector that acts on an electronic differential that baptized as TVD , Vectorial Torque Differential, offers us a second way of interaction, being able to choose between Standard, Slalom and Track modes.

The rumbling of the exhausts really feels more alive in the sportier modes, encouraging us to seek a more spirited driving before hitting the highway that will take us to the circuit.

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During the circuit experience, Yukihiko Yaguchi, chief engineer of the Lexus GS F.

The electric steering shows me a more pleasant setting than I expected, well, accompanied by a suspension that in these circumstances works really well, without rocking, transmitting a pleasant level of confidence.

The propeller is able to satisfy our demand for power with a good capacity from the bottom of the tach, but yes, its wild side is unleashed by keeping the engine high in revs.

A few minutes later we are already launched on the highway. Outside of the sportiest modes we run into a considerable reduction in the sound of its engine, amplified by its speakers. The comfort on the road, on the highway, is really remarkable, well insulated, without notable aerodynamic noises, with a very attenuated mechanical sound.

The access fence to the circuit is raised. We stopped for a few seconds in the circuit tunnel for a quick photo at the gates of Jarama and parked at the foot of the new tower. The freshly paved paddock serves as a meeting point before the press conference.

After having checked its set-up on the road, it is time to do the same on the circuit, on the Jarama route. A pilot of the brand gives me a lap around the circuit, the presentation is designed for many countries and logically many of the colleagues from other markets have never stepped on the Jarama, I take this lap to talk to the pilot about what he thinks of the circuit and soon we return to the pit lane to change positions. I put on my helmet.

A good number of laps await us ahead, Lexus wants us to make good use of the driving modes and the different settings of its differential. I head for the end of the straight and we start with the swing of curves for Varzi, Farina, downhill from Bugatti and gas up to Monza to complete a quiet preparatory initial turn. One more lap.

I start to play with the differential in Slalom and Track modes, with the sportier driving mode. The car begins to involve you more and more, I continue to find its steering satisfactory, its propeller pushes with good alacrity and we can now round the corners more sharply . Without the limits of the road hours before, the car feels lighter and more agile , although we must bear in mind that we are moving a good mass.

The Lexus GS F more than complies with a lively driving on the circuit, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport mounted on the BBS rims invite us to continue forcing in each turn and as we get more we notice the work of the differential more markedly, rounding each time more cornering and making the Lexus GS F feel more direct, with no less hesitation, than in theory, by dimensions, it should be. Its steering turns fast, with a good weight.

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The brakes, signed by Brembo, also comply perfectly and its suspensions convey a certain softness, a certain sweetness (within the firmness that a car like this requires) that I had not discovered in the mountain section. No, I am not talking about marked rocking, really obvious nods or annoying reactions, far from it, simply that this commitment to its use in the street is very slightly present now that the demands, that the rhythm, is greater and it is acted with greater decision.

I find this Lexus GS F really fun , the delivery of the V8 in tune with the differential solves really well the understeer that in theory we should find, the mechanics do not feel as effective as the last batch of supercharged engines from the competition, but not It means that by working with this atmospheric heart in its correct regime and understanding its nature, we are not going to be able to reach good rhythms with the added incentive of its ” personality “, of its character each time, unfortunately, more unique .

But… what about its transmission? Yes, we come to what for me, speaking of its use on the track and in really sporty driving, is its most delicate point. Its gearbox complies with comfort in highway use, in a relaxed driving, but when demanding it on the track we run into slower reactions than other transmissions mounted by rivals .

Time to say goodbye to the new Lexus GS F, time to say goodbye to Jarama:

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The main charm of the Lexus GS F lies in the duality of its aggressive design and its atmospheric V8 mechanics versus the smoothness of use and its commitment to the daily comfort of a premium E-segment saloon.

We leave the GS F cooling down in the pit lane, I go through the box for the last time today and again come across that atmospheric V8 that has become throughout the day so many times, almost involuntarily, in the center of our attention, in the center of our conversation. An old-school, big and atmospheric mechanic in a world of supercharged blocks, with less and less cubic capacity, with less and less cylinders and more technology around it.

I see again parked at the foot of the new tower of the circuit the orange unit that accompanied us first thing in the morning. Sharp, very sharp, aggressive and with a perfectly palpable 100% Japanese DNA , perfectly recognizable on each edge. I like it.

The new Lexus GS F offers us after that sporty stamp a good balance between sportiness and capacity for daily use with the added charm of having a V8 under the hood. I like the purity of its mechanics, that natural melody that accompanies it and that duality between its cheeky features and its good commitment to comfort and the smooth reactions that such a saloon also demands under normal conditions.

The BMW M5 has a new rival, in case the Mercedes E 63 AMG or the Audi RS7 was not enough. Germans, there is a Japanese waiting .

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