BY H. THROTTLE
Lexus has a mission statement: “The pursuit of perfection.”
That is a pretty inspiring statement for one of the leading luxury car manufacturers in the world. Lexus is the top line of Toyota, leading the world in auto sales in a tight competition with Germany’s Volkswagen. Both are outselling all U.S. brands, opening factories around the world and in the United States.
Arriving for a test drive this week is the Lexus GS- F sport four-door sedan with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $53,940.
A few additional options, such as premium Mark Levinson 17-speaker sound system, can add another $1,330, and illuminated door sill lights for $425. Other than a short list of options, this GS Lexus sedan is fully loaded with special features included in the retail price.
Lexus hits a homerun with the fuel-injected V8 engine that generates 487 horsepower with 388 pounds of torque. Lexus engineers link this high-powered engine to an eight-speed transmission with eco, normal and sport modes. The exhaust system is finely tuned to give a power purr from dual exhausts in the huge engine. Fuel economy is reasonable for feeding that horsepower with an average of town and country driving of 19 mpg.
All of the luxury equipment makes this car truly unique, but best of all is the drive, the pursuit of perfection in how the car accelerates through the eight-gear choices and three driving modes. The perfect steering and wishbone rear multi-link suspension make the ride and handling outstanding. The GS F features Michelin sport-rated tires, staggered with the rear tires slightly larger than the front. The car does not have a spare tire and that can be challenging.
The GS-F is a fast car, and in today’s challenging heavy-traffic situations being able to stop fast is a great asset. This car has the best braking system of hundreds of test-drive vehicles.
Researching data, no wonder the brakes are so good starting with famed racing Brembo ventilated disk brakes with high-friction pads, front brake rotors with six-piston aluminum calipers, and rear rotor brakes with two-piston opposed aluminum calipers. The brakes are like magic with such a soft touch and amazing fine-tuned brake control.
The car has extensive airbags that include a twin-chamber front-seat passenger’s bag system and an 18-way power-seating adjustment for the driver, and eight-way passenger seating. Special sport seats with leather trim and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with paddle shifters add to the drive comfort.
Complete navigation systems, color cameras, front and rear views with cross traffic control and blind-spot warning detection, and lane-departure alert. No safety rating on this vehicle, but with all of this safety equipment the car should be rated a perfect five-star.
This is a high-performance four-door that serves well as a sport and family sedan with all-wheel drive and a snow selection for inclement weather. Winter snow tires would be advisable.
The driving experience is just excellent.
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