Launched in 2015, the GS F was the closest that the Lexus GS model line ever came to providing a sports saloon to match the Teutonic players in the most dynamic part of the full-sized part of the Executive sedan segment. A proper old-school 5.0-litre 32-valve twin-overhead camshaft V8 set this model apart, loudly and proudly talking its torque without the need for turbocharging. It was all rather refreshing, particularly from a brand known primarily for eco-centric hybrids rather than driver-centric high performance. Inevitably though, there was a price to pay for this approach, both in power and at the pumps.
The running costs of this model were closer to those of a lottery-winning supercar, while in terms of power, similarly-sized turbocharged rivals in the 2015-2018 period, cars like BMW's M5 and Mercedes' E63, generated 20-30% more. Meaning that for performance parity, potential GS F buyers had to compare this Lexus to slightly smaller super saloons like BMW's M3 and Mercedes' C63 in the class below.
The GS F's Chief Engineer, Yukihiko Yaguchi, was unrepentant when back in 2015, he was questioned in any of these areas. The whole point of this car, he argued, was in the way it offered something different to its German turbocharged alternatives - as it had to. Lexus didn't have the turbo technology or the motorsport heritage of its Teutonic rivals, so there was little point in the brand trying to match that. As Yaguchi-san observed with typical candour, 'we chose not to get involved in a fight we can't win'. Not many new car buyers understood that perspective and the GS F sold in tiny numbers before departing completely when the GS range was replaced by the Lexus ES in 2019.