The Lexus GS F catches up to Germany's heavy hitters

Lexus' performance aspirations expand to its GS model, as Toyota's luxury brand announces the GS F, a high-performance sedan built to go head-to-head with German stalwarts such as the BMW M5, Mercedes-AMG E63 and Audi RS7 . The new GS F joins a freshened 2016 model year GS lineup.

Whereas the competition relies on forced induction, the GS F keeps things old school with a naturally aspirated, 5.0-liter V-8. It puts out 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque, with all those ponies headed straight to the rear wheels by way of an eight-speed automatic transmission. To help keep the gas mileage somewhere near appropriate, Lexus's engine utilizes gasoline direct injection.

If you know the Lexus lineup, that engine will look familiar, because it also powers the RC F sport coupe. Like the RC F, the GS F features a system that amplifies certain parts of the exhaust note through the interior speakers. It can be turned on or off, and its amplification changes based on the car's drive mode.

Another bit of RC F carryover is the torque-vectoring rear differential, which shifts torque output from left to right, depending on which wheel needs it. The differential's two performance modes will either turn you into a track aficionado or a drift champion. The anti-lock brakes, traction and stability controls adjust based on how maniacal you're feeling. Strangely absent from the GS F, however, is any sort of adaptive suspension. What you feel is what you get.

While every Lexus GS gets a facelift, the GS F adds several unique baubles that help remind you where all that extra money went. Unique undertrays help channel air over the rear differential, and carbon fiber makes an appearance on the rear spoiler and in the lower front grille molding. The body is slightly wider than standard GS models, as well, in order to incorporate wider tires. Behind that rubber, the GS F features Brembo brakes on all four corners, with 15-inch rotors up front and 13.6-inchers out back.

2016 Lexus GS F
Lexus says its seats were stitched in a way that mimics human musculature. The result is one of the better-looking seats on the market.Lexus

The GS F's interior is the least altered part of the equation, looking nearly the same as last year's pre-facelift model. Again, the GS F has a few different pieces of equipment, including leather seats with heavier bolstering, white LED lighting and several prominent F badges.

In terms of creature comfort and safety technology, the song remains the same once again. There's an available 12.3-inch center display, and audiophiles can opt for a Mark Levinson-branded premium sound system. The Lexus Safety System Plus suite also appears, which is a package that includes forward collision warning with automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and automatic high beams. That collection can be expanded upon with additional options, including automatic parking assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The Lexus GS starts at $85,380 in the US, £69,995 in the UK and somewhere around AU$150,000 in Australia (pricing has not been confirmed there). The on-sale date is also not yet confirmed but is expected between late 2015 and early 2016 for all three markets.

Discuss 2016 Lexus GS F