The heart of the new high-performance Lexus GS F is its naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre engine, but the car has an array of technologies and features beyond the headlines that deserve closer inspection.
In this post we reveal 10 surprises in this highly anticipated new model from the exciting ‘F’ car stable.
1. Carbon fibre reinforced polymer
CFRP was chosen as the perfect material for the lower grille moulding that increases front downforce, as well as the boot lid-mounted rear spoiler. Genuine carbon fibre elements can also be specified for the interior door cards, instrument panel and centre console.
2. LED lights
Fast-reacting, energy-efficient LED lights are used throughout the Lexus GS F. The LED headlights, for instance, include technology that automatically switches between low, high and shielded beam modes. But the car also features new white LED interior lighting that combines warmth with brightness. The system uses specially adapted LEDs to maintain a uniform light through the cabin.
3. Climate control
The climate control system of the Lexus GS F incorporates an energy-saving mode that limits operation to the front of the cabin when it detects that only one or two people are on board. The system also automatically co-ordinates and controls heating devices, seat heaters and seat ventilation airflow for optimal efficiency.
4. Fuel efficiency
While the 471bhp 5.0-litre V8 engine in the Lexus GS F delivers a high level of performance, painstaking tuning of the valve timing, a high 12.3:1 compression ratio, and use of the Atkinson cycle when cruising result in fuel economy beyond the usual range of a large-capacity engine.
Further fuel-saving features include controlling the idle speed in response to the load on the air conditioning system – a measure that achieves comparable results to stop-start systems in urban driving.
5. Exhaust system
Another important factor in maximising the power and efficiency of the engine is the inclusion of a precision-engineered exhaust system. The pipework in the Lexus GS F has enlarged joints and a wider cross-section to help reduce backflow pressure, while a special combination of sound-deadening material is used in the rearmost baffles to fine-tune the sound emanating from the distinctive quad tailpipe arrangement.
6. Active Sound Control
The Lexus GS F features a new two-speaker Active Sound Control system to enhance the directional stereo sounds of the engine and exhaust as they respond to accelerator inputs and gear shifts. When activated, the front speaker synthesises the intake roar and mechanical engine sounds, while the rear speaker delivers a strong, low-frequency sound that captures the powerful exhaust note.
7. Performance-oriented aerodynamics
Aerodynamic efficiency was a key element in the design of the Lexus GS F. Particular attention was paid to the area around the front wheels, where a great deal of turbulence occurs. Airflow was therefore improved by designing special groove-shaped front bumper liners, and installing under-covers beneath the engine compartment and mid-section of the floor to channel cooling air towards the rear differential.
8. Sport Direct Shift transmission
The eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission fitted to the Lexus GS F offers high efficiency allied to low friction and mechanical losses. In sport driving modes its performance is supported by an intelligent shift control that makes use of both G-sensor data and throttle position to select the appropriate gear ratio.
Gearchange times are reduced in these circumstances and the system will also rev-match the engine and gearbox by blipping the throttle on downshifts.
9. Braced for action
Lexus developed new chassis components to increase body structure rigidity and enhance the GS F’s cornering and straight-line stability. These include highly rigid front and rear body braces (the front brace has a closed-section construction for even greater stiffness), additional front brace attachment points and new rear suspension mounts. Meanwhile, all suspension control arms have been forged in lightweight, high-rigidity aluminium.
The Lexus GS F is the first high-performance F model to feature five seats. The spacious cabin is sumptuously appointed in semi-aniline leather upholstery, with both front and rear seats featuring a stitching and panel arrangement designed to mirror human bone and muscle patterns. The purpose of this is to improve the figure-hugging qualities of the seats and minimise fatigue on long journeys.