Torrance, California - In Lexus-speak, 'F' stands for 'Fast' and here we have the second member of the Lexus F family, the new GS F high-performance sedan, bigger sibling to the RC F coupé.
Just a week ahead of its world premiere at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Lexus has released these pictures and details of its new hot-shoe sedan, a kind of Junior M5 with similar ambitions within its context, but with less power.
It should be cheaper too, but that’s not the only reason we think the Teutonic Triumvirate should sit up and take note.
Particularly in light of its naturally-aspirated five-litre V8, for which Toyota is quoting 348kW at a dizzy 7100 revs and 527Nm from 4800-5600rpm. This engine, it says, has been set up to run on the fuel-saving Atkinson cycle under light-load conditions, but reverts to the conventional four-stroke cycle when ass needs to be kicked.
It drives through an eight-speed automatic 'box with manual shift function and Lexus' electronic torque-vectoring differential, first seen on the RC F and now standard issue on the new GS F.
HEALTHY SIZED PREMIUM SEDAN
In this application the driver will be able to select from three modes, selectable 'on the fly': Standard (the default mode) for a balance of agility and firmness, Slalom, emphasising steering response and agility, and Track, for high-speed stability.
Based on the current GS platform (with some structural reinforcements) the GSF is a healthy-sized premium sedan at 4915mm long on a 2850mm wheelbase, 1845mm wide but only 1445mm high, possibly due to a special suspension package 'designed to optimise the car's handling capabilities' - which usually means lower and stiffer than the vanilla-flavoured version - that runs on special 19" rims shod with 255/35 front and 275/35 rear rubber.
The maker quotes a kerb weight of well under two tons (1830kg, to be precise, which it is already quoting as 'the lightest in its class') which argues impressive straight-line speed potential.
As to whether the rest of its performance envelope is going to give the abovementioned autocracy anything to worry about, we'll take that under advisement until we've driven one.