For decades, if you wanted a high-performance super-sedan, a four-door luxury car that has the power to frighten most sports cars, you went with the BMW M5. Since the inception of its first generation, the E28 M5, it has been the go-to car for enthusiasts who want both performance and comfort. However, the M5 has been gaining some impressive competition these past few years, competition that has what it takes to take on BMW’s mighty M5.
The latest in that competition is the Lexus GS F.
Typically, Lexus’ are the kinds of cars that your grandparents buy when they retire because they’re soft, squishy and luxurious. They typically aren’t the kinds of cars that compete with hardcore BMW M cars. However, the new Lexus GS F is the Japanese brand’s latest attempt to to break that mold.
Packing a 5.0 liter naturally-aspirated V8 that makes 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque, the Lexus GS F is no slouch. That engine is mated to a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic gearbox and powers the rear wheels. A big V8 up front, four doors and power going to the rear. That’s the exact recipe for a proper super sedan.
Unfortunately for the Lexus, it’s a great effort, but too little too late. While its big, burly V8 makes a great noise and looks awesome on paper, it’s seriously lacking in power and performance. Compared to the BMW M5’s 560 hp (600 hp with the Competition Package), the Lexus GS F’s 467 hp is simply too little. The Lexus’ 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds is also far too slow. The BMW M5’s slowest 0-60 mph time is 4.1 seconds and that’s the standard M5 with the six-speed manual gearbox. Equip it with the seven-speed DCT and that time drops to 3.9 seconds and gets even faster with the Competition Package.
But power and performance aren’t the only metrics in which a super sedan is measured. Comfort, luxury and technology are all important as well. Unfortunately for Lexus again, the GS F fails to measure up to the M5 in these areas as well. Despite the age of the current F10-generation M5, its interior and technology are still superior to the brand-new Lexus’. BMW’s iDrive is by far and away better than the unit in the Lexus, which has a frustrating mouse-like controller. The Lexus GS F does have a very attractive interior, but its ergonomics are a mess and it doesn’t feel as high quality as the M5. Admittedly, the Lexus GS F does have fantastic seats.
If you want the extra power, performance, luxury and technology that the M5 has to offer, you’ll spend at least $10,000 more than the Lexus GS F. However, if you’re buying in that price range, the extra $10-large isn’t as serious of a sum as you’d think and is well worth it. While Lexus is getting better at creating genuine sports cars, it’s still not up to par with the best of Bavaria. The Lexus GS F is a good effort, and a very good car in its own right, but when compared to what BMW has to offer in the segment it seems to fall a bit short.