The Lexus GS 350, while massively improved, still doesn’t quite muster the horsepower needed to break the threshold required of earning the title of luxury sports sedan, does the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport have what it takes?
Inside the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport I punch the throttle and launch toward the obstacles on my test track. The first thing to hit my senses is the glorious sound of 306 horses galloping towards the target. With a quick flick of the wheel the F-Sport pounces to the side and obstacle number one is quickly left behind.
The F-Sport Lexus is something else. The optional Dynamic Rear Steering system takes the respectably agile GS 350 and makes it look like a linebacker trying to tackle a wide receiver on an open field. Move the wheel a smidge and the car shifts a lot, the F-Sport is the definition of responsive.
Responsiveness is great, but it is nothing without a stable platform. In the twisties the F-Sport not only turns on a dime it is also incredibly stable, there is only the slightest indication of body roll to keep you feeling mortal. The new multilink rear suspension kit on the GS 350 F-Sport is great and when enhanced by the Dynamic Handling system a true symbiotic relationship is born. The new suspension arrangement see the springs mounted outboard of the shocks to improve stability, a nice side-effect of which is that the GS 350 gains improved trunk space too. The Dynamic Handling System is fully adaptive and tuned to reduce body roll and pitch which allows you to keep the sexy low-profile 19-inch tires square to the ground for maximum power and control.
Just like the unflavored GS 350, the F-Sport has a Drive Mode Selector where you can select your desired level of responsiveness. Again Sport+ is where you will want to be as an enthusiast — it is the F-Sport after all. Throttle response is tight and the ABS brake system give you a bit more leeway in Sport+.
The F-Sport’s six-speed automatic transmission delivers precise shifts that maximize rolling momentum and keep you at pace nicely. Downshifting during intense braking is on key and allows you to pick up where you left off with ease. If you prefer to do it yourself a handy pair of paddles offer you the chance, though I do wish a 6 speed manual was up for grabs.
Upon exiting the mountain twisties for more mundane driving the F-Sport will blend in and drive confidently. The GS 350 blood line runs true with luxurious appointments maintaining your comfort while keeping road noise at a minimum and potholes at bay. The optional 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system is fantastic and will pump out anything from deep rap baselines to NPR in perfect clarity. High style, comfort and tech are all present.
Lexus stays true to their name with the GS 350 F-Sport, the car is luxurious and at forefront of in-cabin technology. Add in some much improved driving dynamics and the F-Sport is more than worthy of earning the designation luxury sport sedan. I would still like to see just a few more horses out of the GS 350 line, but for now the F-Sport is more than capable — of throwing you into the back and sides of your seat.