Lexus F family tree: GS F, RC F coupe and IS F

2016 Lexus GS F fender badge
The 2016 Lexus GS F is the latest model to join the growing F lineup of factory-tuned sports vehicles. Photo by Benjamin Yong.

The automotive manufacturing sphere seems to have a fascination associating vehicles, especially those of the high performance variety, with single letter designations. BMW has claimed “M,” Honda/Acura is partial to the letter “R,” and Lexus has chosen to go with the racy letter “F.”

Popular opinion is split on whether it stands for Flagship or Fuji (as in Japan’s Fuji Speedway racetrack), but regardless, the company is rapidly expanding their family of factory-souped-up automobiles. The latest example is the GS F announced earlier this year at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Join us as we visit the past and present Lexus F car portfolio.

2016 Lexus GS F

2016 Lexus GS F

The GS F is a brand new 5.0-litre, V8-powered mid-size four-door sports car producing 467 horsepower and 389 lb-ft of torque. Although it shares a platform with the similarly named 2015 GS 350 F-Sport, which provides suspension and appearance upgrades over the standard GS luxury sedan, the F includes numerous changes in addition to its more powerful powerplant such as structural upgrades and an enhanced drivetrain.

2015 Lexus RC F

2015 Lexus RC F coupe

It’s pretty clear that the RC F is a coupe, but it nevertheless possesses many of the same traits as the GS F. Both were news headliners at NAIAS, with the former being introduced at last year’s big show. Both are powered by a 5.0 L V8, and both use the same torque vectoring differential that changes the vehicle’s dynamics and balance on the fly.

Drivers can choose from standard, slalom or track modes depending on their mood and environment. The RC F also borrows something from the Lexus LFA supercar: a motorized “active” rear wing spoiler made from carbon fiber that deploys at speeds higher than 80 km/h to produce increased downforce.

2014 Lexus IS F

2014 Lexus IS F

MY2014 marked the last time Lexus offered the compact sports sedan that blazed the trail for the models referenced above. Debuting in 2007 in — surprise — Detroit, the IS F started the big V8 trend with a 5.0-litre power motor pumping out 416 hp and 371 lb-ft of torque.

Still impressive today, it featured a then-rare eight-speed sport-direct shift automatic transmission that would consistently get what Lexus referred to as “The Beast” from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds. Even with all that hardware, the manufacturer-posted fuel economy numbers were 13.1 L/100 km in the city and 8.5 L/100 km on the highway.

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights