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What’s Hot: The GS-F is a modified performance version of the GS, with front and rear overhangs, making the midsize luxury vehicle sleeker, wider and longer. The all-new GS-F is available in eight colors and pumps out a whopping 467-horses from underneath the hood.

The midsize GS has finally found what it has been lacking – juice. The bold looking spindle grille with the edgy exterior design has been begging for more horses and the Lexus performance team has finally responded. A 467-horsepower, eight cylinder engine has been tuned to compete with the likes of the BMW M5. And by all accounts, they finally got it.

This power breathing Lexus rides on a double wishbone front multi-link rear suspension, with Sachs-sourced shock absorbers. Unlike the M5, Lexus has been able to find the perfect balance of luxury and performance. This new luxury-performance hot rod, with its form-fitting, sculpted front seats were designed specifically with the F-series in mind.

Besides the comfy seats, the GS-F is great for cruising around town or for flexing its prowess on the track. There are no compromises with this midsize performance luxury vehicle. In fact, even with all of this power being pushed from this 8-cylinder engine, Lexus offers driving enthusiasts a variety of modes to keep them engaged. They include normal, eco, sport s and sport s plus.

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The Lexus offers a huge, easy-to-use infotainment screen and a much-needed heads up display system, which is designed to keep one of trouble with the law.

What’s Not: The horsepower of this fire-breathing luxury sedan is on par with all of its competitors but one. The Cadillac CTS-V pumps out a whopping 640-horsepower for roughly around the same price as the Lexus GS-F.

 It would be great if Lexus considered adding a manual transmission to the lineup. This would just help cement in the mind of performance enthusiasts folks that this brand is serious about going head-to-head with the BMW M-performance series. The optional 17-speaker crystal clear audio system should be a standard feature on the vehicle, as opposed to an option.

 Drive or Drive By: With the exception of a diesel engine and the availability of a plug-in hybrid, the midsize GS has almost every powertrain covered. In the GS, buyers can opt for a 4-cylinder, 6-cylinder or the much-welcomed 8-cylinder engine in either a rear wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration. In a vehicle that needed a lift to generate sales, the limited edition GS-F is just what the true driving enthusiasts yearned for. It’s got the look, the power, the balance ride and the Lexus name behind it!

Competition: Audi S6; BMW M5; Cadillac CTS-V; and Jaguar XFR

Highlight: This is the first time the midsize vehicle has added close to 500 horses. And it’s reported that the vehicle can travel from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.4 seconds.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $86,770 (base model $85,390)

Seating Capacity: Five

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; electric parking brakes; LED daytime running lights; hill launch assist; electronic brake force distribution; a stability control system; Bembro brakes; and a tire pressure monitoring system; blind spot; a rear traffic cross alert system; a lane departure warning system; a pedestrian detection system; a radar-activated cruise control system; and automatic rain sensing wipers

Standard Equipment: 19-inch wheels; an 8-speed automatic transmission; 10-way power front seats; leather F-trim specialized sculpted-like seats; F-trim performance series; F-series leather wrapped steering wheel; a power moonroof; power folding exterior mirrors; a double wishbone suspension system; LCD gauges with such features as a choice of lap time and torque distribution; 12-inch nav screen; power folding exterior mirrors; a carbon fiber rear spoiler; and a heads up display system

 Optional Features On Test Vehicle: Mark Levinson 17-speaker/835-watt audio system

 Other Trim Level:

 GS

GSh (hybrid)

 Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 12-speaker /299-watt AM/FM/CD

 Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

 USB Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

 Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 5.0-liter, 8-cylinder/467-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

 Standard Fuel Mileage:

16-city/24-hwy

Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him on Twitter/JeffCars.

PHOTOS: Jeff Fortson

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