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Lexus’ GS F boasts a 5.0-liter, 467-hp V8. Is it enough to take on BMW M and Mercedes-AMG?

Lexus has been long known as a quality brand, but not necessarily one that gets your heart racing. The Japanese outfit makes good cars, of course, but you rarely felt the same shiver from them that you got when you laid eyes upon its hopped-up German competitors.

Enter the Lexus ‘F’ line, a performance-focused model range that’s hoping to change all that.

We got the 467-horsepower, sharply styled two-door known as the RC F last year, which boasts the angular aesthetics, sharp chassis, and howling V8 necessary to shed the brand’s once vanilla image.

Of course, we can’t forget the now-defunct LFA, a car so good Jeremy Clarkson once said “It is the best car I have ever driven. If someone gave me a choice of selecting one car, I would have a blue Lexus LFA. That is how much I love this car.”

And now, we have GS F.

Revealed all the way back at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, the four-door GS-F uses the same 5.0-liter V8 from the RC F but shares its platform with the V6-powered GS 350 F Sport.

Like its racer boy RC brother, the GS F equips upgraded suspension, and eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission, and a Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) with three modes.

‘Standard’ mode, according to the company, “provides a balance of agility and firmness.” The TVD’s ‘Slalom’ setting tightens up the steering to emphasize agility, while the hardcore ‘Track’ mode “emphasizes control during high-speed circuit driving.”

Lexus’ F line has looked great thus far, but we can’t help but wonder how it will stack up against its European rivals, namely the 560-hp BMW M5. Actually, the GS F’s output is much closer to the M3’s 425 hp, but the Japanese sedan is nearly 10 inches longer and 500 pounds heavier than the 3 Series at 4,034 pounds.

The GS F is on sale now with a base price of $84,440, a figure that doesn’t include a mandatory $940 destination charge.

Updated 10-14-2015 by Ronan Glon: Added pricing information, full gallery.

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