Originally Posted by natnut
I would be really interested in your frank assessment of the GS350 F-Sport's handling abilities.
Originally Posted by spwolf
compared to those other cars, for sure...
Tough competition for handling and it's clearly not a 2-seater sports car but then it's not an LS either.
Caveats: Since I did not drive it on the track, I did not get as good a comparison as with the other 3 cars. Also, recall I'm learning to drive (fast) and not an experienced pro driver or reviewer.
I did drive the GS on the autocross and I also drove an IS-F on the autocross. Please keep in mind that while driving on the autocross, concentration was on how well the driver (me) handled the car; I was concentrating on instructor directions learning to maintain smooth transfer of balance going through the turns, etc. and so not so much concerned with the car itself. So if my skills were better (and they improved a lot with this course) I could have gotten the GS through the autocross faster than I did. That means the car handles well - I think if I attempted the autocross with my LS, the car would be the limiting factor, not me.
(I noticed when pulling out onto the autocross that the car had an HUD. To indicate the level of concentration on driving on the autocross, I don't recall ever seeing that HUD again, even though it was right in front of my face. My eyes were on the road.) :-)
Still, at my skill level, I could get the IS F through the autocross faster. The biggest noticeable difference was on the short straight were we could hammer the accelerator - the IS F is a lot faster. I think the IS cornered a little better as well, but the two were closer in that regard.
I had no real chance to compare braking ability between the two.
Watching the other students with the GS and Lotus on the autocross at the same time seemed to show the the Lotus could get through a little quicker (roughly averaging out the various skill levels.)
One thing I was curious about was ride comfort with the F Sport suspension. I do have an interest in the GS350 F Sport as a possible replacement for my LS (but not for my IS-F). On the track at 105 MPH (as a passenger) the ride quality was great. Less harsh than the IS F.
Pix do show body roll on GS in the autocross. But then, we saw some of that with the IS F and even a little with the Lotus.
So bottom line is it's not going to handle like a small sports car, though pretty close to the IS F. Not as fast as the F either.
But, I would love to have driven it on the track and I think it would make a great street car that handles really well and is fun to drive.
BTW, this F Sport actually had an ML audio system, though it was never turned on.