The ideal car for a lot of people would be a mid-size saloon with four doors, five seats, a big enough boot and an engine with all the charisma in the world. Add to that a rarity factor that outstrips most hypercars and car nerds like us will need to have a little sit down.
We have exactly that car for you, partly inspired by the Lexus LC Convertible concept revealed this week: the GS F. Peerlessly reliable with a network of great dealers behind it, this is a typical Lexus. It’s easy to live with, spacious enough for the family or friends, luxurious and comfortable enough to make you feel like moving your TV into it and using it as your living room, and for some unfathomable reason, it’s really, really rare in this country.
It may not be the king of outright dynamism thanks to its hefty 1830kg kerb weight, which, according to the firm, would have been at least 100kg lower if not for specific safety requirements for the US market, but the hot GS is far more astute on the road than many people would imagine.
Quick steering, fluid and well balanced damping, decent visibility and a genuinely throttle-adjustable rear-wheel drive chassis played brilliant supporting roles to the headline act: a 5.0-litre normally-aspirated V8 with 471bhp that revs to 7300rpm. Don’t forget the coolest exhaust layout of any of its contemporaries, either.
It sounded fantastic pretty much all the time, whether you were biffing through town or howling through the countryside. With fairly linear but always tempting power delivery the GS F was a car that felt immediately natural and reassuring when you started pressing on. It was in its element at eight or nine tenths. Its original £70,000 asking price undercut the Germans by a handy margin, too, so we simply can’t explain why it didn’t sell better.
Just 73 were shifted on this island between its 2016 launch and the permanent demise of the wider GS range – for 2019 it has been replaced with an all-new car called the ES, bringing the UK naming structure into line with most other markets worldwide. Just 73. That compares with over 500 hard-top Ferrari 488s in the same time frame. With a year less on the clock McLaren has sold 353 domestic examples of the 720S.
It also means that our pick from the classifieds – the only one we can find for sale today, even in the Lexus approved used network – constitutes 1.37 per cent of all Lexus GS Fs on the road in Britain today. Exclusive? Oh yeah.
The blue metallic paint suits this gentleman’s rocket ship perfectly. Inside you’ll be granted toasty buttocks in the front two F Sport seats as you play with the likes of adaptive cruise control, sat-nav and the utterly sublime Mark Levinson stereo system of many, many speakers. Dual-zone climate control, electric seat adjustment, automatic lights and wipers, a head-up display and a rear parking camera pretty much go without saying in this class.
It’s a hell of a car, and, at £35,999, is about half its original price less than three years ago. If ever we were tempted to embrace the fruits of unfair depreciation, it’s now.