In a world where cars have gone super high tech, Lexus decided to focus on old-school fun with the launch of the GS F. A luxury sports saloon, the GS F is powered by a 5.0 Litre V8 engine that delivers 471bhp at 7100rpm and produces 530 Nm of torque. Put succinctly, the GS F is the most powerful saloon Lexus has produced so far. Weighing in at just under 1800kgs, it manages 0.62mph in 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 168mph. A range of driving modes are on offer including Slalom, which speeds up the steering response; Track mode which successfully reduces oversteer but without reducing the fun factor, Sport and Sport+, the latter being most appropriate for a jaunt around Spa Circuit or the Nürburgring. It looks and sounds the part too, with the V8 roar jangling the quad exhausts, 8-speed Sport Direct Shift sequential paddle shift transmission, Brembo brakes, and a carbon fibre rear spoiler atop this low-sitting, wide-bodied road hugger. EVO’s verdict was that the GS F blends ‘old school brawn’ with modern technology and the combination renders the driving experience nothing short of addictive!
As might be expected with anything bearing the Lexus badge, the interior shouts luxury. Upholstered in black semi-Aniline leather with carbon inlays, the infotainment system features a 12.3-inch touchpad screen, satnav, DAB radio and a multimedia interface. The interior is solidly built and speaks quality at every turn.
The owner of this GS F had acquired his new car a month previously but, due to his busy schedule a month elapsed before the car could be brought in for treatment. Over the course of that month, having an eye for detail, the owner could see swirls and blemishes in the paintwork. As a result, the car would require for a Gloss Enhancement Treatment to make sure the bodywork was as pristine as possible prior to the Sonic Silver paintwork being sealed.
Marks are easily put into unsealed paintwork and therefore it’s quite normal to see a range of paintwork blemishes on nearly new cars. Swirls from poor washing techniques at the dealership or by the new owner, scratches from driving close to hedges, bird dropping marks can all quickly damage unprotected paintwork. – Matt Back, Master Detailer, UF Studio
Another issue for paintwork is fallout – environmental and industrial contamination will adhere to unprotected paintwork and quickly become difficult to remove. The first order of the day was to ensure the Lexus was contamination-free, beginning with the dirtiest parts of the car: the wheels and wheel arches.
UF Safe Wheel Cleaner, a pH-balanced wheel wash was applied.
The thicker formulation of UF Safe Wheel Cleaner means it clings for longer to vertical surfaces for improved cleaning power. The solution is agitated with a wheel brush before the area is rinsed.
The wheels were then treated for brake dust particles. UF Iron + Fallout Remover was sprayed onto the wheels and allowed to dwell, the colour-change function indicating a significant amount of brake dust present.
Left in situ, these particles can cause pitting with the underlying substrate, requiring an expensive refurbishment to restore the rim. Iron + Fallout Remover shrinks the particles, forcing them to break their bond with the wheel’s surface and allows them to be easily rinsed away.
The rest of the Lexus was treated with UF Iron + General Fallout Remover before Ultimate Snow Foam was applied. This high-foaming pre-wash cleaner lifts larger particles of dirt and grit away from the surface of the car and allows them to be easily rinsed away before a wash mitt comes into contact with the paintwork.
Dirt caught in wash mitts is the leading cause of scratches and swirls in paintwork – eliminating as much of the dirt and grit as possible before a mitt comes into contact with the paintwork is the best way to avoid this issue. Ultimate Snow Foam allows the majority of this type of contamination to be removed prior to the main wash and so helps preserve the integrity of the clear coat. – Matt Back, Master Detailer, UF Studio
After rinsing the solution away, the paintwork was subjected to the ‘fingertip test’, testing for smoothness and found to still have some contamination causing the surface to feel rough to the touch. A second application of Ultimate Snow Foam was made and used as a lubricant for a clay bar, shearing the stubbornly-bonded contamination away from the surface to leave it as smooth as glass.
After rinsing, the Lexus was washed using two buckets to keep wash water separate from rinse water. This helps prevent cross-contamination where dirt is transferred back onto the panels. A Wash Bucket is filled with water and UF Pure Shampoo – a shampoo without additives or gloss enhancers that may streak or leave residues after rinsing. A Rinse Bucket is filled with plain water. Both buckets contain Grit Guards which the wash mitt can be brushed against to release dirt particles from the mitt into the water. The wash mitt is loaded with soap solution from the Wash Bucket, a section of the car is washed and the dirty mitt is rinsed in the Rinse Bucket, brushed across the Grit Guard and then wrung out. The Rinse Bucket water quickly becomes dirty from the contamination removed from the car. The Wash Bucket soap solution remains uncontaminated. The wash mitt can be reloaded with soap and the next section of the car cleaned.
Once the bodywork was clean, the car was rinsed once more before an Aqua Gleam De-ionising Water Filter was used to deliver a final, pure water rinse. The Lexus was then brought into the detailing studio, carefully placed on a hydraulic ramp and the wheels removed for thorough cleaning front and back.
The car was then dried using a BigBoi BlowR Pro touchless car dryer. This uses warm, filtered air from two powerful fans to chase water off panels and out from behind natural trap areas such as around wheel nuts and mirror housings.
Close inspection of the paintwork under high-intensity lighting revealed swirls and light imperfections. Japanese paintwork is typically relatively soft and as it is always better to start with the lightest grade of polish and pad deemed suitable for the task, initially, Menzerna Medium Cut Polish 2200 was used with a RUPES Green Medium Polishing Pad. However, unusually, this combination did not eliminate the blemishes, so Koch-Chemie H8.02 Heavy Cut compound was used with a FLEX XFE 7-15 150 Roto Random Orbital Polisher, the direct drive of the machine helping to generate a superior cutting action.
For refining the paintwork, a RUPES Yellow Polishing Pad was used with Menzerna Super Finish 3500, bringing the paintwork up to a high-gloss shine ready for sealing.
Even with the latest compounds a certain degree of dust is created and this has to be carefully removed from all the surfaces including the badge surrounds prior to any sealant application.
The paintwork was treated with Gtechniq Panel Wipe to eliminate any remaining polish residue. The Lexus was then protected with Gtechniq’s flagship ceramic coating Crystal Serum Ultra which comes with a nine year performance guarantee.
Crystal Serum Ultra forms an incredibly durable bond with the clear coat. It’s formulation, based on nanotechnology, means the cured product is extremely hard, resistant to swirls and virtually impervious to extremes of pH. Although it does have a hydrophobic function, we apply a layer of Gtechniq EXO v4 over the top to increase that, so water and waterborne contamination slide away from treated surfaces. – Matt Back, Master Detailer, UF Studio
Crystal Serum Ultra (CS Ultra) must be applied under tightly controlled environmental conditions, ensuring ambient air temperature and humidity are within strict parameters. Water interferes with the clarity of the coating, so vehicles must be completely dry, and the coating must be allowed to cure away from the elements. To ensure the correct procedures are followed so that the quality of the performance of the coating may be maintained, CS Ultra is available only as a service through Gtechniq-approved detailers.
Whilst the coatings were curing, the tailpipes were first cleaned, then protected using Britemax Easy Cut Metal Polish and Final Shine Metal Sealant. The polish quickly removed soot build up to leave the tips shiny and clean.
Final Shine Metal Sealant helps protect the exhaust tips and soot will not build up and stick as stubbornly to the treated surface.
The wheels and brake calipers were degreased and then washed again using UF Safe Wheel Cleaner and a detailing brush.
The wheels were then replaced on the Lexus with careful attention paid to ensuring the correct torque settings.
The black semi-Aniline interior upholstery was cleaned with Colourlock Mild Leather Cleaner to ensure any grease or dirt were removed. The interior was protected using Colourlock Leather Shield to provide a dust repelling, abrasion resistant finish that also helps prevent colour fade – quite common with black pigments when exposed to UV.
With winter approaching, the Lexus’ owner wanted a hydrophobic treatment for the windows too, so Gtechniq G1 ClearVision Smart Glass was applied. This encourages rainwater to roll into beads on contact and blow away, even whilst driving at relatively low speeds. This helps make driving less tiring during inclement weather conditions and also helps keep the windscreen free of dirt and contamination that might impede the view.
The floor mats were sprayed with Gtechniq I1 AB Smart Fabric, a nanotechnology-based hydrophobic coating that covers the individual fibres rather than laying down a ‘carpet’, helping retain the natural texture of the fibres. Treated mats are less susceptible to staining from accidental spills or mud. The ‘AB’ designation represents the persistent antibacterial function which helps to prevent bacteria and mildew growth, common causes of unwanted aromas!
A comprehensive set of detailing treatments now completed, this Lexus GS-F is now protected from whatever life throws at it – inside or out!