Richard Thornley knows a thing or two about good engineering. An engineer by training, he has worked for several world-class brands, including Rolls Royce. Living in Japan since 1996, he is now representative managing director of Bell Helicopter Co. Ltd.
“People who ride helicopters because they don't have much time love fast cars,“ Thornley says. So what does he make of the 2016 Lexus GS F?
Before stepping into the slick new model, he looks under the hood. “What a meaty engine,“ he says, taking in the GS F's V8, five-liter engine.
“There is not much room left beneath this hood for anything else,“ he says, impressed. “It looks really powerful. And the car itself is sportier that I had imagined.“
The GS F's low profile and front and side grills catch Thornley's eye as he walks around the car.
“These wheels are fantastic,“ he says, pointing out the car's 10-spoke forged alloy wheels. “I've never seen anything like it.“
As he pulls out from the Westin Hotel in Tokyo's Ebisu district, some passersby gather to take photos of the car. A light purr emerges from the engine as the GS F's eight-speed Sport Direct-Shift comes alive. Slick in the afternoon sunlight, the five-passenger performance sedan slides like liquid blue motion into light traffic.