Lexus came out swinging at the North American International Auto Show this year with the Lexus F-Series performance lineup.

The rear-drive GS F will give Lexus an entry against high-performance luxury sedans from Audi and Mercedes.

Lexus also showed off a new race car that will do battle in Japan and Europe this year in anticipation of entering a yet-to-be-named series in North America for 2016.

At Mercedes, it's AMG and Audi uses the 'RS' designation. Lexus is establishing 'F' as the letter associated with its high-performance models.

The 'F' stands for Fuji Speedway, the primary testing grounds for the new team established to develop performance models.





The first vehicle was the IS F with a potent V8 crammed into the engine bay of the compact sedan. The really big showpiece was the limited production LFA, Lexus's first supercar with a V10 engine and carbon fibre body.

Only 500, built by hand, were produced overt two years starting in December 2010. Last year Lexus introduced the RC F a sleek coupe with a 467-horsepower V8 and looks to match.

At the recent North American International Automobile Show in Detroit, Lexus took the wraps off the latest effort of the F team ? the 2016 GS F.

It will have the same, naturally-aspirated, 467-horsepower V8 as the RC F coupe and an eight-speed automatic transmission passing power to the rear wheels through an electronically-actuated torque vectoring differential.

The brakes, suspension and steering have been suitably upgraded and the unique 19-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport high-performance rubber.

The frosting on the F cake is the RC F GT-3, a factory-developed and supported, 1,250-kg race car to be available to teams in Japan and Europe this year with a 5.0-litre V8 producing ?at least? 550 horsepower.

Testing is underway and will continue throughout 2015 with plans to run in the FIA GT3 series this year and a yet-to-be-named series in North America in 2016.

With the introduction of the GS F in street and race trim, it is obvious Lexus will continue to push for a more dynamic reputation and a youthful buyer set.