While most automakers usually strip the rear doors of a sedan then redesign its butt in order to achieve a coupe version, Lexus stood out of the crowd with a completely different approach. Instead of using an existing vehicle, the Japanese subsidiary automaker designed the Lexus RC F from scratch, giving it uniqueness and a personal touch. It packs some impressive features, both visual and mechanical. Still, is strong enough to beat BMW’s M4 or good looking enough to overcome Mercedes’ C63 AMG?
The Lexus RC F is a hybrid, but not in terms of fuel. Lexus took the front end of the GS, the center element of the IS C and the rear end of the IS, putting them together through a technique called laser screw welding. This procedure ensures a more rigid body, thus a better handling and precision on the road. The RC F is 1.5 inches longer, wider and lower than the IS sedan; it however comes with a 2.7 inch shorter wheelbase. Resembling the RC 350, the RC F looks meaner and gives away an air of confidence mainly boasted by its quad exhaust and the 5.0 liter V8 engine.
There are various optional packages to choose from on the interior, but even the standard issue looks clean and features a quality build. All materials feature a detailed finish while the seats provide a great deal of comfort when combined with the well-adjusted suspension. The driver seat comes with a 10-way power setting while the passenger seat features an 8-way adjustment system, both including lumbar setup.
A multi-instrument display is accompanied by a 7.1 inch screen as a part of a multimedia system which also adds a 10-speaker media unit with HD radio, Bluetooth connectivity and satellite navigation. For those wishing for an even richer multimedia experience, the Levinson package installs a 17-speaker system. An active rear spoiler, auto-dimming mirrors and carbon fiber interior trim and torque vectoring differential can be acquired through a Performance package.
For city driving conditions, the RC F feels pretty docile. The 5.0 liter V8 is able to pull out 467hp and 389 lb-ft of torque, pushing the car forward towards 60mph in 4.7 seconds. Although it’s an impressive score, it still lacks a few tenths of a second from reaching the pole position of the segment.
The 8-speed automatic gearbox shifts unexpectedly fast and rev-match downshifts with incredible precision. Just at the right moment, the quad exhaust opens and lets the growling V8 sound to flood the cabin all while you feel a constant push in the back of the seat when the engine travels up in the RPM range.
Accurate steering, little body roll and stiff suspension are all at work when taking sharp corners with increased speed. However, the extra chunk of weight the vehicle carries around places a great deal of pressure on the steering effectiveness and in the same time urging safety systems to take control very often.
But all of this, each piece of technical advancement and advanced design, comes out in a symphonic play on the track. The V8 launches this coupe out of each corner with the ferocity of a rabid dog while the air all around the beast is filled with the ver distinctive growl of the engine. As we pushed and pushed this ride on the track, it became clear I would not reach the peak of possibilities in the cornering before I broke myself. It is not a difficult vehicle to manage by any means, but was clear that it was not just some beginner track ride and had potential far outside my comfort zone and ability.
With a luxury interior and a great multimedia package, the Lexus RC F definitely looks and feels right. The engine and suspension are well tuned, and while on the street feels like a fairly docile, in control ride, its true potential for excitement is clearly found on the track.