This week’s launch of the Lexus RC F Coupe at Bathurst’s Mount Panorama race circuit not only adds a new halo model to the Lexus range, but also marks a new era of ‘excitement’ for the Japanese luxury carmaker, according to Lexus Australia chief executive, Sean Hanley.
“We’ve spent the last 25 years building Lexus by focusing on our two core brand values, namely, benchmark luxury and unsurpassed customer service, now we think it’s time to inject more excitement into the brand,” said Hanley.
“So far, we’ve been a safe bet for luxury car buyers, but now we need to go from safe to exciting to entice the step-up buyers, without the loss of our traditional brand values,” he added.
Lexus has launched two RC F variants: the standard RC F priced from $133,500 (plus on-road costs) and the RC F Carbon model, which adds a lightweight carbonfibre active rear wing, bonnet, roof panel, interior trim and Alcantara seat fabric, for $147,500 (plus costs).
Both RC F models are powered by the same naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 engine producing 351kW of power and 530Nm of torque and are capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 270km/h (electronically limited).
It’s a highly technical engine that features a new-generation dual-injection system, lighter moving parts, new camshaft profiles, and new intake and exhaust manifolds that have boosted power by 13 per cent.
The engine also has forged connecting rods and titanium valves that boost maximum engine revs by 500 to 7300rpm.
Importantly, the engine and transmission oil-cooling systems have been optimised for the track, while fuel economy has been improved from the IS F engine and is capable of meeting Euro 6 emission levels with a combined cycle fuel economy of 10.9L/100km (claimed).
In keeping with its roll as the current performance and image flagship of the entire Lexus range, the RC F also gets a stiff chassis, racetrack-developed suspension and brakes, with power transferred to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission and a torque vectoring differential specifically developed for the car.
Not only is the RC F keenly priced against its main rivals – the $157,900 Audi RS5 and $166,430 BMW M4 – its also suitably well equipped with standard features such as heated and cooled front seats with semi-aniline leather accents, smart key card entry, satellite navigation, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio, moon roof, LED headlamps with automatic high beam and 19-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels.
Safety equipment is also well spoken for and includes front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and eight airbags.
Options include two different styles of 19-inch, 20-spoke forged alloy wheels for the regular RC F, while the Carbon model is available with a choice of two types of 19-inch, 20-spoke alloy wheels.
Stay tuned for a full review and video of the RC F this weekend.