I feel the not-so-humble Lexus RC F has received a lot of bad press from motoring journalists the world over. It’s like the under-achieving step-brother that your family openly makes fun of at family gatherings in front of him. The RC F is being compared to European luxury vehicles like the BMW M4, Audi RS5, Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 and even by one highly regarded TV personality to a Lexus LF-A. The thing is, this car isn’t trying to be a BMW M4, in fact it is close to $20K cheaper than an M4 at $145,000. And it most certainly isn’t the Lexus LF-A.
The RC F is the successor of the IS F, both sharing the V8 luxury car formula. The unique staggered stacks of exhaust tips stay, but the platform is now a 4-seater 2-door coupe rather than a sedan. The front end features deep aggressive ducting and Lexus’ imposing spigot grille festooned with a huge Lexus emblem to reaffirm to poorer car owners that you are in fact superior to them in every way.
One thing especially worth mentioning is the headlamps, which on first glance are possibly the most hideous pieces of automotive lampware since the bug-eye WRX in 2001. However, do you remember your first beer? I don’t remember much, but I do remember the second was a lot more pleasing to the tongue than the first, and the third was a little hazier but I digress.
The experience of these headlights is much the same: initially you’re left with a bitter taste in your mouth and vow you’ll never try another the first time you take them in, but you hate them a little less each time after that. Eventually you’ll grow to not mind it so much, just as we did. As an added bonus, this car can help you pick up, just like beer can, although the quality of men/women you’d pick up in the Lex is going to be a lot better than using beer.
While we’re on the topic of depressants, one interesting gadget keeping the rear of the car planted is an active spoiler that deploys from the bootlid at speeds above 80km/h to assist with tractive effort. Static downforce is provided by the prodigious 1860kg mass of the car, although it doesn’t feel this heavy while driving thanks to more driver assists than easy mode on Forza.
Helping push around the almost-2-tonne Lexus is a 5.0L Toyota V8 with 351kW and a healthy 530Nm of torque. The engine itself is all-alloy with four camshafts and direct & port injection. Lexus have claimed efficiency of 10.9L/100km, however our review saw 13.8L/100km.. not quite as thirsty as a single 23 year old male on a fitness model’s Instagram account but very close.
When efficiency isn’t what you’re looking for, the RC F features a rather quiet bi-modal exhaust that opens up to let you know that there is probably a V8 under the hood. I cannot stress enough how much this thing needs a loud free flowing exhaust.
The RC F features aesthetically pleasing 19” alloy wheels which are honestly a tad small to fill the monstrous guards. The wheels are shod with sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sports, the driven wheels mating a 275 wide tyre with the tarmac.
Inside is where the RC F really shines. Immediately drawing your attention is a quartet of intricately stitched and perforated red leather bucket seats embossed with the Lexus F emblem. Even on long journeys these are impossibly comfortable, cradling you through the corners and over every bump and brake and throttle application, and even have heating and cooling functions for those with sensitive posteriors.
Harder driving caused the soft front tyres to show some scalloping on outside edge, and as such could benefit from a more aggressive wheel alignment – or not driving it hard, but where’s the fun in that? All in all the RC F can really put the power down smoothly and efficiently through the 8 speed automatic and Torque Vectoring Differential with a claimed 0-100 time of 4.5sec. The car itself is no slouch, although it’s certainly not supercar territory. But then again – neither is the price-tag.
Overall I was quite impressed with the RC F (and the RC350) and the common comparison made with this car and the BMW M4 is an unfair one, while they share the same body style, they really are in two different leagues.