So you want a performance coupe with a screaming V8 and looks that snap necks?
You don’t want to cough up an eye-watering $162,000 for a Mercedes-Benz C63, and besides, everybody else has one anyway…
Well, check out this insane offering from Lexus - the RC-F.
You’ll have seen the RC-F at the V8 Supercar Races where it performs safety car duties - you might have even seen them racing in the FIA GT3 Championship, the Japanese Super GT Championship and the North American Endurance Cup, but I bet you haven’t seen many in traffic.
And in its own way, the Lexus RC-F is every bit as good as the aforementioned cars.
It has its own individual look that is as modern as tomorrow.
It handles surprisingly well, and it even has vertical G-Sensor in the ABS braking system so the brakes are fully optimised after it becomes airborne.
Yes, you read that right, airborne! And that’s something you don’t get in the Merc or BMW.
The RC-F has an animalistic naturally aspirated 5.0 litre V8 that screams all the way to 7,300rpm.
It sounds magnificent and pumps out a whopping 351kW and 530Nm and slingshots the Lexus to 100km/h in a very respectable 4.5 seconds.
There’s an eight-speed automatic hooked up to the V8 which you can take manual control over with the steering wheel mounted paddles - finished in metal so they feel as substantial as they should.
The gearbox is as fast any dual-clutch transmission completing upshifts in 0.3 of a second, downshifts in 0.2.
On the aerodynamics front the Lexus RC-F gets an active rear wing that contorts itself to always optimise airflow over the car and produces the right amount of downforce at the right time.
The there’s the torque vectoring rear differential, which delivers the optimal amount of torque to each rear wheel, regardless of whether your foot is on the gas or not.
There’s even a groovy display that shows you what the diff is doing at any time.
The Lexus RC-F sits on its own unique platform that is longer, wider and lower than the standard RC Coupe, and it gets its own specially designed suspension system that helps the RC-F handle the way its looks suggest it should.
All of this ads up to a really exciting driving experience.
The RC-F is eager to please and loves to go hard. Below 3000 rpm you get a throaty rumble, but as the revs rise so does the wailing high pitch scream that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
You can throw it into a corner and unless you’re being ridiculous, it will stick, poking its tail end out with all that power coming through the rear wheels - although you’ll need to have it in the super-sport setting for it to do that, in normal mode the traction control jumps in and keeps everything on the straight and narrow.
Driving the Lexus isn’t like restraining a racehorse in traffic either.
Regardless of it’s immense power and speed, it’s actually quite docile in town - easy to navigate through today’s tiny shopping centre car parks and its quite happy to cruise around suburban streets in a very relaxed manner.
The suspension is rather compliant in the normal setting too - making long distance freeway runs not in the least bit taxing.
It eats up the miles and can do it with incredible pace, all while pampering you in proper Lexus luxury.
Yes, the RC-F is very performance focused, but like any Lexus it’s also pretty good at making you feel special.
You sit down low in the cabin, and with the high centre console and perfectly positioned door mounted arm rests you’re cocooned inside your own leather wrapped wonderland.
The dash is pretty special. Hit the button on the steering wheel and the tacho physically slides across the dash revealing loads of useful menus, again controlled by steering wheel mounted buttons.
Bang the RC-F into sports mode and the dash turns an angry shade of red - it looks great and adds to the drama.
There’s heaps of standard kit like:
- 19″ 10-spoke alloy wheels
- High grade LED headlamps with automatic high beam
- Moon roof
- Smart key card entry
- Semi-aniline leather accented trim
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Navigation system
- 17-speaker Mark Levinson Audio
- Clearance and rear parking sensors
- Blind Spot Monitor with rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist
- Pre Collision Safety System
- Active cruise control
- Lane departure warning
The Lexus RC-F is a hell of a lot of fun. It goes like the proverbial off a shovel, handles and steers really well, and looks awesome.
It’s the kind of car that you want to drive…all the time. And to boot, buying a Lexus RC-F gives you membership into a pretty exclusive club, you’re almost guaranteed that you won’t encounter another one at the traffic lights.
And If you do happen to pull up next to an M4 or C63 you can shoot them a smug look knowing you’ve spent a lot less - and you’ll be able to give them a serious run for their money when you bury your right foot.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2017 Lexus RC-F
Engine: 5.0 litre V8 developing 351kW and 530Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Warranty: Three years
Safety: Five stars
Price: from $138,240