Lexus may well be associated with fuel saving Hybrids, but don’t let this lull you into a false sense of security that they can’t produce sports cars too. We have already seen that the Japanese car manufacturer is more than capable of producing a super-fast saloon with the Lexus ISF. This rear-wheel drive saloon car offered an abundance of power and excitement, yet had the practicality to match a family’s daily commuting needs. The designers and engineers at Lexus have turned their attention to their handsome two door Coupe the RC. Undoubtedly the vast majority of Irish sales of this luxury 2-plus-2 Coupe will consist of the RC 300h variant, prior to its arrival Lexus has launched this hardcore model the RC F. At the heart of the RC F is a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine that produces an impressive 477hp and 530Nm of torque, thus making it the most powerful V8 performance car ever developed by Lexus. This RC F is impressive to admire from any angle, your eyes are immediately drawn to the enormous front grille. The graduated mesh patterned Lexus-signature spindle grille is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing, allowing airflow to cool the engine. There are quad exhausts at the rear, two on either side of the rear of the car, hinting at this coupe’s performance potential, along with an active rear wing which generates downforce and aids stability at high speeds.
One of RC F’s strong points apart from its glorious engine is its interior. Whether you are driving or a passenger any journey feels special as you are cocooned in luxury. It’s here that the RC F is an edge above its main rival the BMW M4. The super-soft leather sports bucket seats support and hold you firmly in position, they are heated and cooled. The driving position is central with a perfectly sized chunky steering wheel to hold, behind which are two large gearshift paddles. The large instrument cluster can be configured to change views depending on what drive mode you select. The rev counter takes centre stage with oversized digits and an electronic speed readout. Trip information including a G-Force meter, torque vectoring monitor, temperature gauges and a stopwatch can all be easily viewed at the touch of a button. The centre console features a 7” colour screen for displaying all the infotainment systems and heating controls. There is a mouse-like touchpad behind the gear selector which is used to navigate your way through the navigation and infotainment systems.
On the road the RC F provides an extremely comfortable ride, you can choose from five driving modes, Eco, Normal, Sport S, Sport S+ and Snow. When you select Sport S+ you really notice the car’s suspension firm up, the steering weight is increased too along with the throttle sensitivity. This luxury coupe turns into a supercar at the flick of a switch. The once quiet 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine that was humming quietly in the background really barks into life above 4,500rpm. The eight-speed automatic transmission provides lightning-fast gear changes. The acceleration of the RC F is fierce, especially the mid-range surge which really needs to be experienced on a German Autobahn to appreciate just how powerful this car is. To put some perspective on this, the RC F accelerates from 80km/h to 120km/h in just 3.7 seconds and goes on to an electronically limited top speed of 270 km/h.
To explore the RC F’s chassis and drivetrain in a safe and controlled environment we took to the track for a few laps. The RC F is equipped with a torsen limited slip differential which enables maximum traction when accelerating out of the corners. In Sport S+ mode the RC F laps the circuit at high speed. Although we didn’t have the opportunity to have a timed run due to the inclement weather we feel the BMW M4 has the edge around the track, there is more feel from the steering and chassis through fast directional changes. The RC F can be optionally equipped with a torque vectoring differential, this will improve traction and handling performance.
In the real world though not many RC F drivers are going to take to the track, for the few that do they will be rewarded with its blistering pace and a glorious soundtrack. On the road the RC F offers stunning looks and a class-leading interior. If you’re in the market for either car it’s a tough decision to choose one over the other.
Engine Size – 5.0-Litre
Fuel Type – Petrol
Power – 477hp
Torque – 530Nm
Acceleration (0-100km/h) – 4.5 seconds
Top Speed – 270 km/h
Consumption (Combined) – 10.8L/100km
CO2 Emissions – 251g/km
Road Tax – Band G €2,300
Base Price – €106,950
Price as Tested – €106,950