Lexus F is the official in-house high-performance division of Japanese luxury automaker, Lexus. Founded in 2006, the F has a dual representation, standing for both ‘Flagship’ and ‘Fuji Speedway’, the famous race track in Japan and the primary test site for all Lexus F models. While most Lexus product is unashamedly comfort-biased, those with an F badge are geared for performance, characterized by high-power bespoke engines, firmer suspension, more aggressive exterior styling, and a greater drive towards an emotive experience. For the most part, derivatives from the Lexus F series are still usable on a daily basis and are not outright track weapons.
Characteristics of Lexus F Models
With only two new variants to choose from in the US, and several in the back catalog of greatest hits from years gone by, there are commonalities to all F models:
- High-power engines - Since the sub-brand was formed, the F division has made use of unique, characterful, high-performance engines. To date, only V8 and V10 powertrains have been used, and while these aren’t always the most powerful compared to their peers - owing to their adherence to natural aspiration until this point in time - they are praised for their sonorous soundtrack and rev-happy nature.
- Performance-tuned chassis - Whether built from the ground up like the Lexus LFA or based on an existing platform, the suspensions of all F models are tuned for performance. This means they’re stiffer than the regular variants, with sharper steering and bigger brakes to improve the driving experience.
- Interiors - These may be sports cars to some degree, but they’re still Lexus vehicles, and comfort and a premium interior are inherent traits of that. The Japanese manufacturer utilizes high-quality, luxury materials in all its cabins. In the case of the F series, these usually take on a sportier demeanor, with red leather accents and carbon fiber trim accents as a staple of the range. The bucket seats are also redesigned to provide better support when cornering.
- Pricing - As high-performance derivatives and halo models within their respective lineups, F models cost more than typical Lexus models. These typically ask in excess of $20,000 more than the MSRP of the next option down in the model lineup but still manage to be more affordable than most rivals.
Different Types of Lexus F Models
There are only two Lexus F body types at this point with no performance-focused SUVs or convertibles available yet. This may change in the future, but at present, the sportiest SUVs from Lexus are part of the F Sport designation, which are not genuine F models. Styles of current Lexus F models are:
- Coupe - While the LFA was previously available to fill this segment, since its discontinuation, the RC F has taken over the mantle of a two-door performance icon for the brand. Based on the standard four-seater RC Coupe. A future car may join this category, too, as Lexus is rumored to be planning an LC F as a halo for the brand.
- Sedan - The F sub-brand’s first-ever vehicle was a sedan in the form of the IS F, and the brand has subsequently had the GS F as well. However, with the discontinuation of the GS range at the end of 2020, Lexus introduced a new version of the IS called the IS 500 that launched at the tail-end of 2021. It forms part of a new sub-order called the F Sport Performance line, potentially leaving room above for an even more hardcore F model.
Lexus F Series Models
There are very few of these models for sale in the USA. These are the models currently available:
- RC F - With the RC F, you get comfort, power, and style. This RWD coupe is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine boasting impressive specs of 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque, paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. This gives it a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 168 mph.
- RC F Fuji Speedway Edition - Named after an iconic track in Japan, the Fuji Speedway Edition is a more focused version of the standard RC F. Limited to just 60 units, it gets the same 5.0L V8 with the same outputs, but weight reduction and suspension enhancements translate to a 3.96-second 60 mph time. It features Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, a titanium exhaust, various carbon exterior accessories including the hood, roof, and spoiler, and model-specific paint colors.
- IS 500 F Sport Performance - Heralding a new era for the F brand, the IS 500 is part of a new F Sport Performance line introduced for the 2022 model year, currently topping the IS sedan range, but leaving space for an even more potent F model above it. It shares the same 5.0L V8 as the RC F generating an identical 472 hp and 395 lb-ft, but its four-door body and extra weight result in a 4.5-second dash to 60 mph.
- IS 500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition - To celebrate the new model in the F lineup, just 500 Launch Edition units will be produced. They don’t differ mechanically but have model-specific 19-inch BBS wheels, an exclusive paint color called Incognito, a serialized plaque, and unique upholstery.
What to Consider Before Buying a Lexus F Model
There are some benefits and pitfalls that accompany these sporty vehicles, so it’s worth considering them before you sign the dotted line:
- Sonorous high-performance engines
- Luxurious cabins
- More comfortable to live with in comparison to rivals
- A complete performance/luxury package
- Higher price tag than standard Lexus models
- Not as fuel-efficient as rivals
- Typically not as sharp as the competition
Price of Lexus F Models
The price of a Lexus F product will be high regardless of which one you go for. Here’s the current pricing for available variants:
|Lexus IS F
||5.0L V8 Gas
|Lexus GS F
||5.0L V8 Gas
|Lexus RC F
||5.0L V8 Gas
Are used Lexus F models good buys?
Yes, the second-hand market in the US is strong enough and Lexus products are reliable enough that buying used is a great option. You also get access to a wider range of products including the GS F and LFA.
Which is the fastest Lexus?
At present, the RC F and RC F Fuji Speedway Edition are the fastest Lexus models available with a top speed of 168 mph.
Are Lexus F models turbocharged?
No. Or at least, not yet. While Lexus hasn’t yet turbocharged an F car, there are rumors that the brand is working on a twin-turbo 4.0L V8 that will have more than 600 horsepower.
Are there any Lexus F SUVs?
No there aren’t, but this could potentially change. More and more manufacturers are building high-performance crossovers, so Lexus may still do the same.
What does the Lexus F stand for?
F stands for both ‘Flagship’ and ‘Fuji Speedway’ where all high-performance Lexus products are developed.
For more information and pictures of all Lexus F models, we review every model in detail and provide comparisons and other buyer’s tools.