Lexus's RC F is not nearly the fastest car in its class. It already struggled against the previous incarnation of the BMW M4, and the latest M4 is even quicker. The Track Edition boasts a claimed 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 3.96 seconds, while Lexus claims the standard car can do it in 4.2 seconds. Both have a top speed of 168 mph. The new BMW M4 isn't dramatically quicker and takes 3.8 seconds to hit 60 in Competition guise. With AWD, the M4 Competition needs just 3.4 seconds. The base M4 does come with a manual gearbox which the Lexus doesn't have, though. There are also no AWD configurations of the Lexus.
Thanks to the improvements, the Track Edition joins the exclusive club of cars that can sprint to 60 mph in less than four seconds. You pay a premium for the bragging rights, however. The standard car's performance is still blunted by weight. Still, one can't help but be charmed by the engine and rear-wheel-drive layout. Lexus still relies on a high-revving naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 sending 472 horsepower to the rear wheels. Peak torque is delivered at 4,800 rpm, while all the horses only come out to play at 7,100 rpm. The future is turbocharged, but forced induction robs an engine of so much character, and cars like the RC F remind us of everything great about the pre-turbo era: linear power delivery, induction noise, and immediate throttle response. You'll forget all about sprint times once you start chasing the V8's redline through the gears.
Lexus takes a no-replacement-for-displacement approach to performance. The RC F is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 with an aluminum block and cylinder heads. The power is sent to the rear wheels exclusively via an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual override via paddle shifters.
The pragmatic powertrain packs a 472-hp punch, and you have to chase the tachometer all the way to 7,100 rpm to get the most out of it. The 395 lb-ft of torque is slightly underwhelming compared to more modern turbocharged engines' torque specs, and it only arrives at 4,800 rpm. At least the torque curve from peak torque delivery is linear, and the engine makes a lovely noise when you rev it out.
Thankfully, Lexus bolted the engine to an eight-speed automatic transmission that has a proper dual personality. You can either use it in relaxed boulevard cruiser mode, in which case it will effortlessly shift through the gears, or it will hold onto a gear until your ears start bleeding. In the sportier driving modes, the automatic gearbox does a grand job of keeping the engine on the boil. This is also one of those cars where you actually might want to use the paddles. Not to feel engaged with the car, but rather to just gear back and hear that magnificent engine crackling and howling. Gear matching is standard, making downshifts even sweeter.
|Lexus RC F Trims||Lexus RC F Engines||Lexus RC F Horsepower||Lexus RC F Transmissions||Lexus RC F Drivetrains||Lexus RC F MPG/MPGE|
|RC F||5.0L V8 Gas||472 hp @ 7100 rpm||8-Speed Automatic||RWD||19 MPG|
|RC F Track||5.0L V8 Gas||472 hp @ 7100 rpm||8-Speed Automatic||RWD||19 MPG|
High-performance cars are rarely frugal, even though turbocharging has helped to improve things slightly over the years. That being said, the Lexus is competitive with its rivals and returns 16/24/19 mpg city/highway/combined. That gives the RC F a usable - albeit not fantastic - driving range of about 330 miles from its 17.4-gallon tank.
By comparison, the BMW M4 achieves a similar 16/23/19 mpg despite its smaller-capacity turbocharged engine. With both xDrive and the automatic gearbox, the M4 Competition is actually less economical, achieving 18 mpg combined.
|Lexus RC F Trims||RC F||RC F Track|
|Lexus RC F Tank size||10.1 gal.||10.1 gal.|
|Lexus RC F Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||16/24||16/24|