In late 2014, Lexus brought out their high-performance version of the RC Coupe, the RC-F, as a 2015 model offering. The RC-300h and RC-350, the original V-6 coupes, were upgraded to a V-8 in this new car, a 5.0 liter, 90 degree, four-cam power plant. The RC-F is essentially a blend of three prior Lexus models – GS and IS sedans and the IS-C convertible. What the amalgamation resulted in was what I called a “supercar” all week long during my testing of the RC-F.
In a pleasant turn of events, on several occasions nearby motorists, upon blowing their horn, were seen giving me and Ruth a “thumbs up”, as opposed to the customary shaking fist. They must have agreed with me as far as the “supercar” characterization goes, and admittedly the Infrared paint and terrific styling makes getting around in obscurity quite difficult. Lexus likes to say “you’ll turn heads” with the RC-F, and indeed we did.
M.S.R.P. of my test Lexus came in at a total of $74,560.00, including freight. The base price ($62,400.00) had as options the following: 19″ hand polished alloy wheels ($1,500.00), leather interior ($800.00), navigation package ($2,840.00), the paint ($595.00), premium package ($4,400.00), and moonroof ($1,100.00). Thus the four passenger RC-F was equipped with pretty much every imaginable interior amenity including the Mark Levinson rock-crushing, 835-watt, 17-speaker surround sound audio system.
The RC-F has a fairly smooth drag coefficient of .33, and reportedly has a top speed of 168 mph. On the dashboard is situated a tennis-ball sized, 200 mpg speedometer and a rather large 9,000 rpm tachometer. A rating of 467 horsepower from the throaty V-8 is at an impressive 7,100 rpm, and the torque rating is 389 lb. ft. at 4,800 rpm. Four driving modes are available on the console-mounted knob of this car – Sport S mode alters the powertrain for more dynamic throttle response, Sport S+ mode adds steering enhancements to help provide a higher level of responsiveness, normal mode provides the optimal balance of fuel efficiency and engine performance, and ECO mode moderates the throttle response, engine power output and climate settings for increased fuel efficiency. My favorite was, of course, the Sport S+ mode, and even Ruth urged me to make the selection when we rode around together. Part of the reason for our desire to drive in that mode was the active sound control that Lexus installs – at engine speeds up to 3,000 rpm, the system issues a steady tone of low and deep sounds. And as the engine speed increases, the tone transforms into a higher-pitched note that blends with the engine’s mechanical sounds, and it really honks above 6,000 rpm.
The RC-F transmission is an eight-speed sport direct shift automatic that is smooth operating in normal and Eco modes, and more abrupt in the two sport modes. Paddle shifters are on hand and the two-door coupe has rear wheel drive with a Torsen limited-slip differential. Zero to sixty acceleration is reportedly 4.5 seconds. Wheelbase of the RC-F is 107.5″, overall length is 185.2″, the trunk holds 10.1 cubic feet of luggage, and the weight is 3,958 lbs. It is the same size as Ford’s Mustang and about 200 lbs. heavier.
I averaged 20.3 miles per gallon with the Lexus, and provided it with its called-for premium gasoline. The tank holds 17.4 gallons, and the EPA ratings are 16-city, 25-highway, and 19-combined miles per gallon. Purchasers of the Lexus RC-F don’t care about the information in this paragraph, but do care about the rocket-ship performance and dynamite styling of it. This reviewer could recommend a long look at the RC-F if that is the twin desires of their purchase.