Best of Awards – 2015 Lexus RC-F Review in 3 Videos, 170 Photos and 467 Reasons It Beats BMW M4



TRACK DRIVE VIDEO

 

 

The downside of being the first guy in the seat of the amazing Lexus RC-F last month at a big track drive event in Chicago? We were part of the first laps around the track – barely scratching the surface of the RC-F’s abilities.

But the upside?

Driving one of the hottest and most-anticipated supercoupes in years.

We absolutely love the RC-F and find it is a huge leap from the IS-F before in almost every way. Included here are:

  • track drive video,

  • pit lane intro video,

  • an exhaust/startup video

  • 30 all-new photos from Autobahn Country Club of RC-F Performance Pack in orange

  • Selections of base RC-F in red from 150-photo shoot of RC-F at Pebble Beach Lodge

Below all that goodness are the tech specs, standard equipment, options and base pricing from about $63,000.

Exhaust Note Brief

EXTERIOR

rcf gif

 

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The exterior drama of the Lexus RC-F is greatly enhanced by launching as a coupe for the first time. Aside from the IS-C convertible, this is the first Lexus two-door since the LFA. The LFA supercar is great company, so the RC-F instantly feels like a high-dollar exotic.

We find the design far more evocative and unique than the new M4 and Audi RS5, and did a multi-angle design shootout justifying the RC-F’s win in a previous article.

FRONT

Starting from the nose, the RC-F is all about visual drama. This performance pack car and its anthracite-trimmed grille are intense. LED lighting is also fitted on the orange test car, but not this red base model below. Other performance pack changes include the wheels and a carbon-fiber rear pop-up spoiler versus standard body-color.2015 Lexus RC-F in Red at Pebble Beach 123 2015 Lexus RC-F in Red at Pebble Beach 124 2015 Lexus RC-F in Red at Pebble Beach 125

So the RC-F is absolutely brutal from the lower nose angles, where it looks mean and hungry for air. Huge oil and diff and transmission intercoolers are visible through the grille, as are active intake flaps and brake-venting ducts. The LED arrowheads are now free-standing, bringing an arrow-head amber turn signal LED for the first time. We believe these keep the main LED DRL illuminated while indicating a turn, versus being a switchback that disables the white LED on some older cars.

In the front three-quarter, the wide-body of the RC-F is clearly the most intense upgrade versys the RC350 F Sport. Full-height fender vents behind the front wheel-weels reduce lift and aid cooling of the engine and brakes at high speeds, while also reinforcing this car’s track prowler status. The full-frame look extends all the way down to the lower splitter, removing any of the jokey critiques about Lexus’s new grille’s shape. It now just looks awesome.

SIDE

In profile, the RC-F is so fresh and so clean, you just love it instantly. The rear pillar and glasshouse point are unique and sexy, while overall the proportions are near-perfect.

A taller hood and longer nose of the previous IS-F is less noticeable here, but still marks the car aside from its V6 siblings. There is clearly a big 5.0-liter V8 under there, and everyone will know it.

The huge fender flares bloom out from the beltline even in profile, where the shaping of the trunk and rear bumpers are also unique versus the RC350 F Sport. You can see the direct comparison below

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Lexus RC350 F Sport

2015 Lexus RC350 F Sport EXCLUSIVE 8-Speed Auto, AWD, 4WS and Adaptive Suspension! 15 RC350 F Sport gif1 2015 Lexus RC350 F Sport EXCLUSIVE 8-Speed Auto, AWD, 4WS and Adaptive Suspension! 7

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From the back, the RC-F is seriously wide and extremely cool. This might be one of its best angles. Totally fresh style for the LED L-swoop of lighting feels premium and sexy, while the stacked quad exhausts are evolved to be more expressive and authentic. This quad-piped look and the adaptive rear spoiler set the RC-F apart from the RC350, but it must be said: the RC350 is also mighty attractive in the booty region via pseudo fender vents and that same low/lean aesthetic.

Despite the white RC350 photo above making the V6 RC seem so wide in the rear haunches, it in real life is actually feels far narrower and more slab-sided than the RC-F — which is clearly at least four inches wider overall – with jumbo rubber setting the tone.

The floss black bumper and diffuser of the RC-F instantly make your V8 power known, if the exhaust pipes did not announce you already.

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INTERIOR

The below video discusses the cabin in detail while waiting for our track time to start. We love the new seats and low dashboard aesthetic versus the IS-F. The RC-F also feels much wider and roomier in the footwell and armrest regions — and overall very, very special.

The seats are stellar. The old IS-F used extra-bolstered versions of soft Lexus thrones, but these new chairs are firm, comfortable, not too tight but also extremely supportive. They are a slim and high-strength back design that is much like a racing seat. But these are power-operated, heated and cooled….!

Great seats and driving position overall, with a hip-point height that feels about three to four inches lower than the IS-F. You clearly sit in the RC-F, not on it.

 

VIDEO INTRO

 

 

 

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PERFORMANCE

Fast and loud!

The RC-F brings drama and joy to the IS-F’s amazing but also somewhat somber power delivery. The IS-F was more clinical, even while bellowing from its active intake and active exhausts on hydraulic VVTi performance cam from about 3500-rpm upwards.

The RC-F packs 467-horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 389-pound-feet of torque from 4,800 rpm. This is a high-revving engine that loves its redline like a baby loves its mommy.

But there is also torque for days and an amazingly crisp and quick eight-speed automatic to move fast — and loud — any time your right foot gets bored.

Extremely fun vehicle. Where the IS-F felt like a mild butler watching you hoon it around, the RC-F is like an enabling best friend. Do it! Harder! Go for it!

The optional torque-vectoring rear diff is a big part of that playfulness. Three settings create a seriously cool sense of turn-in and almost a drifting feel around fast corners. It is really fun, and we hope to play with more of its settings on the street as well.

The RC-F lacks AWD and the four-wheel-steering of the top RC350 F Sport, but is far quicker and more lively as a result. Steering is heavy, accurate and perfect; brakes strong and serious Brembo’s front and back. There is a truckload of grip but a cargo ship worth of power  — the RC-F will definitely dance when the music starts. This is no wallflower.

PRICING

The RC F starts from $62,400, with just the performance pack and a handful of other options available. The LED lighting is optional, as shown by this non-LED-lit example in red below.

The Performance Pack also includes the carbon-fiber roof shown on the orange test car, and absent from red Pebble Beach car – which has a moonroof instead.

The RC-F builder and configurator is not yet up on Lexus.com, but you can find more information at the below link.

http://www.lexus.com/models/RCF

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About The Author

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine.He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.