The first week was deep mourning at its absense, and the other seven stages of grief have passed over the CRD team like the eye of a hurricane.
Finally, a bit of a light at the end of this tunnel: we must crown the RC-F the Car of the Year. In doing so, we honor its incredible strengths and the legacy it leaves behind!
Four HD drive videos and a mega-batch of all-new photos to share along with this full drive review. Headings are the standard: Exterior, Interior, Performance, Pricing and Summary.
Why so serious on the intro for this joy-bomb? Simply to express the gravity of its excellence, and get you ready for effusive praise that is slightly, though not wholly, grounded on earth.
The exterior design is clearly the first major lure of the RC-F, and this first F coupe since the LF-A has a first-mover advantage in its corner versus the M4 and RS5, plus the C63 and even the Porsche 911 Carrera — which is a real competitor for the RC-F, but looks nothing near as fresh.
The RC-F’s major styling details and bodystyle are shared with the RC350 and now the new RC200t and RC300 AWD for 2016. From that perfectly-proportioned starting point, the RC-F goes wild on all sides.
Embellished and injected with banned performance-enhancing substances, the nose of the RC-F scoops deep down toward the pavement with a stunningly aggressive spindle grille design. This ultra low and mean grille looks outstanding on the RC-F — even among those who might not have loved the design theme’s execution on the LS, GS and other Lexus models. The black chrome edge of the grille flows all the way around, mixed with metallic graphite details at its lower splitter point. Ducted air intakes in the lower edges of the main grille give the intake a sense of purpose and high-performance necessity. A functional flourish.
Wearing “L” shapes in the upper grille mesh, the lower mesh is full of “F” shapes in its lower sections. The detail intricacy is completely fresh in the automotive world, and helps resolve the taller hoodline and flared fender shapes exclusive to the RC-F. Tilted lower flanks in the outer bumpers are RC-F exclusives, while the tripple-beam LED low and highbeams make clear this is a stunning exotic to all other road users — even from 1000-feet away.
Flowing up over the fenders with smooth but muscular lines, the front fenders extend out over the semi-slick Michelin Pilot rubber and 19-inch, hand-polished forged alloys (a $1500 option).
Behind the Lexus-branded Brembo clamps, the fender vent behind the front wheels is a deep cut into the painted and usually-solid surface. Freeing hot air from throughout the engine bay and cooling package, the slice of fender vent continues down into a deep and low sill extension. This line rounds itself in the outer edge of the sill before flying off the bodywork in right ahead of the rear wheels.
This bodykit is so well-designed and integrated that it is hard to call it an aero kit. It is just an inherent and virtually seamless part of the design.
Moving toward the tail, the all-new rear fenders are a highlight from all angles. But especially from above and the front three-quarter, where these massive bulges really make themselves top-of-mind.
The flared rear fenders are critical: they house massively wider rear rubber than the normal RC Coupes. The fenders are so wide, in fact, that an all-new and much broader rear bumper is needed to meet them flush behind the back axle.