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




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



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.


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.

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.


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

Lexus RC350 F Sport


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.




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.








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.


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, but you can find more information at the below link.





 So, if you loved the IS-F for its giant V8 performance, you will absolutely adore the RC-F. It is more fun, more playful, more sexy and more fling-able than any Lexus since the LFA.

For this, its low price and M4-beating curb appeal — this Lexus is 10/10. Perfection.

Lexus may need a new tagline; as this is the best and most-flawless vehicle ever to wear the Big L badge.


2015 RC F Product Information





Type, Materials V8, 90-degree with aluminum block and cylinder heads

Designation 2UR-GSE

Valvetrain DOHC, 32- valve, Intake camshaft Electric Variable Valve

Timing with intelligence (VVT-iE, Exhaust camshaft

Hydraulic Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)

Displacement 5.0 liters (4,969 cm3/303.2 cu. in.)

Bore x Stroke 3.70 in. x 3.52 in.

Compression Ratio 12.3:1

Horsepower (SAE) 467 @ 7,100 rpm

Torque 389 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 – 5,600 rpm

Fuel System SFI D-4S direct-to-cylinder injection with secondary port injectors

Fuel Requirement Premium 91 octane unleaded

Emission Certification LEV III – ULEV 70 with OBD



Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive

Transmission Type 8-speed Sport DirectShift automatic with paddle shift and manual mode

Designation AA80E

Differential Gear Ratio 2.937

Rear Differential Type TORSEN

Limited Slip

TVD (available)



Body/Frame Unitized steel body withsteel front and rear subframes Suspension – Front Double wishbone with high-mount upper arms, high-rate coil springs w/ bound stopper, monotube gas-filled shock absorbers, large-diameter hollow stabilizer bar

– Rear Multilink with low-mount upper arms, high-rate coil springs w/bound stopper, monotube gas-filled shock absorbers, large-diameter stabilizer bar Steering – Type Electric Power Steering (EPS): Vehicle speed-sensing coaxial rack and pinion, power assist, F sport mode adjustable

– Overall Ratio 14.0

– Turns (lock to lock) 2.84

– Turning Circle (curb to curb) 35.4 ft.

Brakes   – Type Four-wheel power-assisted disc brakes (Brembo manufactured for Lexus) with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and

Brake Assist

– Front 15.0-in. ventilated rotors with six-piston opposed aluminum calipers, high-friction brake pads

– Rear 13.6-in. ventilated rotors with four-piston opposed aluminum calipers, high-friction brake pads

Anti-lock Braking System 4 channel, 4 sensor

Wheel Size/Type 19 x 9 in. front / 19 x 10 in. rear; forged aluminum (BBS

manufactured for Lexus)

Tire Size/Type 255/35R19 93Y front – 275/35R19 96Y rear; developed for RC F

Tire Brands Bridgestone Potenza, Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 (both built to RC F spec)



0-60 mph Acceleration (manuf. results) 4.4 sec.

Top Track Speed (mfg. estimates – electronically limited) 170 mph

0-1/4 Mile Acceleration (manuf. results) 12.5 sec.

EPA Estimated Fuel Economy* city/highway/combined mpg 16/25/19

Coefficient of Drag (Cd) 0.33

*2015 EPA MPG estimate. Actual mileage will vary.



Overall Exterior Styling/Body Design

— 19-inch forged aluminum wheelsmanufactured for Lexus by BBS with 255/35R19 FR and 275/35R19 RR

— Color-keyed electrochromic outside rearview mirrors with memory

— Dual-polished stainless-steel exhaust diffusers integrated into the bumper in a trapezoidal position

— “F” badging on front fenders and right-rear trunk area

— LED head, daytime running, brake, tail and license plate lamps

— Puddle lamps (mounted on underside of door handles)

— Shark fin antenna for SiriusXM Satellite Radio receiver(complimentary 90-day trail subscription included)

— Ultraviolet and infrared ray reducing glass on all windows


Body Structure and Paint

— Exterior colors (7): Ultra White, Nebula Gray Pearl, Liquid Platinum, Obsidian, Infrared, Molten Pearl and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0


— Foam material in side members/pillars, and hidden windshield frame used to reduce wind noise

— High-tensile strength sheet metal used on 40 percent of the body for light-weight rigidity

— One-piece color-keyed Super Olefin Polymer front and rear bumpers

— Rust resistant steel used on main body parts

— Scratch-resistant clearcoat paint

— Stainless steel exhaust system

— Use of rigid, low density foam sound dampening asphalt sheets reduce NVH


Convenience Features

— Heated outside rearview mirrors

— Heavy duty rear window defogger with timer

— Variable intermittent wipers with mist cycle





Interior Trim

— Black NuLuxe interior with “F” logo embroidered on all four headrests.

— Fabric sun visors and headliner

— Hand-finished aluminized composite trim

— leather shift knob and leather and silver-trimmed steering wheel insert

— Two front and two rear articulating assist grips



— 10-way power driver (8-way passenger) front sport seats, including power lumbar support, and three-position memory for driver and front passenger

— NuLuxe seats with enhanced lateral support, four-seat sport configuration


Instrumentation and Controls

— Audible alert when reaching RPM limit

— Automatic climate control display: speed and air flow indicators

— Battery, oil level, seat belt, brake, airbag SRS, engine, low fuel, EPS, AT oil temp, ABS, tire pressure and tire slippage warning lights

— “F” logo displays on multi-information display and speedometer and tachometer needles sweep across their dials when system is powered

— “F” unique blue LED illuminated needles on speedometer and tachometer

— Fog lamp indicator

— Indicator lights for headlights on, door open, TRAC off, high beam, hazard, AFS off, Snow and cruise control

— Illuminated outside mirror button controls

— Illuminated “TEMP” label on center cluster

— LCD shift indicator display in center of meter cluster with engine oil temperature gauge and volt meter

— LCD-type electronic digital twin trip meters and odometer display

— LED illuminated air vent dials

— Multi-information display with a choice of lap timer, torque distribution (available), G-Force, tire pressure and rear wing position, audio information, navigation information, outside air temperature, cruise range if engaged, average fuel consumption, average fuel consumption after re-fueling, instantaneous fuel consumption, average vehicle speed or gear selection (in D mode)

— Optitron speedometer and tachometer gauges, fuel and coolant temperature gauges, and unique digital oil temperature and voltage gauges

— Power outside mirror control

— SPORT indicator light when in sport mode




Convenience Features

— Aluminum scuff plates

— Articulating assist grips (two front/two rear)

— Console mounted dual cup holders

— Covered center console storage box

— Cruise control

— Door courtesy lights, glove box light and trunk light

— Dust/pollen interior air filter

— Frameless Electrochromic rearview mirror with compass (without Navigation)

— Electronic remote, illuminated trunk lid and fuel-filler door releases

— First aid and tool kits

— Foldable rear headrests

— Front and rear dome light and individual LED map lights integrated into headliner

— Front ashtray

— Front center armrest

— HomeLink programmable garage door opener

— Inside auto-dimming electrochromic rearview mirror with compass

— Lexus Personalized Settings (LPS) to allow certain electronic settings to be tailored to owner preference (programmable by Lexus dealers)

— Lexus Enform Remote – Allows customers to remotely view and control certain aspects of their Lexus vehicle via a mobile application for iOS and Android smartphone users. Lexus Enform Remote application is separate from Lexus Enform App Suite application (not on head unit). Requires Lexus Enform Safety Connect and

Lexus Enform Remote subscriptions. Customers must register for service.

— Ability to use with multiple Lexus vehicles

— Engine/HVAC start/stop

— Guest Driver Monitor

— Remote Door Lock/Unlock

— Vehicle Finder

— Vehicle Status Report

— Siri Eyes Free

— Vehicle Alerts – Email and push notifications for certain features

— One front cup holder located behind the shift lever and one cup holder in the center console

— Power door locks with anti lock-out

— Power tilt and telescoping adjustable steering wheel with memory

— Power windows with one-touch up/down and jam protection

— Rear seat center console in four-seat configuration

— Retained accessory power for operation of power windows and moonroof

— Retractable coat hooks

— SmartAccess keyless entry with push-button start

— Sound-absorbing sun visors with vanity mirrors

— Speed-sensitive, shift-linked automatic door lock/unlock




Lexus Display Audio

— 7-inch VGA screen

— 10 speakers

— 256-watts

— AM/FM in-dash CD

— Back up monitor with dynamic grid lines

— Digital signal processing with Automatic Sound Levelizer (ASL)

— HD Radio (complimentary traffic and weather)

— Integrated SiriusXM Satellite Radio receiver (complimentary 90-day trial subscription included)

— iTunes tagging

— Rear glass-imprinted radio antenna with separate FM diversity antenna

— Streaming audio via Bluetooth 3.0



— Direct Tire Pressure Monitoring System

— Driver and front passenger knee airbags Supplemental Restraint System

— Dual-stage driver’s and dual-stage and dual-chamber front passenger’s airbag SRS

— Full length side curtain airbags SRS

— Front seat side airbag SRS

— Door side impact beams

— Front and rear energy-managing crumple zones

— Front ventilated and rear ventilated disc brakes with single brake booster and four-sensor, four-channel Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA)

— LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)

— Three-point belts for all seating positions, front and rear with force-limiting pretensioners; height adjustable front shoulder belt anchors

— Traction Control (TRAC)

— Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)

— Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) withcut-off switch and both Normal and Sport modes (integrates VSC, TRAC, ABS, EBD, BA, and throttle input)



— Automatic Locking Retractor (ALR) and Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) function for all positions except driver (driver’s only equipped with ELR)

— Entry system with lock, two-stage unlock, trunk open and “panic” features, volume-adjustable confirmation tone and rolling code technology

— Headlight-off delay feature (after closing/opening the door, headlights remain illuminated for approximately 30 seconds before automatically shutting off)

— Multifunction in-key remote

— Remote-activated, SmartAccess-linked illuminated entry (dome-light ring illuminates when doors are unlocked, remains illuminated for 15 seconds or until door is opened)

— Safety Connect with Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assist Button, and Enhanced Roadside Assistance (complimentary one-year trial subscription included)

— Vehicle theft-deterrent system with engine immobilizer



— Smart Stop Technology


—  All Weather Package with windshield deicer, headlamp cleaner + heated steering wheel

—  Leather trimmed seats: black, gray or Rioja Red with dark carbon fiber trim

—  Moonroof with power tilt/slide

—  Park Assist

—  Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

—  Premium LED headlamps with high-tech “L” design

—  19” Split 10-spoke Wheel

—  19” 20-spoke Wheel

—  Navigation System with Remote Touch Interface

— Back-up monitor with dynamic grid lines

— Bluetooth 3.0 hands free phone and automatic phonebook download capabilities

— HD Radio with iTunes tagging (complimentary traffic and weather)

— Navigation System

— Lexus Enform App Suite (subscription free): Bing, Yelp, iHeartRadio, Facebook Places, Movietickets com, OpenTable, Pandora, Slacker, Stocks, Fuel Prices and Sports

— Lexus Enform Destinations: Destination Assist, and eDestination (one-year trial subscription included, requires Lexus Enform Safety Connect

— Lexus Insider

— MP3/WMA and dual USB/iPod audio input plugs

— Voice command casual-language voice recognition system

—  Mark Levinson with Navigation

—  Navigation System

—  Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound system (AM/FM tuner, in-dash 6-DVD/CD changer, 17-speakers, advanced discrete amplifier design with 835 watts max. power at less than 0.1% THD from 20 to 20,000 Hz, 7.1-channel speaker architecture)

Performance Package:

— Carbon fiber roof

— Carbon fiber rear spoiler

— Rear Torque Vectoring Differential

—  Premium Package:

— Heated/ventilated seats

— Speed sensing rear spoiler

— Carbon fiber interior trim

— Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert

— Rain Sensing Wipers

— EC auto dimming mirrors with reverse auto tilt

— Water repellent side windows

— Three position seat memory


 2015 Lexus RC-F Review

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of, 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)

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