By on January 14, 2014


When R&T did its sport sedan comparison test, I was the first guy to break ranks from convention and argue strongly for the IS350 F-Sport. It’s truly the class of the field from the rubber up.

Now Lexus has cranked up the volume — but as with the previous IS-F, Japanese-car fans looking for a direct competitor to the BMW M3/M4 are advised to keep their expectations mild.

As before, we have a five-liter Toyota V-8 and the eight-speed auto to the rear wheels. Power is estimated at more than 450hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. So, basically, it’s a Boss 302.

Lexus claims there will be a “torque vectoring differential” available, which would be nice. Weight is supposed to be under 4,000 pounds, and examples will start arriving at dealers around December of this year.

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37 Comments on “NAIAS 2014: The Lexus RC F Has The C63 AMG Coupe In Its Sights...”

  • avatar

    Do car companies care anymore about how the front looks? This grill mesh stuff is getting comical.

    The back and sides look nice though. Surprised the trunk lid isn’t the usual super-high height that most Lexii have.

    • 0 avatar

      If I could afford it I buy this car with the ugly grill so when you see me coming you will pull over and let me by just so you don’t have to stare at our ugly mugs in your rear view mirror.

      • 0 avatar


        • 0 avatar

          This is the big brother of the car that JB “broke ranks and strongly argued for”. It came in first in the R&T test on the basis of a score of 43.5 vs 39 for the 335i. Advantages? 4.5 for exterior styling vs 3 for the Bimmer; 5 vs 2.5 for interior styling/ergonomics; 5 vs 3.5 for driver comfort, and 4 vs 3 for brake feel….meanwhile the 335i was quicker to 60 by 1/2 second, quicker in the quarter mile by 9 tenths, and a full 2 seconds quicker to 130mph…oh yeah it stopped shorter with no fade from 60 and 80 than 350 F Sport. The Lexus was a 100lbs heavier and $1000 less.

          It is unclear if R&T had the M-Sport option on the 335i, if they didn’t the results would have been even worse for the Lexus. If they had bothered to track them, all that beautiful styling and interior comfort would barely be visible in the rear view mirror of the 335i.

          One more thing…let’s say you do find the Lexus guy that has popped for a new V8 version and you’re feeling a little inadequate, head down to your BMW dealer and get a M Sport “power pack” software upgrade, 20 more underrated ponies and 34/lb ft of torque should even the score…for about $1200.

        • 0 avatar

          @BlutBrat Who me, a troll? No I’m just tired of reading how folks hate some feature of a car like this grill. It’s like they are fixated on it. Besides I’m sure for around $200 I could find a replacement grill and make it look like I want.

      • 0 avatar

        > If I could afford it I buy this car with the ugly grill so when you see me coming you will pull over and let me by just so you don’t have to stare at our ugly mugs in your rear view mirror.

        The RC-F needs all the power it can get to outrun its homely looks.

        You however, will never outrun yours…

    • 0 avatar

      They do care. The trouble is the Euro pedestrian impact requirements, which mandate that there is a whole bunch of air between the motor and the skin of the car.

      On this car, it causes a very clear problem. It would be a great looking car without the extra nose inflation.

      And it’s the reason for the big grills. They are trying to cover up all that extra puff and height somehow. I’m not saying that it’s working, but it’s what they are going for.

  • avatar

    We should try and consider this thing objectively – don’t think about your feelings on the brand, or whether it’s foreign or domestic, or how much bias you have here or there.

    -Yes it’s what the [loud part of the] market wants – power/coupe/RWD.
    -Yep it’ll be fast.

    But GOOD GOD it’s ugly. The face of it is just ridiculous. I don’t care who makes it, it’s got a preposterous face. Nobody should buy it for that reason alone. Hideousness.

    Oh and the name is bad. RC will always mean “radio controlled” to me.

    • 0 avatar

      Even the stitching on the front seats is ugly. It’s like they set out to make it as ugly as possible as some sort of statement. It’s the automotive equivalent of Hot Topic.

    • 0 avatar

      How a car “makes you feel” is central to car sales. Most people won’t buy a car if they don’t have strong feelings towards it, and it’s something that marketing and designers try to appeal to. If people didn’t buy cars based on their feelings, but based on objectivity, nothing from Italy or Germany would exist anymore.

      A Lexus like this is indeed very silly. What kind of Lexus buyer would see this and go “mmmm, now that’s what I want”. They just want something cushy and reliable. Not something that’ll tear their face off and shatter their spines haha.

      This is almost like the VW Phaeton in terms of insane tangent building. You can’t stray too far from what you’re known for. Lexus should just stick to what they do best and leave the sports coupes to people who actually know what they’re doing.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I think this is a nice Asian take on the compact-lux-performance segment. I’m actually starting to like the RC in general, especially the curvature of the roof. This is perhaps what the second-gen SC *should* have been…

    • 0 avatar

      It’s hard to see without a side shot but I agree on the overall curvature of the vehicle. The small trunk-wing on the back is a very nice accent to it as well. Some aggressive angles going on make it look very sharp.

      But then I see the grill; and the whole design is ruined for me.

  • avatar

    I’m getting a bit tired of the “Asian Carp” nose that Lexus seems to be sooooo infatuated with. Not in love with the staggered exhaust tips either. However, the rest of the rear treatment looks good.

  • avatar

    Looks nice. I’d take the Toyota FC-1 Concept over it everyday of the week and twice on Sundays.

  • avatar

    having over half the real-estate on the nose as grille is pretty bad, and I really wish they’d lose the tuner-boy quad pipes on the rear. This car is one or two tweaks from looking pretty darn good.

    And, even if it’s ugly as a mud fence, it’s a V-8 RWD coupe. What’s not to love about that?

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    First Honda destroyed the Acura line with their beak. Toyota kills the Lexus line with the spindle grille. What were they thinking? I just don’t see how this passed the sniff test, and I don’t see the logic in it. The bumper is right there behind the grille. rather than following Audi, if they’d just done a pair of traditional, handsome upper and lower normal-sized openings with the bumper bisecting them, wouldn’t it have been better?

    Seriously, industry people, help me understand here. What were they thinking?

  • avatar

    With the cross-eyed headlights and gaping maw, you expect drool to be coming out of the bottom right corner.

  • avatar

    Maybe I’ve lost touch, but why the heck does it weigh 4,000 pounds?

  • avatar

    I actually like it, and generally like the spindle grill. Sure it’s not pretty like an S5, but I like the overall design direction vs the snooze fest that was most of their lineup. Lexus needs to attract younger buyers more than any of the big luxury brands. I think the current ES looks worlds better than the previous model. Same goes for the GS and LS. And the interior of the IS/RC are hands down my favorite in their class. If they drop in a nice turbo 6 (or a NA V8 in a non-F model which isn’t going to happen) I could see myself buying another at some point.

  • avatar
    Short Bus

    I’m having a difficult time commenting on this car without parroting the “it’s ugly” comments. I like the interior and I’m sure it’s quite lovely to drive, so maybe I’d get over the view of the front that I wouldn’t have to see from behind the wheel.

  • avatar

    Like ‘The Looks’ just fine. Nothing boring, about it.

    I also didn’t think it was targeted at the M3/4 segment.

    Looking forward to seeing one of these develop in my review mirror and pass on by. Much like I like seeing a Maserati Quattroporte come up from behind me.

  • avatar

    First time I ever *wanted* a front license plate the size of a good flat-screen TV…

  • avatar

    Oh Jack, don’t you know Lexus = boring? That’s what the people who don’t drive them told me.

  • avatar

    Have owned a few BMWs. Would rather look at the front of that car than the front of the BMW dealer every time I have to go in for repairs.

    • 0 avatar

      I had an 850Ci (thanks grandpa) once upon a time and can certainly agree with you in regards to service. It isn’t a pleasant experience haha, even when you bring in something kind of rare/special. The Lexus should certainly be better that way, as they’re generally known for. It would be a huge failure if this broke the mold of reliability and relatively carefree ownership.

  • avatar

    The aftermarket will solve the bumper problem. My big fear is the crappy gear ratios of the last IS-F. If they can sort that out and make the transmission super responsive I think it should be fine. If it were my money though I would just do the RC350, or if they do it (and they really should) the RC 460.

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