By on July 20, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F Exterior

The last Lexus coupé-only model to grace luxury Japanese dealer lots was the 1991-2000 Lexus SC 300/SC 400. Since then Lexus has tried to satisfy luxury coupé and convertible shoppers simultaneously with the hardtop SC and IS convertibles since 2001.

That is until the folks in Japan decided to change their strategy to compete more directly with BMW, Mercedes and Audi in every segment. The result is the development of the RC.

Perhaps because Lexus decided against a 2-coupé strategy, as utilized by BMW and Mercedes, the RC is mix mash between the compact IS and the mid-sized GS — with a little bit of Lexus IS C tossed in for good measure.

In theory, the new coupé was also to serve as the basis for an all-new convertible. Unfortunately, the dealer network revolted and demanded another change in course, redirecting efforts into a 3-row crossover. As a result, the all-new RC is sold alongside the aging Lexus IS C convertible, a situation that’s unlikely to change for the foreseeable future. Fortunately for enthusiasts, Lexus developed their M4-fighter at the same time as the more pedestrian RC 350, otherwise the very-blue 467-horsepower RC F you see above may have met the same fate as the moribund convertible.

Exterior
Lexus’ last M fighter, the IS F, was as unassuming as the RC F is bold. The Lexus ES says, “I’m on my way to the mall,” while the front end of RC F says, “I’m on my way to an anger management intervention.” Base RC 350 coupés have a grille that’s bigger and angrier than Lexus has ever used before. For the RC F, the visual impact gets downright ferocious.

Something struck me as odd when I first set eyes on the RC F a few months back in New Orleans: I’m not a fan of the front end on the IS, largely because the daytime running lamp is divorced from the headlamp. In the RC F, this theme actually works. The difference is the rest of the IS’ form is mainstream and the headlamps themselves look like any other lamp module, making the swoosh seem out of place. For the RC, Lexus reshaped everything, giving the design a more three dimensional feel with concave headlamps. The look works, especially with the optional tri-beam LED headlamp modules (a $1,160 option) fitted to our tester. The only thing missing from this nose are the tiny LED fog lamps you find in the RC F-Sport. At the launch event I attended, Lexus claimed their desire for “no-compromise cooling” meant the fog lamps were left on the cutting room floor.

Now to identify the competition. The RC F obviously has the BMW M4 in its sights and Lexus features an Audi RS 5 in a few commercials, but there are two other players: the new Cadillac ATS-V and the current Mercedes C63 AMG coupé. (The new C63 Coupé should be out in 2016 as a 2017 model, but my local dealer still has three 2015 models on the lot.)

Cadillac’s ATS sedan appears small when stacked against the BMW 3-Series and Lexus IS, but the coupé segment is different and all the entries are but a hair apart. The largest variation at work here is the wheelbase. The Lexus has the shortest span at 107.5 inches and the M4 the longest at 110.7 inches. This helps accentuate the M4’s low and long profile. The other main difference is curb weight. Thanks to standard Quattro, the RS 5 is the heaviest at 4,009 pounds and the M4 is the lightest at 3,530. Curb weight is crucial in a performance vehicle and that’s a sizeable variation. The RC F weighs in second heaviest at 3,958 (or about the same weight as a Jaguar XJ). The Merc is a cupcake lighter and the Caddy straddles the middle at 3,700 pounds.

2015 Lexus RC F Interior-008

Interior
Although the RC is a hybrid of the IS and GS, the interior is pure IS — which I found a little disappointing. Instead of the upright dash and large wide-screen infotainment screen you find in the GS 350, we get a multi-tired dash and a small LCD with narrow proportions. As with the IS, I find the interior somewhat jarring, mainly because of the enormous airbag bump on the passenger side.

The RC F suffers from the same problem as every other entry in this segment: an interior designed for a car half the price. This isn’t unusual. In fact, the RC borrows its interior from the IS 250 while the M4 leverages the basics from the 320i. Also similar to the competition, you won’t find real cow in the base RC F. Lexus insists the NuLuxe pleather seating is a premium feature as it’s bonded to the seat’s foam and won’t “pucker” or “wrinkle” like leather. However you slice it, it still won’t faux anyone.

2015 Lexus RC F LCD Gauges-002

The only major change to the IS interior for coupé duty is a rearrangement of the cupholders and the incorporation of Lexus’ new infotainment controller. F models get a different partial LCD instrument cluster versus the RC 350 with a small fixed speedometer on the right and everything else replicated by the disco dash. In terms of overall parts quality and design, I found the ATS, RC and M4 to all be quite comparable while the aging RS 5 is still the most pleasing to my eye. Narrowing the ranking, I put the M4 above the ATS and the RC F last. If the ATS had the LCD cluster we see in the CTS, it would take top honors, and the RC F is last because the large expanse of injection molded dashboard can’t compete with the extra touches we get in the rest.

I found the front seats to be comfortable and on par with the Audi RS 5 and a notch above the old C63’s narrow seat backs. As we have come to expect from BMW recently, the M4’s front seats are excellent and offer more adjustability than we find in the RC. Unexpectedly, Cadillac has taken a page from BMW’s playbook and offers your choice of 16- or 18-way adjustable seats with more range of motion than you find in the Audi or Lexus.

2015 Lexus RC F Interior Enform Navigation-001

Infotainment
Since the RC shares its dashboard with the IS sedan, the coupé also adopts the small LCD infotainment screen of its four-door sibling. U.S.-bound models get a standard 7-inch LCD screen perched high on the dash. Unfortunately, the distance from the driver and the large plastic bezel conspire to make the screen look smaller than it is. The problem is further compounded by the screen measuring smaller than the competition. As with the IS sedan, the standard display audio system is the only way you can escape the infamous Lexus Remote Touch system. Thankfully, the base system is well featured with HD Radio, SiriusXM, CD player, iPod/Bluetooth integration and weather/traffic displays.

I find myself very conflicted about the Lexus Enform navigation and infotainment system. When coupled with a touchscreen — as in the Lexus GX 460 — I find the system easy to use and intuitive. Admittedly, the software lacks some of the polish of BMW’s iDrive, but it is still one of my favorites. Sadly, in most Lexus vehicles, the touchscreen has been swapped for a joystick-like device which transforms the system from easy to use to frustration itself. For 2015, Lexus is trying something new: a track pad in the RC and NX. The laptop-like unit works essentially the same as the former joystick and offers haptic feedback in addition to some limited pinch and scroll gestures. HD Radio support and traffic information via HD radio are standard, so you don’t need an XM subscription to get a color-coded map. If you can get beyond the input method, the system proved reliable and moderately intuitive. Overall, however, I rank this system below BMW’s iDrive, Audi’s MMI, Infiniti’s new two-screen setup, and even Mercedes’ aging COMAND system. On the flip side, Lexus is one of the few manufacturers to offer complete voice command of your USB/iDevice a la MyLincoln Touch and the luxury automaker continues to expand the number of smartphone integrated app features. New for 2015 is an OnStar-like app that gives you all the standard “did I lock my car” telematics features in addition to alerting you if the car is speeding (handy if Johnny Jr. drives your RC F to school), exceeding a geo-boundary or violating curfew.

2015 Lexus RC F Engine 5.0L V8

Drivetrain
This segment is split in two camps. On the left we have the turbocharged, six-cylinder engines from Cadillac and BMW, and on the right we have the naturally aspirated V-8s from Lexus and Audi. (Next year is likely to bring a unicorn to this segment: a twin-turbo V-8 from Mercedes.)

F buyers get a reworked 5.0L V-8 from the discontinued IS F. Based on the 4.6L V-8 found in the LS 460, the 5.0L version has some significant changes in addition to the displacement bump. We get the usual bevy of performance tweaks, such as titanium valves, a fuel surge tank and high-lift cams. We also get something unusual on a performance vehicle: the ability to operate on the Atkinson cycle. (Technically, a modified Otto cycle.) Unlike most engines, however, this V-8 can switch between Otto and Atkinson cycles, depending on what is needed at the time. This is accomplished by swapping the variable valve timing system found on the old 5.0L design with a new electronically controlled unit on the intake side, allowing a greater deal of control over both valve lift and duration. When efficiency is needed, the intake valve stays open part way into the compression cycle, effectively making the compression stroke “shorter” than the expansion stroke, improving efficiency. According to the engineers, the advantage to employing this fuel-sipping tech is that switching back to max-burn mode takes less time than cylinder deactivation and it can be done across a broader range of engine RPMs. The advantage to the consumer is the solution is 100 percent transparent; cylinder deactivation systems can change the exhaust note and decrease engine smoothness. Thanks to these modifications, the RC F produces more power than the hybrid implementation of this engine present in the LS 600hL while still delivering a 2 mpg bump in the EPA highway score of 25 mpg. The RC F achieves 19 mpg on the combined cycle.

Sending power to the rear is an eight-speed automatic made by Aisin. For those into trivia, this is a variant of the first production eight-speed automatic (in the Lexus LS) for automotive use and was introduced a year before the ZF eight-speed that’s sucked all the air out of the room. For F-duty, Lexus beefs up the internals and allows the torque converter lockup clutch to engage in gears 2-8. (Lexus calls this SPort Direct Shift, or SPDS, but it the same concept used in many modern automatics like Mazda’s SKYACTIV six-speed.) Aft of the transmission is a standard Torsen limited-slip rear differential or an optional electronically controlled, torque-vectoring rear axle as part of the performance package.

2015 Lexus RC F Exterior-007

Drive
Every coupé in this segment handles incredibly well, zips to 60 in the blink of an eye, and stops on a dime compared to your average compact luxury sedan. In truth, the difference out on the road — aside from the raw numbers when it comes to 0-60 times and road holding — is down to personal preference and how your priorities stack up against the facets of the car’s road personality.

Let’s start with the big dog, the artist formerly known as the M3 coupé. At just over 3,500 pounds, the M4 is light for this segment. Despite making 10-percent less power than the Lexus, the BMW is faster to 60 because it is nearly 15-percent lighter and turbocharged. Thanks to less mass, the torque curve flattening effects of the German hairdryer, and the quick-shifting dual clutch transmission, the Bimmer will run to 60 half a second faster than the Lexus — if you can find the traction.

2015 Lexus RC F Exterior Headlamp LED

On the downside, this is not the E92 M3 you’re longing for. The steering feel in the Lexus is a hair more precise and, overall, it’s an easier car to drive hard. I’ll leave the track day diaries to Jack Baruth, but when pitted back to back, there is something artificial about the Lexus torque-vectoring rear axle. Unquestionably, it allows the rear of the RC F to rotate in ways the standard Torsen diff can’t (I had the opportunity to test a few cars at NOLA recently), but the feeling isn’t as satisfying as the M4, despite the M4 having a torque-vectoring rear end as well.

That said, the RC F is just as quick around most tracks; I chalk that up to how easy it is to pilot and the programming of the eight-speed auto that aggressively downshifts based on your braking Gs. Back out on the paved road, the transmission’s shift logic lost its charm. When you’re on your favorite mountain highway having a little fun, you look like a dweeb while the transmission hangs onto 2nd gear as you cautiously pass a pack of cyclists. It also means that real-world passing maneuvers take considerably less time in the M4 as the DCT is far less reluctant to downshift. On the flip side, the ride on the RC F is more livable, is likely to be more reliable, and my insurance guy tells me it’d cost me a lower premium, too.

2015 Lexus RC F Exterior-022

Audi’s RS 5 is seriously spendy ($8,500 more than the RC F) and it is the oldest car in the group now that Mercedes has sent the C63 out to pasture. Like most Audis, the RS 5 has a weight balance “problem” because the engine and part of the transmission hang out ahead of the front axle. The resulting 59/41 (F/R) weight distribution is the most skewed of the bunch (identical to a Honda Accord Sport or Mazda6), but thanks to Audi’s engineering it hides it fairly well — though push the RS 5 in the corners and you get more plow and less feeling from the front axle. Although I find the RS 5 the best looking option, the heavy curb weight, standard AWD, electric power steering, weight balance and high price tag make the RS 5 a dynamic choice only on an ice circuit.

Then we have the ATS-V which, aside from the surprisingly cheap looking instrument cluster, is my choice. A few years ago, the mainline auto press would have scoffed at Cadillac putting a turbocharged six-cylinder engine under the hood of a BMW M fighter — except that’s exactly what BMW has done. Cadillac, for their part, kicked it up a notch further. The larger displacement V-6 approaches the RC F’s horsepower figure at 464, but crushes the segment with 445 lb-ft of torque at just 3,500 rpm. With the new GM 8L90 automatic transmission and a curb weight that’s 200 lbs heavier than the BMW, the Cadillac is slower off the line — by a slim 1/10th of a second. GM also offers a six-speed manual in the ATS if you prefer to row your own, and get to 60 slower. As good as the Lexus eight-speed is, GM’s new slushbox is better. The shifts are faster and crisper and the shift logic is more country-road appropriate than the DCT in the M4. The 8L90 will hold gears in Sport mode like the rest, but it’s more willing to up-shift after you’ve passed the slow poke.

2015 Lexus RC F Exterior-013

As a package, the ATS is more willing to turn in and it feels more nimble than the BMW or the Lexus. The transmission isn’t as sharp as BMW’s dual-clutch box, but it is more livable for a daily driver in stop and go traffic. As with the ATS sedan, the steering feel and general dynamics are superior, but it lacks the polish you get with the German. Where the ATS really scores is value. When priced similarly to our $74,000 Lexus tester, the Cadillac offers more comfortable seats, a heads-up display, adaptive suspension, the best automatic in the group, and an overall style that splits the difference between the more sedate Germans and the over-the-top Lexus.

Lexus’ latest performance vehicle is the finest example of what Lexus does best: incremental changes. The RC F is the sum of everything Lexus has learned over the years about competing in the luxury market and, lately, the performance luxury market. The “Lexus way” is to continually improve while taking the “safe route” with a naturally aspirated engine and a proven traditional automatic. Unfortunately, playing it safe is what puts both the M4 and the RC F tied in second place. Although each vehicle has its pros and cons, they balance out on my tally sheet. While the M4 is faster and more direct, BMW is also playing it safe with conservative styling and road feel that isn’t as direct as the Cadillac. It’s hard to go wrong with the 2015 RC F, but the Cadillac ATS-V is a new instrument cluster away from perfection.

Lexus provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.2 Seconds

0-60: 4.6 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 12.5 @ 115 MPH

Average Economy: 20.8 MPG

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45 Comments on “2015 Lexus RC F Review (with Video) – Is F Greater than M?...”


  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    all that effort to compare to the top tier factory tuner cars and the performance figures are more in line with an S5 than an RS5. meh.

    • 0 avatar
      rehposolihp

      If you watched Derek’s video you’ll recall the bit where he says the car is too fast to enjoy its engine note as is. I think performance cars have sought performance to the point where they are ‘better’ but less fun. I like that this car has the looks, the sounds, and is still fast enough to be traction limited in its 0-60’s. Any faster and I’d rather get a track day toy and a toy hauler.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    We are so spoiled when people call a 7″ radio screen small. :-|

  • avatar
    cwallace

    “…the front end of RC F says, “I’m on my way to an anger management intervention.”

    Until you screw a license plate onto it, and then it looks like Bugs Bunny on his way to an anger management intervention. Designers really should take into account that owners around the world are going to have to mount an extremely reflective rectangle to their creations.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I really don’t get the appeal of the ATS-v’s LF4 engine unless you just like the characteristics of turbo lag or live in Denver.

    The LT1 weighs slightly less than the turbo V6 and even though its torque peak is 465 @ 4600 the SAE rates it at about 435 @ 3500.

    I’m interested to see how the ATS-v and Alpha Camaro SS or 1LE stack up against each other. (Although I’m sure GM will make such a comparison difficult.)

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Does the LF4 have that much turbo lag? I haven’t driven the ATS-V, but I’ve driven the LF3 and own a Ford 3.5TT. I wouldn’t say that turbo lag is a problem with either engine.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The C7, Alphamaro SS and SS sedan really eliminate any reason to get the ATS-V. I have searched across the universe for a good reason why this should have got a generic, characterless, complicated Euro style V6TT over the LT1, and I came back empty handed. ATS-V needs help convincing people not to go with the bonafide M3, the Nakamichi RC-F or the sumptuous C63. Powertrain is the heart of these cars and the ATS-V hauls the mail but is woefully outclassed in character. What a waste.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I don’t really mind the turbo V6 in the ATS-v, I just wish journalists would look at the SAE-certified curves rather than parroting peak numbers (440 @ 2800-4800 on the turbo compared to 480 @ 5600 on the naturally aspirated engine!!! – even if the NA engine makes 430 @ 2800).

        What bothers me more on the ATS is that the “normal” car isn’t available with a V8. A 370 hp 5.3L @ about $50k MSRP would be nice.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I’d like the CTS with that V8.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          A high revving aluminum 5.3L would be really cool, but chalk that request under “not gonna happen” with the way CAFE driven powertrain programs are heading.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            So I’ll get a 1.5L three cylinder engine with two turbochargers, a supercharger, and a plug in hybrid system in my 2022 CTS instead?

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            I feel like the Rustang and Camaro are going to sell in far greater numbers with their V8s than the ATS-V will in any form. Plus Lexus’ brand new RC-F has a big NA V8. I think a non-V ATS is a pipe dream (but still a great idea), but the ATS-V should have absolutely come with the LT1. It’s really inexcusable. If GM designed that V6TT for compliance in the EU, where they have made it abundantly clear they want nothing to do with Cadillac, I just don’t know what to say.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Right now, the 2.3T Mustang is outselling the ATS in total.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            bball- link!?!???!???

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’m just using Tim’s GoodCar BadCar numbers. The ATS has been selling under 3000 units the last few months. The Mustang has been over 10,000 units each month. About 40% of Mustang volume is V8, with the rest split between the V6 and 2.3T. The 2.3T is also selling better than the V6. So…it’s at least 30% 2.3T, which would be over 3000 units some months or around 20,000 units so far this year. The ATS is at 12,000 units YTD. The 2.3T Mustang is also skewing young. It’s been a good product for Ford picking up young buyers and Californians.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    woof.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    To me, the RC-F is full of uncomfortable lines, especially when viewed from the rear. Typical of the newer awkward styling that classifies Lexus. Still unsure of why Lexus didn’t go with a DCT. Seems a generation behind now.

    I have not driven this car, but all I continue to read are, ugly front end, too much weight, and cramped interior. The author states the RC-F is just as quick around the track, but I’ve heard the weight of this car gets in the way of that being true. I’d probably rate the M4 1st, with a tie for second between the ATS-V and the Lexus.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      The RC-F looks too Camry-like in the rear. And keep children and small pets away from the front-end due to the risk of ingestion.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I think the best way to describe this car is “beaten with the ugly stick”. Usually I am more of the opinion that you can’t see what it looks like from inside, but you might catch a glimpse of this thing in a store window or something. Shudder. BMWs are not exactly beauty queens, but all three BMW 2-drs are MUCH better than this hot mess.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    It’s been how many years since Lexus went Predator maw? It’s terrible, unbalanced design language. Is there anybody out there who actually likes this generation Lexus’s front end design language?

    Anyway, Alex nails it regarding the ATS and the instrument cluster.

    • 0 avatar
      Noble713

      ” Is there anybody out there who actually likes this generation Lexus’s front end design language?”

      I like it on the IS, and it’s “adequate” on the GS. I’ve seen a few RC’s on the road and they look better in person than on the Internet too.

      If anything I don’t really like the interior. Lamborghini has pretty much the only high-end interiors that I love, with Ferrari a distant second. Below that….I’d rather have a new Mustang’s interior than any of these current Lexus/BMW/Audi/Merc ones. EXCEPT the Lexus F digital gauges…those are sexy. Hell, even a Toyota Crown’s interior would be nicer to look at and use, IMO.

      Oh, and Alex: thanks for that naked engine bay pic! We don’t get enough of those these days. The engine bay looks cramped and ridiculously complicated. Swap in a LS376/525 for a horsepower bump, a simpler engine bay, weight reduction, etc….it’s not like they’ll move enough of these for CAFE to matter.

      We see a trend in sports cars sharing platforms across companies (Toyata/Subaru = 86/BRZ, Toyota/BMW for next-Supra/Z-car, Mazda/Fiat for Miata/xxx?). How long do we have to wait before automakers standardize on the GM Small Block for their NA V8 performance needs?

  • avatar
    carguy

    To me, the Lexus styling just screams “I’m trying way too hard!”

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I honestly think this kind of styling will start paying off, as we move towards a world where absolutely everyone in any market where anyone can afford an M3, drives an M3 (sorry M4). The guys who get off on Hofmeister Kinks, or even know what they are, are pretty much already dead.

      We’re increasingly moving towards a “look at me” world, where crazy-in-your-face-styling is becoming the price of entry.

      It would suck to have a car like this and not be able to take it to the gym on arm day, from fear your swollen bicep can’t make it out of the sliver-thin side windows to pay to exit the garage, though……

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    It’s just so awful to look at! Considering you’ll lose way more money getting the ATS, I’d stick to this RC or the M4. The M4 is certainly better looking, and they’re probably not too far different from one another in resale value, as well.

    There’s something seriously immature about the RC-F, in a video game sort of way. The M4 does not carry such affliction. I think I’m going BMW in this instance!

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I don’t think this car is even as good as the last generation CTS-V coupe.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The Lexus RC-F has at least two things in its favor vs CTS-V Coupe: 1. Lexus is superior to Cadillac in almost every metric and 2. The RC-F styling, while perhaps standoffish, is worlds better than the CTS-V Coupe.

  • avatar
    Shawnski

    While prestigious, this slightly overwrought Coupe specs are in only in line with another M coupe; a ’15 Mustang GT.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    You gotta love the engineering thought that went into their valvetrain/MPG solution. I’d take N/A anything over turbo anything any day of the week if it’s my money.

    Which leads to the central dilemma of Lexus sporty models generally: Up in this segment, it usually isn’t your money. You lease, or you’re so wealthy you don’t care whether this year’s toy is durable or not, because by the time it fails, you won’t have it.

    Going back decades, Toyota reportedly has always tasked its engineers, even for sporty models, with the non-negotiable requirement that they had to engineer the car to perform reliably for 250,000 miles. That’s always admirable, but borderline irrelevant to this audience. Add in Toyota’s derivative and incoherent sense of style, and you have a non-winner – at least when new. If this were a test of future used cars, the Lexus would win in a walk (presumably the long one along the shoulder that the German second owners will be taking). File this one for later reference, sport coupe fans of ordinary income.

    Nice job, Alex.

    • 0 avatar
      BDT

      How is the Lexus solution any less complicated or more reliable than a turbocharged six? Turbocharging has been around as long as engines have, while the Lexus Variable-Valve-and-Engine-Cycle-Swapping-CAFE-Compliance-System is, as far as I can tell, fairly new. I’m sure it will be a simple/cheap fix in ten years, just like turbos.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    I’m surprised Deadweight hasn’t weighed in (pun intended). Because Alex actually had something nice to say about the Cadillac ATS.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      He also brought up the fact that the ATS has a horrible instrument cluster. This gives DW extreme internal conflict.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      In case you’ve not noticed, I don’t read Alex “NO Vehicles Gets Less Than a B Grade” Dykes’ reviews anymore.

      And as to the ATS, it’s a POS regardless as to how highly Alex regards it.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Hahaha. I knew you’d be here shortly.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I don’t view the ATS (in any trim or spec) as on-par with these heavy hitters. The M4, RC-F, and RS5 are in a different league of vehicle. One which is looked upon by the auto enthusiast as something rare, something to covet.

        When I see an ATS, I think “Boy, that Cadillac is way too small. Bet it’s a lease.”

        • 0 avatar
          Senna1

          Funny, because every time I see an F30/32 3 or 4 series I think, “Boy, that BMW is way too big. Bet its a lease.”

          Their cars may be in a different league, but I’m not sure they’re even playing a game I care about (sports sedans) anymore.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          I don’t know, man. I’m kind of an enthusiast, and when I see an ATS, my first (excited) thought is: “Does that one have the manual, or is it just another boring appliance for people who needs to bring mommy along to change gears in their fast, expensive car for them…” When I see one of the others (This Lex does look kind of cool, though. My choice by far if I worked in a design’y capacity anywhere), I unfortunately already know the answer.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Bimmer still excepted afa tranny is concerned. Got to give even turbo appliance pushers credit where due.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Lexus is beating its head against the proverbial brick wall with this car and all the cheaper IS this and RC that, F-Sport package or not, even on the NX200t tiddler of a RAV4 upgrade.

    The only place that sells/absorbs any quantity of Lexus is North America. Nobody else gives two hoots about any of them. Wait! Do the Chinese? Not even worth looking as the place is imploding anyway.

    If you have a spare $75K or more lying around, or can swing the lease payments, anyone with the least interest in cars isn’t going to be buying this RC-F, no matter how good it might be. BMW has this segment sewn up, and the wealthy want to talk to other people with the same “good” taste they have. Lexus RC-F? Ewwww!

    Fat and overweight, styling by the Chief Dork from Dungeons and Dragons on a sake binge. Great engine that finally gets the full Toyota Valvematic system only seven years after it was announced, presumably great reliability, small interior and the promise of free lattes at oil change time about sums up its better points.

    Yup, that’ll bring all the well-off sports sedan heroes running straight to the Lexus shop, where politeness aside, your very charming salesman knows absolutely eff all about performance. Soft-touch upholstery, sure. Lexus Care, uh huh.

    Still, it’s like Cadillac. I suppose Toyota feels it must try. But really, it’s outside their brand values and the styling, now dripping down to the more plebian models, hardly screams good taste. Time for Toyota to wake up and employ stylists without stomach ulcers.

    Well reviewed, Alex.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    This car is manifestly everything wrong with Lexus.

    I dont mind that its a 4,000lb ‘personal coupe’ in the shape of the unlamented SC430 but who is this designed for?

    The styling is way overdone. It should have all the ‘Lexus edges’ knocked off it. It reminds me of a scaled up Toyota 86 hit with the Lexus ugly stick. Still with the stacked exhausts?

    A v8 is a good looking engine. Why does the underbonnet not show us a good looking engine instead it shows us a plastic cover OR a industrial mixer panel?

    Why dont they look at the M4 or C63 coupe or Audi S5 to show what they do right?

    I think even the cheaper Camarostang Challengers do their minor details better.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      > I dont mind that its a 4,000lb ‘personal coupe’ in the shape of the unlamented SC430 but who is this designed for?

      Well-heeled former Camry drivers, perhaps?

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    “Well-heeled former Camry drivers..”

    Don’t subject themselves to ergonomic insult. Instead, Highlanders, Sequoias, RXs..etc. I think it’s dog-size dependent.

  • avatar
    hifi

    The design is incredibly amateurish. Parked next to the M3/4 or ATS-V, the RC F design is downright goofy.

  • avatar
    theslik1

    As the previous owner of an IS-F, the $74,000 question is why on God’s green earth would I choose this car, not over its stated competitors, but over a Challenger Hellcat or even SRT 392? Dodge has the heavy, high-horsepower Grand Touring niche on lock, with a lot more usable interior space, a real trunk, a better street ride, and astronomically better styling. I can give Lexus a couple of points for fit, finish, and *maybe* reliability although regular scheduled maintenance will be expensive. I generally like Lexus, I loved my IS-F, but I don’t see anything about the RC-F to get the vapors over. For the money, the Hellcat is a better GT with the 392 being a no-brainer at almost $25K less than the Lexus.

    And before the track drivers chime in, if I were looking for a track monster I’d be heading in a completely different direction.


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