The marque features many impressive models in its current lineup. One of which is the new 2015 Lexus RC F. It’s a car that is after the likes of the BMW M4. But if you want to buy such a high-performance car, is the Lexus RC F for you?
In today’s blog post, I give an in-depth review of the new 2015 Lexus RC F sports car. Or should I say, high-performance coupe!
In a nutshell: the 2015 Lexus RC F
There’s no mistaking that the Lexus RC F is a car that is set to wow high-performance BMW owners. After all, part of the Lexus strategy is to increase its share of the European luxury and high-performance car markets.
Based on styling from the LF-LC concept car, the original Lexus RC first got unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The eagle-eyed among you will doubtless spot that it bears more than a striking similarity to the IS saloon.
The Lexus RC F is a high-performance version of the standard RC. It’s a car aimed not just at motoring enthusiasts, but those with a keen interest in track racing too.
Lurking beneath the bonnet of the 2015 Lexus RC F is an engine that features two more cylinders and more power than its older brother, the RC. As standard, the car comes with a 5.0-litre V8 engine (2UR-GSE).
It offers a total power output of 471 brake horsepower. Unlike the GS version, the engine in the Lexus RC F has plenty of uprated parts. Expect to find better intake, exhaust, and cooling systems amongst other things.
One unique feature about the Lexus RC F engine is that it is naturally-aspirated. There are no turbochargers anywhere! Many of its rivals use turbos to increase power and aid emissions controls systems. But on the 2UR-GSE engine, it’s quite capable of achieving both of those goals on its own.
The engine can get worked hard throughout the rev range. The limiter kicks in at 7,300 RPM. What I love about this engine is the fact that, in the car’s class, only the Mercedes-Benz twin-turbo C63 car outperforms it.
There's no doubt the car boasts impressive engine specs. I can see many Audi; BMW and Mercedes-Benz owners defecting to the Lexus camp and getting behind the wheel of a brand new Lexus RC F.
The 2UR-GSE also features variable valve timing. It is something parent company Toyota have used a lot for its latest models. It also boasts direct injection, which, as you might know, is good for fuel economy and lower emissions.
The 2015 Lexus RC F’s engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Ten or twenty years ago, you might have moaned at the fact that this car does not feature a manual gearbox.
But there’s no denying that car makers have spent a lot of time and money to make automatic transmissions far superior to manuals. After all, if that weren’t the case, you wouldn’t see automatic transmissions used in Formula One cars!
The eight-speed box featured on the Lexus RC F also offers steering wheel paddle-shift controls. That means if you are using the Tiptronic mode, you don’t need to move your hands away from the steering wheel. Just tap with your left hand to shift down, and use your right hand to move up a gear.
Also standard with this transmission is the full torque converter lock-up. This operates from second gear to the eighth gear. But that’s not the only impressive thing about this car; there’s more to come still!
The 2015 Lexus also comes with a “torque vectoring” system as an option. Torque vectoring refers to how the differential can provide varying amounts of power to each wheel. Traditionally, the same amount of power would go to two or four wheels. But with torque vectoring, the car calculates the power delivery for any driving conditions.
I had hoped to get a cheeky test drive of the Lexus RC F at Inchcape Lexus and try out the torque vectoring system for myself. But I have to wait until 2015 before I can! Still, looking at some test track videos of the car on YouTube, it looks pretty impressive!
Judging by the specs and the motoring press, the torque vectoring system on the Lexus RC F is much better than what we saw with the IS F saloon.
The 2015 Lexus RC F uses disc brakes all round. Up front are some 381 mm discs with six-pot aluminium calipers. And at the back of the car you will find some 345 mm discs and four-pot calipers. All of the brakes used on the car are courtesy of Brembo.
As you would expect of a modern car, the Lexus RC F also comes with a few braking safety features. As standard, you get ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) and EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution). You also get “brake assist.”
What’s it like to drive?
If you thought this car sounded like an absolute beast, you would be right! Not only does it feature mean-looking aesthetics, but it’s got enough growl under the bonnet to take on many Autobahn stormers.
The Lexus RC F has a firm suspension setup, making it more than capable of going around corners at speed without smashing into something (or someone). The only downside to the suspension on the Lexus RC F is that you cannot adjust any of its settings. In fact, it’s the only part of the car where this is the case!
When you drive the car around town, it behaves like a “normal” car and doesn’t sound like the Big Bad Wolf is coming to blow your house down! That is thanks, in part, to the active exhaust system. It’s only when you drive the car hard or at speed that it becomes quite vocal!
In summary: if you fancy a change from the usual German suspects, the Lexus RC F is a welcome change.