In Defense of the Lexus RC F
A few weeks ago, I drove a car that I’m actually quite fond of— the Lexus RC F. I know, I’m already anticipating tons of ‘feedback' on how I’m completely stupid for liking this car. If you read my original review from back in 2014, you know that I’m one of the few journalist that does really truly like this thing.
Like any car, though, the RC F isn’t without its faults. And those faults were even more apparent after I spent some time in the new BMW M4— which was fantastic, frankly. But with any next big step it’s easy to expect some faults. I’ll explain. At 4,048 pounds, the Lexus RC F is not a light car. Not even close. At that curb weight it is the heaviest in its class next to the all-wheel drive Audi RS 5. It's loaded to the brim with tech, which sort of aids that weight gain. And not to mention the massive 5.0-liter V8 under the hood.
Push your foot down and you’ll get 467 horsepower at your disposal, which makes it pretty quick. It will get you to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds all the way to 171 before the governor kicks in. And it sounds awesome when you get the RPMs up— though, like the M4, it’s all faux engine noise. And then there’s the design— probably Lexus’ only saving grace in the sporty department. The spindle grille is accentuated by some sharp, aggressive lines throughout the body. The wheels are so edgy they look like they could slice your fingers off, and the interior is as overtly aggressive as it is luxurious. Hands down the RC F is the best looking car in its segment, inside and out. Unlike the M4 or RS 5, Lexus threw out any subtleties and decided the in-your-face approach was the way to go. It's a good way to stand out in a crowded parking lot.
But with its many performance faults, why do I still admire this car? It has to do with the sheer audacity of it all. Lexus wants to build a line of performance cars. Some might say that's laughable— but I don’t think it’s funny at all. Lexus is just getting their feet wet in the performance department. Granted, they still have some work to do, but the transformation gap from IS F to RC F is about as far a distance from here to the moon. The RC F shows signs of real performance potential in one of the hardest segments around. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good sign of things to come. If Lexus really buckles down and puts this car on a major diet, we might see something that actually shoves its German competitors up against a wall. And how great would that be? A Lexus that finally beats BMW. I’m looking forward to that— if they continue on with their pursuit of perfection.