Like an athlete, sports car have their big and shiny moment to make the big score and send home its fans with a smile. Till the next season when someone younger, stronger and more agile comes along and rips the fame right out from underneath their feet. That’s what the Lexus LC 500 has done to their more muscle headed RC-F, overshadowing its performance, style, and overall behavior. Let us not be fooled however, the RC-F still has a few tricks up its quad exhaust that leaves us belly aching for more of its dramatic essence.
As we start to see dramatic changes across Lexus’ lineup, the RC-F bares no exception with signification changes to its infrastructure and user ability. However, while Lexus has gone gun hoe by incorporating a host of standard safety features noted Lexus Safety Sense + for 2018 that will include Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning/Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking and Automatic High-Beams, our sampler here built in 2017 had yet to receive such features including the available large 10.3-inch infotainment system display.
But let us not fret, 2017 was a very important year for the RC-F, while 2018 bares some important changes, those are just silly little features. The changes made in 2017 to the RC-F suspension and available Performance Package is what we are really here to talk about. The RC-F received a little bit of bad press when it was first launched having not stacked up to the competition of the BMW M4 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe. It in fact came across as more of a Grand Tourer than a track junkie. In our eyes, we don’t see anything wrong with that…. But the engineers at Lexus had a difference of opinion and they did what they do best, tweak. And now, the RC-F is something a little more aggressive.
For starters the $5500 Performance Package – while including some fancy seats that do many fancy things, and some carbon fiber bits that blend in with our Caviar black paint, the Performance Pack incorporates an incredible Torque Vectoring Rear Differential that’s constantly keeps us on our toes and our wheels flat on the ground – unlike a typical Mustang that finds itself upside down in a ditch wrapped around a tree. Additionally, modifications were done to the suspension system matching the Lexus GS-F’s Adaptive Variable Suspension system. The dampers in this case are constantly adjusting providing that Lexus smooth ride while also performing like a proper sports car with increased handling capabilities and minimal body roll.
With an upgraded suspension, the RC-F starts to feel more competitive and with the ability to change between, Sport and Sport + that changes the gauges to video game like instruments that flashes when its time to change the 8-speed automatic transmission. It’s a sensation of excitement and willingness that brings out our inner 13-year old. The rarity of its naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 punches out 467-horsepower with the belly of the beast grumbling out an intensified growl at 4,0000 rpms, the RC-F still gets from 0-60 in a stomach quenching 4.4 seconds.
Considering the RC-F capabilities, it’s all cocooned by that Lexus-y quality interior we’d all expect from Lexus. Wrapped with body contouring exquisite leather seats, the interior is an oasis for those that prefer to do their golfing tee-off before sunrise. And because the RC-F remains a large coupe, there is room in the backseat for an adult and provides a spacious trunk for the clubs. Complaints continue to falter on the not very user friendly mouse pad that operates the infotainment system and frankly, with the Performance Package, there are far too many driving and technique modes to choose from – not only do we have Sport & Sport + but we also have Normal and Eco, and then but selecting the TVR, there’s the choices between Track, Slalom and Normal – and that’s before turning the traction control off that then engages EXPERT mode, dun dun duunnnn.
While the Lexus LC 500 may be taking over reins as Lexus’ flagship sports car, the RC-F is still plenty of beast to go around offering superior chassis control and a truly astonishing engine that screams at us to give it more. At a mere 20k price cut over the LC 500, the RC-F makes for one heck of a GT bargain.
|Lexus RC-F Base Price:||$64,165|
|As Tested (including Options & Destination):||$80,444|
|5.0-liter V-8 -467-Horsepower, 8-Speed Automatic Transmission – 0-60MPH: ±4.4 seconds|
|EPA MPG: 16/25/19 (City/Highway/Combined) – SSB Average: 14.5 MPG’s – Fuel Range: ±285 Miles|