2016 Lexus RC-F
five.-liter DOHC V8, port and direct injection (467 horsepower @ 7,100 rpm 389 lbs-ft @ four,800 rpm)
16 city/25 highway/19 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
17.2 (Observed, MPG)
Base Cost: $ 63,745*
As Tested: $ 79,355*
*Costs contain $ 940 location charge.
In fairness, I was going as well swiftly even for the interstate. Even then, I’m pretty certain I saw a third numeral flicker on the dash show as I apexed the off-ramp onto the unfamiliar rural divided 4-lane.
Then I saw a black and gold Dodge Charger sitting in the median.
I right away asked myself if I can legitimately create off a speeding ticket as a business expense.
Fortunately, the deputy sheriff was either napping or texting, as the bellowing orange 2016 Lexus RC-F was distinctly conspicuous as I slowed to socially acceptable speeds. I unclenched, took a breath, and continued in search of much more enjoyable roads.
And get pleasure from I did.
I do not know if I can call the Lexus RC-F stunning with a straight face. It is purposeful and brutal, definitely, but it’s not an E-Sort Jaguar. The numerous vents, intakes, and flares make a bold statement about the sporting credentials inside.
My tester had the optional $ five,500 Overall performance Package, which adds a carbon fiber roof and rear wing, as well as a trick torque-vectoring differential. Yeah, adding further black accents to the fabulously loud Molten Pearl gave the large Lexus a jack-o’-lantern look, which was a hit at the college drop-off line in mid-October. I loved the appear, nonetheless — it seems to visually decrease the car a bit far more than cars with a painted roof.
Out back, that carbon rear wing raises itself at speed, or with the push of a button for the entertainment of onlookers. The quadruple exhaust suggestions are a bit showy, but practically nothing about this Lexus is subtle. They are ideal for the character of this beast.
The properly-bolstered front seats in the RC-F are spectacular. Plenty of adjustment fore and aft, up and down, with heated and cooled seats on the Premium Package created my lengthy interstate drive effortless. The $ five,500 package also contains carbon fiber interior trim, mostly beneath the steering column and atop the glove box. It’s not fully convincing, although. Otherwise, the leather and sueded leather-like material — Alcantara? — is appropriately plush.
I can’t speak for the rear seats, even though the tears of my eight-year-old daughter may well. We had a mishap upon commencing her first RC-F ride, exactly where the energy seat returned to a memory position incompatible with her booster-seated legs. Much screaming ensued. Removal of the booster seat allowed her feet to slide below the driver’s seat, and the girls rode with but 1 complaint for the rest of my test.
The issue they voiced loudly was the lack of any sort of handle to brace themselves, or to support extricate themselves from the deep seat bottom. Or, place delicately, there were no “Oh Feces!” handles. When I decided to “enjoy” my drive, and let my spawn to enjoy it along with me, they would slide against the interior panels with force. Hence, my time experimenting with and exploiting the a variety of overall performance settings was restricted to solo drives.
It’s the engine that is the huge story here. 467 horsepower from a 5.-liter V8 is nonetheless impressive, although most pony vehicles make related energy. The eight-speed automatic transmission, even though definitely shiftable through paddle or lever, is a letdown — I’d really like to attempt this with a six-speed manual. Sport and Sport Plus drive modes, selected through a knob just to the appropriate of the shifter, do make the transmission shift far more aggressively, holding gears a bit longer, particularly in Sport Plus. The transmission slams firmly into each and every gear with the throttle pinned, and will blip the throttle during downshifts to preserve the rear from becoming also unsettled.
The truly trick bit is the TVD button for the optional Torque-Vectoring Differential, element of the Efficiency Package. Rather than a standard Torsen limited-slip as fitted to the standard RC-F, the TVD allows for electronic biasing of torque to the rear wheels primarily based on driving behavior. Between Typical, Slalom, and Track settings, the differential will adjust how the rear of the car drives – and importantly for your neighborhood tire dealer, how it slides.
As opposed to the IS Turbo I lately sampled, this RC-F utilizes a touchpad interface for the navigation and entertainment systems. It’s positioned immediately aft of the shift lever, and just ahead of an extended lip for the center console storage lid. It performs effectively, but can be a bit sensitive. I identified when driving even though wearing a coat with loose sleeves, these sleeves would sometimes brush the touchpad and choose diverse radio stations. I even sleeve-dialed my wife as soon as.
The optional ($ 2,610!) navigation worked smoothly otherwise, and the the usually-stellar Mark Levinson audio program had no troubles fighting the noise from the wide Michelins.
Between standard commuting, a two-hour early morning highway cruise, and a 4-hour return via the curviest roads I could find, I spent a lot of time behind the wheel of the brilliant Lexus. Beyond road noise from the sticky tires and the boisterous exhaust note when exploring the deeper reaches of the correct pedal, the Lexus was practically as serene as a more staid ES sedan. The ride was firm over pockmarked Ohio freeways, but never jarring or unpleasant.
When I encountered the twisties, the RC-F woke up. I turned the selector to Sport Plus, switched the TVD to Slalom mode, and attacked the hills of southern Ohio. Set up like this, I found the Lexus would happily bring the rear around when driven enthusiastically, but it wouldn’t turn into a tire-smoking drift monster.
I wasn’t brave and/or stupid sufficient to attempt turning off the traction and stability controls — I wasn’t on the track, and therefore had no cause to activate either the in-dash lap timer nor my AAA membership.
It is generally a pony car, but with a posh twist. While it certainly compares nicely to an M4 or a C63, a Mustang GT or Camaro SS are all-natural options. It occupies an fascinating spot in the market place, as the Lexus buyer can select rowdy and refined in a single package.
Lexus provided the car and a tank of fuel for objective of this review.
[Images: © 2016 Chris Tonn/The Truth About Cars]