2015 Lexus RC-F Review
Lexus takes a bold step forward with sporty coupe.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: January 14th, 2015
Lexus is at a bit of a crossroads. The brand has carved out a sizeable slab of the luxury market, but it's beginning to feel the heat from the various foreign brands who are steadily making inroads into the U.S. market - brands like Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Porsche. Slowly but surely it's dawning on the folks at Toyota's luxury division that simply gussying up a bunch of Toyota sedans and SUVs is no longer enough to catch people's attention. Enter the RC-F.
With looks borrowed from the LF-LC concept, the RC-F has the aggressive, wild-cat like stance of a track car, along with some rather radical (for Lexus) lines and angles. In fact, the RC-F is more or less all lines and angles. Depending on what vantage you're seeing it from, this almost comically divergent car can either look like a real race car or an extremely ornate Transformer toy.
We rather like the radical direction Lexus took with the RC-F. Not only does it give the car a badass, Autobahn-ready rocket ship vibe, but also it shatters the image of Lexus as hopelessly style averse.
Aside from the ridiculous oversized gaping maw of a grille (which actually fits this car rather well, while on Toyota's FCV Murai, for example, it looks laughable), the RC-F is everything Lexus isn't but needs to be: it looks like a car that went from CAD station to dealer lot with minimal de-balling, which isn't something you see every day in the automotive world, especially from a brand as popular as Lexus.
Like the exterior, the interior of the RC-F has been totally de-Lexusized, and that's a very good thing. Gone are the tired-looking square-buttons-with-beveled-edges look that makes every other Lexus look like a time machine that's stuck in 1995. Gone are the soft-edged dashboard and the oceans of gray plastic.
The RC-F's interior is made for driving and nothing else. The sport seats push you into an at-attention pose, and the chunky leather-wrapped steering wheel manage to transmit the notions of luxury and speed in equal measure.
The familiar Lexus mouse knob thingy has been replaced with a touchpad, which takes a little bit of getting used to, but in the end offers much more ease of use than the mouse knob did.
The only odd touch in the interior is the rather uncomfortable area below the audio and HVAC controls where the CD player sits. It's not clear why anyone still puts CD player in cars (or why they don't stash them in the center storage unit, as some automakers have taken to doing), and it's especially confusing in this Lexus, where it seems to have been shoved in as an afterthought.
Otherwise, high-grade materials and every modern convenience that currently exists is crammed into the RC-F's cabin, and the back seats are seats only if you consider your laptop bag to have an ass. Full-size adult humans can fit in the back seats, amazingly, but it's not a place they'll want to be for long, especially given how you're likely to drive this car.
On the Road
Lexus has more or less perfected the notion of "drive modes," which let the driver fine tune their driving experience based on what kind of driving they plan to do. In the RC-F, the difference between Eco and Sport+ is like the difference between an aB and an M4.
We did most of our driving in Normal mode, which still allows enough acceleration to make traffic cameras start flashing like strobe lights in your rear view mirror, but if you choose to enter into Sport mode, make sure you're paying attention, and if you opt for Sport+, we hope you're wearing a helmet and a fire suit, because the RC-F's 467-horsepower V-8 will get you from zero to sixty and approximately "what-the-fuck-happened" seconds flat, and you had better be prepared.
Around town, the RC-F makes a capable, if showy, daily driver, and its traction control and other "slow down there, Champ" safety features will keep you from getting into serious trouble. Steering is still a bit on the light side - something Lexus seems incapable of relinquishing, and handling is a bit wonky due to this car's extra poundage (it's a full 400 pounds fatter than the BMW M4, for example), but that's only like to matter if you take it on the track.
The Lexus RC-F may not be a real race car, or even an especially capable tarmac-burner, compared to its competitors, but if you're looking to make your neighbors envious, or make members of the opposite sex turn their heads with eager anticipation, this is the one Lexus that's up to the task.
Specs & Prices
Engine: 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V-8
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Power Output: 467 hp /389 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 16 (city) / 25 (hwy)
Price (base): $63,625
Price (as tested): $73,815
Available Features: Remote stop/start, F-spec sport seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel, premium audio system with 10 speakers and Bluetooth technology, USB, backup camera.
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2015 Lexus RC F, click here: 2015 Lexus RC F.