Lexus recently gave us some hands-on time with their new 2016 RC F. We’ve been looking forward to test driving the luxury performance vehicle and graciously took it to test on a sunny afternoon on California’s sprawling Chuckawalla Trail.
The RC F is unrelenting and poised with a 5.0 Liter V8 Engine that produces 467HP. With the ability to go 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, and a top track speed of 168 mph, Lexus delivers a sport coupe that’s not only track competitive, but dominate in its consumer class. An Eight-Speed Sport Direct-Shift Transmission delivers seemingly on-demand upshifts and downshifts, conveniently placed near the steering wheel, to satisfy even the most demanding driver’s need for speed.
Additionally, Lexus’ Drive Mode Select enables you to make your RC F more responsive or efficient with a simple turn of the dial, from Sport S+ to ECO mode. Sport S mode alters the powertrain for an increase in throttle response, while Sport S+ mode modifies the Adaptive Variable Suspension to help provide a higher level of responsiveness. Normal mode provides the optimal balance of fuel efficiency and engine performance. While ECO mode moderates the throttle response, engine power output and climate settings for optimal fuel efficiency.
Our 467HP automatic took to the the road with grace. The RC F introduces an (optional) engineered Torque Vectoring Differential system, ensuring optimal control even when taking the sharpest of turns on the track or highway. The Torque Vectoring Differential, a first for Lexus, works by distributing power between the inside and outside rear wheels.
Lastly, reinforced rockers and stiff front and rear bracing combine with a wide tire for optimal grip when taking a sharp turn. Ideal for adrenaline junkies looking to get the most out of every g-force.
The Lexus RC F’s interior screams speed; from the cockpit-esq High-Back Front Sport Seats designed to provide greater muscular support and seat grip, to the implementation of racing pedals. Not stopping there, the RC F’s track-inspired dashboard features a responsive digital tachometer and race-ready, full-color LCD gauge cluster that’s equally impressive looking as it is informative.
Lexus’ (optional) Remote Touchpad and 7 inch Lexus Encore display interface complete the interor. While the touchpad does take time to get used to, we were especially pleased with Encore’s fuel guide (complete with brand name, distance and pricing) that automatically suggests nearby gas stations once the vehicle’s fuel level nears empty. The (optional) 17-speaker, 835-watt, Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System allows for pristine audio and the perfect soundtrack as you speed past traffic.
Exterior-wise, the RC F is confident, sporty and commanding. Its highly rigid body is a product of specialized manufacturing techniques, including high-strength adhesive bonding, laser brazing, and multi-spot laser screw welding. Premium Triple-Beam LED headlamps, tail lamps and illuminated entry (door handles) ensure optimal visibility. The RC F takes track inspiration up a notch with an aggressively wide stance, low profile, striking hood vent and front cooling ducts. Lexus’ signature F Badging and iconic Spindle Grille complete the vehicle’s exterior.
Value and Safety
Safety is at the forefront with a Standard Eight Airbag System and state of the art Blind Spot Monitor backup camera; complete with dynamic gridlines to help guide your drive. World renowned Brembo brakes cement the RC F’s billing as an authentic track vehicle via large slotted 14.9-inch front brake rotors, clamped by six-piston monoblock calipers, and 13.5-inch rear slotted rotors held in place by four-piston calipers. Additional brake highlights include a fast-cooling rotor design and high-friction pads for reduced brake fade, embodying the perfect marriage of performance and safety.
Additionally, Lexus’ Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system with sport mode predicts and prevents skidding through a combination of individual-wheel braking, torque modulation and steering torque assistance.
The (optional) Pre-Collision System automatically detects approaching vehicles. Should a frontal collision be imminent, PCS will automatically prepare the vehicle’s Brake Assist for increased braking response, and will even brake on its own before impact. Crumple zones in the front and rear are intentionally designed to compress at a controlled rate to help protect occupants within the more rigid passenger compartment.
All new Lexus models come with a complimentary year of Lexus Enform Safety Connect and a 48 month/50,000 mile warranty.
The RC F embodies the thrill of a high-performance track vehicle – averaging 25 MPG. With prices starting at $62,805, the RC F is a pleasant find for those seeking the triple entente of design, performance and luxury.
Special thanks to Lexus, who provided us with the vehicle, insurance and full tank of gas for this review.
Photography credit: Armando Vargas / BallerStatus.com