2015 Lexus RC F
by Jim Corbran
2015 Lexus RC F
After the last couple of rather, ahem, pedestrian YAK subjects, I decided it was time to inject a little excitement into the column. So I hearkened back to one of my own first cars and ran down a checklist of wanna-haves: two-door coupe body style (check); V-8 engine (check); rear-wheel drive (check)...Perhaps I’m being a bit facetious here. In no way whatsoever does the new Lexus RC F compare to my 1967 Barracuda other than in the three items listed above.
In their advertising, Lexus tells us “You’ll turn heads.” That was certainly the case earlier this week when Dan Cartier handed me the keys and I pulled out of the Northtown Lexus lot in the Molten Pearl test car. Think of the color as Creamsicle Orange. Turned up a notch. You can’t talk about the RC F without first mentioning its looks. I know, I always say that styling is subjective, but this is without a doubt the sweetest-looking car I’ve driven this year. And one I had no trouble climbing into—at least, into the front seat. The back seat? Eh, not so much. Once I got back there it wasn’t too bad, but only if Peter Dinklage is driving; with me driving there’s virtually no leg room back there. But enough of the “who cares about the” back seat. The bolstered front seats are designed to, as Lexus tells us, “...have you wrapped from hip to shoulder.” And that they do—I almost felt no need for a seat belt! They held me tight as I took the RC F around the curves and accelerated from the stand-stills.
The cozy coupe cabin means everything is well within reach, including the audio system which left me scratching my head as I tried to wing-it without any instruction. Sigh. The trunk is roomy for a sporty car, and there’s a pass-through in the center of the rear seat. Outward vision isn’t bad for a low sports car, and is aided by a rear-view backup camera.
Power for the RC F comes from a 5.0L, 467 hp V-8, which is connected to an eight-speed sport direct-shift automatic transmission, which changed gears very smoothly in all three driving modes: normal, eco, and sport. Acceleration is quick (Car and Driver reported a zero-to-60 time of 4.3 seconds), and if you like you can try and better that time using the paddle shifters. But I doubt it. Top speed is a governed 171 mph, which if you kept your foot planted, would get you from here to Manhattan in about two-and-a-half hours. Not counting gas stops. The RC F is EPA-rated at 16/25 mpg city/highway, so yes, you’ll be stopping.
Cheers to Lexus for opening up the color selections from the usual blacks, whites, silvers, and grays. Besides the test car’s Molten Pearl, they also offer a cool blue (Ultrasonic Blue Mica) and a hot red (Infrared). Interior choices, along with black and gray, include (depending on exterior choice): Flaxen (brown), Playa (which looks to be a goldish-tan), and Rioja Red.
The RC F is Lexus’ top of the line coupe, with a starting price of $62,400. The test car included, at extra cost: the Premium Package, the Navigation Package, 19” split 10-spoke forged alloy wheels, moonroof with power tilt/slide, and floor mats (see website for package info), and with delivery the bottom line came to $72,684. If you’re really liking the looks of the RC F but feel like spending a bit less, there’s also the RC 350 and RC 350 F Sport. Same body style but with V-6 power and a bit toned-down in the high-performance department, it also has available all-wheel drive if you’re so inclined. Prices are in the forties depending on model.
If you’re in the market for something fun to drive, nice to look at, and exclusivity—you won’t see yourself at every intersection—check out the RC F. But read the audio system instructions before you leave.
More info at: lexus.com.
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