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Luxury performance automakers are downsizing. Green is in. That V-8 snort is out for the most part. Yet, when every automaker is seemingly downsizing to small, forced-induction six-cylinder engines, Lexus isn't. That's very curious to us because of all the company's hybrid technology. But, we guess, sometimes you just have to let your hair down. With the 2015 Lexus RC F, which is the performance version of the forthcoming Lexus RC coupe that will join the Lexus IS sedan, 5.0 liters of V-8 thunder is just what the doctor ordered.
Who It's For
Who doesn't want oodles of performance in a personal luxury coupe? That, to us, sounds like icing on an already very delicious cake. Yet with 480 horsepower on tap being sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, it looks like the well-satiated will have to cleanse their palettes for 54 more horsepower than the outgoing IS F. The car ought to be a little lighter than the 3,780-pound IS F sedan, but don't expect much back from two tons.
That could be a problem against lightweights like the 425-horsepower BMW M4 and upcoming Cadillac ATS-V. Others like the Mercedes-Benz AMG and Audi S4 are quite a bit heavier. All of them attract well-heeled customers who enjoy the idea of velocity but aren't necessarily track day superstars.
The 2015 Lexus RC F has an engine that operate with the efficiency of a 4.2-liter engine thanks to Atkinson technology borrowed from the Toyota Prius. It also has:
- A non-adjustable sports suspension.
- A carbon fiber roof good for 13 pounds of weight savings.
- Three wheel options, including one that's completely hand-polished.
- Functional scoops and vents throughout its body.
- A new haptic infotainment controller that improves upon Lexus' mouse.
What We Think
Suddenly, the $65,000 or so compact sports coupe playing field has gotten quite crowded. With the Lexus RC F, there enters yet another entrant to square off. On paper, it looks like it has the goods to be quite a car, but its weight could keep it from beating the M4s and C63 AMGs of the world. That would be a real shame, especially given how much work Lexus has put into making the RC F stand out.
We'll know soon enough when we drive the Lexus RC. If the basic coupe improves upon the Lexus IS F Sport and the IS F, this could be a surprise standout among the segment's best.
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