I may or may not have spent far too much time taking photos of these cars before I actually got to climb inside one.
This wasn't smart as it left me with a mere ten-minute window to sample what the new RC F was capable of. A few hot laps then on a circuit I didn't know, better than nothing I guess.
I do however feel like an expert on the aesthetics of these cars. To sum them up in one word; exciting. If I may elaborate further - there were two models on display, the RC F road car and a limited Track Edition.
In the first camp were two muscular units in sombre tones, navy and black. Think Japanese M4 and you'd be just about right, with front ends dominated by that massive Lexus grille. The Track Edition dials this up to eleven with more carbon fibre and aerodynamics than you'd imagine. This against the car's white bodywork made for a high contrast racer that would turn heads on looks alone if it wasn't for the delightful roar it emits, warning onlookers long in advance.
In the belly of the street beast and the cabin is terrific, tactile and cossetting yet primed for a bit of a leg stretch. Its, not mine. This is a car that revels in some right foot play. I oblige with a boot full and let's just jump into it - the 2UR-GSE petrol engine makes all the right noises. This formidable V8 crackles, gurgles and burbles in the manner only a naturally aspirated car can.
I shift it into ‘D’, feed in some throttle and gingerly exit the pit lane and begin meandering around the track amidst an odd layout of cones. I go slowly at first then speed up as my confidence grows, graduating from Sport mode to Sport+. The steering feel is spot on, the noise delectable and the suspension firm but not harsh.
Suddenly, I wish I'd gone out with an instructor to get a better sense of where the turns were, but soldier on regardless. After a sighting lap I poured on a bit more throttle and then a bit more. Spoiler alert, after 3 laps including a cool down, I was nowhere near the car's potential nor my own - so consider that when reading my evaluation.
Which I'll summarise like so: it's a heavy V8 powered coupe that looks fantastic - and at R1.3million I can see this tempting potential Toyota Supra owners. There's just R200k between them but the Lexus stirs so much more viscera. Sure, the Supra is marginally quicker with its 0-100kph sprint (the Lexus does it in 4.5 seconds) but the V8 car has all the drama you could possibly desire.
But what about the Track Edition?
Look, I didn't manage to snag a ride in this even more extreme beast sadly, but it was there, snarling and roaring much to the delight of the rest of us.
At R2.1million, I wonder if you need to reach that far to get the thrill of the already incredibly capable V8 coupe that already resides in the streetable RC F. In fact, it only pips the road car to 100kph by 0.2 seconds, so there's that. But then both cars produce identical outputs of 351kW and 530Nm.
|Lexus RC F ||R1,318,300.00|
|Lexus RC F Track Edition ||R2,098,200.00|
Both versions come standard with Lexus’ 7-year/105 000km Warranty and full Maintenance Plan. The vehicle’s service intervals are at every 15 000km/12 months.