If you like, the look of the Lexus LC, but can’t quite afford one, then don’t wear a Lexus has another coupe for you, the Lexus RC, and that’s what we’re taking a look at in this video after receiving a number of emails from viewers it occurred to Me that we never really took a good long look at the Lexus RC after it was initially launched, because I did drive this at that launch event.
The model that we’re looking at today is the Lexus RCF, which has the same v8 engine that we find under the hood of the GS F and the Lexus LC 500 because of its overall age. This looks a little bit more like the Lexus GS and the Lexus IS than the LC. We have the squiggly front, grille that we find in the F model. If you get the different terms of the RC than the grille does change a little bit very much like the Lexus IS we have headlamps that are divorced from the daytime running lamps down here in this Nike swoosh format and then because we’re in the F we Have these very large intake greats at the bottom, as you can see from this angle, the front end is definitely very stylized.
These headlamps actually kind of curve back in there on the body. You can see really how far away from the headlamp module that swoosh is. We have tri module, LED high beams and low beams in this particular vehicle, and you can see we have that definite kink right there on the front as well. Instead of giving us three different sizes of coops, like we see in some of the competition Lexus says, instead decided to give us sort of two different price levels of coops.
We have a very expensive coupe in the LC and then a more attainable coupe in the RC right here. The RC itself is kind of interesting because, instead of being just an is coupe or a GS coupe, this is actually kind of a melding of the minds and this shares structure with both the is and the GS and that’s why the overall size is a little Bit different than either of those vehicles, as you could probably tell from the side, the F version of the RSC gets a little bit wider than the regular model, so we actually have some slight fender bulges there and, unlike less expensive vehicles, Lexus actually changes the sheet Metal in this car, so this entire side panel right here the vehicle – is different in the F versus the non F model. Out back, we find tail lap models that are full LEDs. They mimic the shapes going on up front.
We have LED turn signals and LED backup lights as well. These quad stacked exhaust tips that are very distinctive in the F model. Well, integrated small parking sensors right there in the back and the other thing. You’ll notice from this angle is that the F is wider than the regular versions of the RC.
This is basically the same that we see in the Europeans as well, but different than other high performance vehicles out there, because they didn’t just tack on some fender flares. They actually change the sheet metal of the vehicle. The wider body really gives the F a more muscular appearance. Then we have that sharp crease right back there on the rear, bumper.
Under the hood, we find an engine lineup, that’s a little bit different than what we see in the European competition. The RC 300 rear wheel drive starts with a 2 liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine. It produces 241 horsepower and is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, sending power to the rear wheels. Only if you want all-wheel drive in your RC 300, then we actually get a different engine.
We get a 3.5 liter v6, naturally aspirated that produces 260 horsepower, but they removed eight speed and give us an older 6-speed automatic in order to accommodate the all-wheel-drive system. If you want more power, then we move up to the RC 350, which uses a 3.5 liter v6 engine, but bumps the power up to 311. That model has an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear wheel drive. But again, if you want all-wheel drive in that model, then they actually remove the 8-speed, put a six-speed back in and then give us all-wheel drive.
And then we have this model right here. The RC F, this model uses a 5 liter v8 engine, and it is one of the last remaining naturally aspirated v8 engines that you’ll find in the luxury segment. This is basically the same engine that we find again under the hood of the LC 500 and, of course, the GS F, but not the same engine that we find under the hood of the LS 500, because that actually uses a twin turbo six-cylinder engine. This has a very different driving nature to the twin turbo sixes that we find in the competition, but importantly, it doesn’t produce as much power or as much torque as some of those competitors.
Power comes in at 467 horsepower, but torque comes in at 389, which is a little bit lower than some of those competitors. This engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that has been designed, especially for this engine, and it sends power to only the rear wheels. No all-wheel drive is available in the RC F, because Lexus is obviously concerned about fuel economy. Another interesting twist with this engine is that it can actually run on the atkinson cycle.
It’s the only performance engine i can think of that will run on that fuel saving cycle. Although the v8 engine under this hood sounds absolutely incredible, the real reason that we don’t see naturally aspirated v8 sin – the competition anymore – is simply that they don’t perform as well as the turbocharged entries and that’s why, even though we get very competitive power numbers out of This model right here, zero to sixty times, are actually very similar to the BMW 440. I not the BMW, m4 now lexus understands that, and that’s one of the reasons that the RCF is actually a little bit less expensive than the m4, even though it comes better equipped front seat. Comfort is fairly good, regardless of the version of the RC that you get.
If you get the F, then we get these much more aggressively bolstered seats. Now some of you may actually find these less comfortable than the standard seats, but I actually find these to be a pretty good fit for me. You should know that the bolstering on the seat bottom and seat back cushion is pretty aggressive and it is not adjustable. Like we would find in some of the Europeans, so if you’re much wider than I am, then this may be a bit of a problem for you.
We do have two-way adjustable lumbar support, not four-way lumbar support. I think that is a pity and we don’t have any extending thigh cushions in this particular model to help adapt to a variety of different driver sizes and shapes. We have a tilt telescopic steering column, and this is member linked to the three-position memory on the door. As we see in other Lexus products, it’s worth noting that the power passenger seat does not have the same range of motion as a driver seat.
Most notably, it is missing the adjustable lumbar support, bearing in mind that really no two-door coupe was really designed for passengers. In the back, let’s see how well we can get back in here, there’s a little bit of a tight fit. The front seats are powered and if I put that back like that, it’s going to try and scoot right back into position where I actually had it adjusted for myself at 6 feet tall and whew. It just barely misses my legs, although I’m not sure.
If I can actually get my feet out of that foot well right there now my knees are digging into the seat back, definitely for sure – and here a smile, a lot of headroom back here, but this is actually a little bit more comfortable than I thought it Would be actually a little bit more comfortable than the Lexus LC as well with many two-door vehicles. This is a four-seat coupe, so there’s no middle seat here. Instead, we get two cupholders right there with a removable divider, and then we have a fairly small armrest that drops right there as you’d expect out of a vehicle with a price tag that goes over seventy thousand dollars, even though these seats are micro sized back here, The fit and finish and the materials quality is still very high, so we have soft touch materials on the sides right there, swated inserts on the side, soft touch, armrests the fabric for this headliner goes all the way down those b-pillars and then again that soft touch Armrest right there, on top of the trunk lid, we have a pop-up carbon fiber spoiler in this particular model and then behind the trunk lid. We find just over ten cubic feet of storage space.
It is fairly square, but it is also a little bit smaller than you’ll find in the Lexus sedans, which are closely related to this. It also is a little bit less than you’ll find in some of those larger European offerings. Under the load floor. We don’t find a spare tire in this particular trim, but if you get the lesser versions of the RC, then there is actually enough room down here to put a spare tire, albeit a small one, right down there.
Cargo area, because of the brakes and the tires wheels on this particular model, we just get the can of emergency fix-a-flat. All four seats have the F logo embossed right there in the center of the headrest, and these seats are sort of an imitation five-point harness seat. So these holes, right here on either side, are just decorative they’re, not designed to support a five-point harness. It’s a little bit difficult to see this on camera, but we have this really eccentric headliner in this particular model, the waviness that you’re seeing there is not a distortion of the camera.
This hatch pattern actually has this kind of motion in it that you see right there. It looks sort of like a disruption in the space-time continuum or something like that from Star Trek. I really really like this overall look, and I wish that Lexus would put this in other models, because it’s kind of an interesting conversation piece and definitely more interesting than just a boring old headliner, be sure to. Let me know what you think about that headliner down there in the comments section below.
Let me know if I’m crazy, the seats this particular model are this attractive navy, blue, with an ivory insert right there in the middle. These seats are perforated in the middle because they’re, heated and ventilated, and these also have kind of an eccentric design going on to them. You can see that we have those interesting stitch lines that intersect right there as they go down there towards the bottom of the seat, and then we have a very similar pattern right down there on the seat. Bottom cushion the front doors feature an ambient lighting strip.
It’s a little bit difficult to see it, but it is right there above that trim piece as you’d expect at a luxury vehicle most of the door is made from soft touch materials, including the upper section. The pieces right there around that ambient light strip again, which is right there above that trim piece. We have some carbon fiber right there with some blue inserts to match the seats and then some all cantar inserts right here on the back of the door, then hard plastics right down there at the bottom. Taking a closer look at the carbon fiber, you can see those blue threads right there inside and that coordinates with the blue stitching that we see throughout the cabin the glove compartment is a slot style compartment.
I wasn’t able to fit a large tab. The computer inside the overall dashboard and interior design is definitely a little bit more. Lexus is than Lexus GS, although actual parts sharing is pretty minimal between this and the four-door sedan working our way down the we have our engine start/stop button, two air vents and analog clock, because every luxury car has to have one of those. We then have the controls for the two zone: automatic climate control system.
An interesting touch with these controls is that we actually have some touch sliders on each side that allows you to vary the temperature right like that, rather than just simply touching. Of course, you can touch down here on the bottom if you just want to up or down your temperature by one degree, but then have dedicated buttons for the rest of the climate control functions, a single slot optical disc player, right there, some direct access buttons for Radio, the media interface track forward backward. We have a power volume, knob, a two knob right there and then under here. You can see that we have the logo for the mark levinson system, because this vehicle does have that option.
Now, in case you’re wondering there used to be an SD card slot right here behind this, what looks like a door, but this is no longer a door for 2019, because software updates are not handled that way. So, instead of actually removing that and giving us something different that really just glued the door on continuing our way down from there, we have the controls to the heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel button. Then we have a pretty traditional console. Shifter drive us all.
The way back right, like that, if you want the manual mode that’s over to the left, we push it away from the driver for up pull towards the driver for gear down to the right of the shifter. We have the drive mode now we press for the normal mode or the custom mode rotate around for Sport Sport or to the other side for eco. We then have a button to turn off the stability control system and then a very interesting button right here for the F Maul, which is the torque vectoring differential. That is an option, but it’s definitely an option.
I would get if you’re looking at the RC F. This is one of the few torque vectoring differentials in the luxury segment that actually allows you to adjust its behavior. There are three different steps. We have normal slalom and track, so you can actually adjust how aggressively that axle is actually sending power across the rear.
Then, of course, there’s a snow mode if you should find yourself caught in a blizzard as with other Lexus models, this vehicle continues to use the Lexus touchpad interface, that offers haptic feedback a button for the map menu and a back button, as well as a contextual Pop-Up button right there at the back – this is probably my least favorite input method, as I’ve said before then, to the right of that, we have two large cupholders in this model. Center console is covered in faux suede and if we open it up, we find a small storage cubby, where we have two USB inputs. Auxilary input, 12-volt power port, definitely enough room to store larger smartphones. Right like that instrument.
Cluster is a little different in the F than the regular model. We have a physical speedometer over here. That is one small dial and then everything else that you’re seeing is being displayed by a large LCD. We have a physical ring around this area of the display, but that does not move like we see in some of Lexuses other F Sport models and kind of an interesting touch.
We have an eco mode, as I said before, and that removes the tachometer gives us this sort of like eco display right there, but as you can see at the bottom of that, you can still have the torque vectoring differential in track or slalom mode. But we have the drivetrain in Eco mode. I think that’s personally hilarious. We have some custom modes, normal mode, Sport and Sport Plus modes.
That change the display a little bit and then we’ll find our trip. Computer and F specific gauges over here on the left, so risks are g-force their tire pressure, the status of the rear wing. You get a torque distribution screen. You can also get turn-by-turn navigation directions, readouts from the media system, in the vehicle status to the vehicle’s active safety systems, warning messages, and you can adjust meter and certain vehicle settings from this display as well.
The steering wheel is this: thickly rimmed three model with sport grips on the sides. A white indicator right there, so you know which way is straight forward. On the left side of the wheel. We find the infotainment buttons a voice, command button, dedicated phone buttons and then on the right side.
We find the controls for that multifunction LCD back button, page change button and a distance button and lane-keeping assist buttons. Those work with the cruise control stalker, that’s right back. There it rotates with the steering wheel from this angle. You can also see the shift paddles we have down on the left and up over there on the right.
In case you were wondering there is a little badge right there, showing that we are in the anniversary, limited model it’s over here on the driver’s side door. Let’s get our performance figures out of the way up front. We ran 0 to 60 in this model. In 4.5 seconds there was a little bit of rear wheel slip, but not as much as we find in some of the competition.
That’s actually a little bit faster than the first time. I was able to drive the RC F and that’s likely because it was a little bit hotter and a little bit above sea level when we had that test. I believe it was out in Georgia. This is also a little bit faster than the GS F that we tested out here on our own home turf, because this does appear to be a little bit lighter than that model, although it is again using the same engine.
It’s also interesting to note that this is actually faster than the LC 500 as well, because the RC is a little bit lighter. Now that surprised me a little bit because we actually get a more modern transmission in the LC 500 than we find in the RC. Stopping distances were very short for this category, as you’d expect for a performance trim, at least off from sixty miles now we’re back to zero in 110 feet. That does obviously stretch out if you’re looking at the RC 300 or the RC 350 overall handling ability in the RC is good, whether we’re talking about the RC 300, the 350 or the RC F.
That shouldn’t be too surprising, because Lexus has long focused on handling and driving precision the overall suspension tune of the RC benefits from everything that Lexus has done in the is and GS, and those models compare very well with the European entries. In fact, I would say, generally speaking, that the is is more accurate out on the road in terms of overall steering and handling feel than something like a BMW 3-series. The trouble, of course, is that this is not as fast as a 3-series or a 5 Series or a 4 series, and now really is the biggest difference between this and those BMW, Mercedes and Audi models, etc. Because even this top-end fiercest version of the Lexus RC is not as fast as an m4 and the Delta is pretty big.
This is about as fast zero to 60 as an Infiniti q60 red sport or a BMW 440. I, in some situations this may be a little bit faster than the Infinity or the BMW, but for most intents and purposes, they’re very, very similar and definitely notably slower than the m4. That’s what makes the RC F kind of an odd duck here, because this is a dedicated performance model. If you were to take a look at the corollaries in BMW land, this would be an m4 because we actually have body changes that are pretty significant.
We have that carbon-fiber roof. We have those larger fenders that we find in this vehicle a different track, etc. To accommodate those wider tires, we have a unique engine under the hood that you don’t find in any other RC. We have all those dedicated performance model changes that you’d expect out of an M car or an RS or an AMG.
Yet we don’t have the thrust that we would expect in those models. Instead, this actually has more of a classic feel on the flipside. If you’re looking for more of a traditional option, this is going to be really the only one we have that classic v8 engine note. We have power that builds with the RPMs.
We don’t have that same sort of low-end torque that we find in a turbo engine. There’s absolutely no turbo lag, no delay in waiting for all that oome and then, of course, there’s that noise, because the v8 sounds incredible. A downside again is that it’s just not going to be as fast as those turbo competitors because of the overall mission of the RC F. The suspension in this vehicle is definitely firmer than the regular RC model, but we again do have that adaptive variable suspension, which does smooth things out a little bit.
Now it’s important to remember that when comparing this against something like a 440, I that the 440 – I is actually going to be a little bit more comfortable, a little bit more compliant because it’s not a full on performance model in terms of overall ride comfort. This is definitely more in terms of overall ride comfort. It’s definitely more appropriate to compare the RC F to something like the m4, then the 440 I this performs very. Similarly, we feel a lot of those smaller imperfections coming into the cabin, because we have those lower profile tires and, of course, that tweaked sport suspension in this model in our cabin noise test, this model came in at 70 decibels.
That is a little bit louder than I expected it to be. That’s likely, because this is the model with the performance tires and, of course, the louder engine and exhaust in terms of overall fuel economy. The RS CF has done fairly well for itself with averaged about 20 miles per gallon over a week of mixed driving. That’s likely, thanks to the more aggressive fuel saving technology that we see in this model versus some of the competitors, high performance trims.
Although we don’t find cylinder deactivation under this hood lock, we do find in some other high-performance v8 engines. Lexus instead gives us that Atkinson cycle operation, that’s basically the same cycle that the toad of Prius operates on, and it basically has the same effect when it comes to overall fuel savings. Here, the RC is an interesting option in this segment. Whether we’re taking a look at the 300, the 3 5 or the F, they all have the kind of handling, precision and overall driving dynamics that a performance enthusiast would be interested in.
But unfortunately, they all lack the thrust that I think a lot of the rest of us would be interested in because, depending on the vehicle, sometimes I am willing to give up a little bit of handling precision to get the extra acceleration. And that really would be the tough choice between choosing something like this and a BMW 4-series in terms of overall suspension, tuning and overall driving dynamics. This is definitely superior to something like doughty, a5 or audi s5. The weight balance here is definitely much much better for performance driving, but again the thrust is definitely a problem for 2019.
The RC F starts at 64,000 750. This is the least expensive way to get your hands on the Lexus 5 liter v8 engine. That price tag is actually a little bit surprising because it’s nearly $ 20,000 less expensive than a GS F, which is actually related to the RC F and about $ 30,000, less expensive, of course, than Lexus’s other coupe, the LC 500, which uses basically the same engine. Remember that the Lexus RC is not exactly an is coupe, and it’s not exactly a GS coupe, it’s actually a melding of the two vehicles together with actually some parts from the old lexus is tossed into the middle as well.
That does make the RC F. One of the less expensive performance options in this segment, but, of course you can add a ton of features, as we typically see from Lexus, you can add the carbon fiber roof, the rear wing, the torque vectoring rear axle factory navigation. Software is extra, as are the heated and ventilated seats and, of course, premium audio. This could get you all the way on up to about 80 1250 about the same price as a base.
Lexus GS, the overall price range and the overall performance ability of the RC F make it stack up a little bit differently than a lot of the competition. Let’s start taking a look at that now. We first up have the BMW m4. It starts at 60 9150.
It is more expensive than the RC F, but it is also much faster. Remember that when you’re, comparing a naturally aspirated engine to a turbocharged or supercharged 2 engine overall power figures are not everything. It’s the way the vehicle delivers its power as well, and that’s why the BMW for is so much faster than the RCF. But oddly here I think that the Lexus is actually the better balanced one.
It’s a little bit less prone to oversteer when you’re really pushing it, and the overall feeling is very, very linear. Part of that is due to the naturally aspirated engine, and part of it is just due to the overall suspension design that we see in the lexus. Lexus generally designs very engaging sedans and, if you actually take a lexus, is, for instance, and a BMW 3-series out on a track back-to-back. You’ll really notice that the Lexus IS has a very well sorted suspension.
The overall suspension tuning the overall steering tuning and everything make it easier to drive. The Lexus is a little bit harder. The unfortunate thing is that the RC, the is the GS when you’re, comparing any of those to the European competition. The Lexus is usually down on power and that’s exactly what we’re seeing here.
The result, of course, is that, depending on the size track that you’re on the m4 is probably going to be notably faster than the RC F, is it going to be more fun, possibly possibly not. The RC F does actually make a really good proposition for itself. In the fun department, but is it going to be faster? Probably not we don’t know what’s in store next for the m4.
We do expect it to hang on for about another year or so, because BMW just released the new 3-series and, of course, there’ll be a new four series based off of the 3-series, probably sometime next year, where the RC F really plays well compared to the m4. Is overall price because you can definitely get your m4 more expensive than the RC F when we’re talking about a comparably equipped vehicle, the RC F is also going to be the more reliable vehicle, the less expensive vehicle to keep around. So if you’re thinking about buying one of these vehicles and keeping it for 10 years or 15 years, if you really are looking for that long-term ownership, then the RC F is going to be less expensive to keep around it’s gon na be more reliable. Just the overall design of the engine etc means that less is likely to go wrong.
Next up, we have the mercedes-benz c63. It comes in a c63 and a c63 s format, both of which are definitely expensive. The S version starts at seventy-five thousand five hundred dollars. So nearly ten thousand dollars above a Lexus in terms of overall appearance.
I think that the Lexus definitely looks more aggressive, but I have to say that I prefer the overall looks of the Mercedes just a little bit more. I also like the way the interior is done in the Mercedes, there’s a little bit more opportunity to customize your Mercedes than we see in the Lexus, but you’re definitely going to have to pay for that in terms of overall performance. The Mercedes is obviously going to be faster than the Lexus, but it’s going to cost more and that cost Delta is pretty significant. It’s at least $ 10,000 in the base model and that Delta grows.
As you start, adding options to the Mercedes. We see a very similar thing if you were to compare the Lexus to the Audi rs5. The rs5 is already a little bit expensive at seventy four thousand two hundred dollars, but start adding options and it can get notably more expensive. Just like the Mercedes.
The rs5 is an interesting option here, because it’s not as well-balanced as the others because of the overall outtie design. The entire engine is in front of the front axle as I’ve said before, but we do get standard, all-wheel drive and we also get an absolutely excellent engine in the Audi in terms of overall styling, both inside and outside. I have to say that the Audi is my top pick in the segment. I just love the way the rs5 looks the a5 on which it’s based is already a good looking vehicle, and it already has very sharp handling and the rs5 just dials that knob all the way up to 11.
I have to say that if I were shopping in this segment right now, I would probably get the Audi rs5, even though it doesn’t have the same dynamics that we see in the rear-wheel drive competition from Germany, so something like the c63, the m4 etc they’re. Going to give you that classic rear-wheel drive driving dynamic, they possibly could be a little bit more fun, but I just love the overall package in the Audi rs5. It’s fun it’s fast and I really like the fact that it has all-wheel drive and for that added feature I can definitely give up a little bit of the driving dynamics that we see in some of the competition with that out of the way, let’s get back To the RC F for a little bit, because there’s another way you could look at the RC F. Actually a BMW 440.
I well-equipped could be $ 60,000 for five thousand dollars more. You could get Lexus RC F and I’ve been told that Lexus dealers are more likely to bargain on that RC F then sometimes prices on the BMW 440. I because it hasn’t been selling quite as well as perhaps Lexus would like. That means that for an extra few thousand dollars, you could get a vehicle that is more distinctive, more of a performance machine and definitely more unique than a run-of-the-mill 440.
I I think that’s really an interesting way to look at the Lexus RCF. The v8 engine sounds absolutely incredible. I know that compared to a 440 I I would probably take the RC F over it. It’s a fun vehicle to drive, it’s easy to live with, and it’s also going to be very, very reliable.
Of course, the tricky thing is that again, as you start, adding options to the RC F, which I suspect a lot of people would want to, then you start approaching the price tag of the Audi rs5 and again I would probably take the rs5 over the Lexus.