2017 Lexus RC F Review

In its quest to be competitive across the board in the luxury segment, the once rather conservative Lexus product portfolio has expanded to encompass a number of performance models. Further, Lexus now offers versions of those cars tweaked for even more aggressive behavior—the “F” lineup. For 2017, these models include the IS F and GS F sedans, along with the RC F coupe. In German terms, the Lexus RC F is the manufacturer’s alternative to the BMW M4, Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe and Audi RS5.

Lexus RC F Overview

Now in its third year of production, most people do love the overall shape of the RC F. After all, who doesn’t like the classic long nose, short deck proportions? However, some do have issues with the embellishments laid over that basic shape. Today’s Japanese cars have a tendency to be somewhat busy of line and the RC F’s vents, creases, kinks, fender flares and spoilers place it solidly in that camp. On the other hand, the RC F does have a look all its own.

In addition to its performance potential, this is also a luxury coupe, so plush leather, automatic everything and the latest electronic features are all present and accounted for. If ever a car can be said to be fully loaded, the RC F certainly is. It also gets a unique set of sport seats. However, these too, are somewhat controversial. They do an admirable job of keeping occupants in place during spirited maneuvers, but they’re most comfortable for those who are more slender in stature. As for rear seat legroom, like so many cars in this category, there really isn’t any. The trunk is good for 10.1 cubic feet of capacity

Power comes from a free winding 32-valve 5.0-liter V8 tuned to deliver 467 horsepower and 389 lb-ft of torque. Redline is remarkable at 7,100 rpm and the engine sounds terrific getting there. An eight-speed automatic transmission routes power to the rear wheels. While no manual option is offered, the eight-speed is equipped with paddle shifters to respond to manual inputs. It even blips the throttle on downshifts. Fans of normally aspirated engines take note; the Lexus RC F is the last coupe in this category of performance cars to eschew turbocharging or supercharging.

Adjustable drive modes sharpen throttle, transmission and steering responses, while relaxing traction and stability control for enhanced performance. Something of a Franken-Lexus, the RC F uses the front-end underpinnings of the Lexus GS sedan, the mid-section from the IS convertible, and the rear end from the IS sedan. While it sounds like a lot, they all blend seamlessly to create a rigid platform. This contributes generously to the RC F’s agility. However, this also has a say in the RC F’s near 4,000-pound curb weight, which dulls its reflexes compared to its Teutonic rivals.

In an effort to overcome this deficit to improve handling, the engineering team was forced to sacrifice ride quality. It’s something you’ll likely notice only peripherally when you’re in the car alone. But when a passenger joins you, it stands out hugely. While this isn’t enough to put us off the RC F entirely, an adjustable suspension system would be a welcome addition.

While this review does read quite critical of the Lexus, it’s important to note we do like the car for the most part. Yes, it’d be better with a more compliant suspension system and less weight, but its look is uniquely distinctive and its engine sounds wonderful and pulls strongly—without supplemental aspiration. Further, at anything less than 8/10ths, this is a brilliantly fun car to drive. And, there’s no denying the fact the 2017 Lexus RC F is a comprehensively equipped luxury car. Pricing starts at $64,165.

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