Test Drives

Lexus RC F 2015 Review: Power Inverter




 

Singapore –

We’ve seen this before…
Yes, at the car’s international debut in upstate New York and again as one of the stars of the Singapore Motorshow earlier in the year. We came away from the former event very impressed with the RC F’s prowess. But how does it deal with Singapore’s rough, rat-labyrinth roads? Find out here.

 

Is there a difference?
Sure. For one thing, the RC F feels normal in the wide expanse of the USA – back in Singapore, it feels a size larger than your normal high-performance coupe like an M4. No surprise, since the car’s larger, wider and significantly heavier. And also, since we last drove the RC F, the game’s changed with the new M3/M4 and Mercedes-AMG C 63.

Isn’t that bad for a fast car?
Yes, but there are good reasons for it. The car’s packed with technology, such as the direct-injected, naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre V8 with fuel-saving Atkinson cycle operation (see below), an eight-speed automatic gearbox, adaptive dampers and unique, rear-wheel torque-vectoring differential.


So what’s it like to drive?
In Normal or Eco mode, it feels like a regular Lexus, which is quite impressive really. It’s got a taut ride but it’s never uncomfortable, while the V8 will happily punt along at 90km/h and less than 2,000rpm until you wish to unleash the beast.

Ooh and how does that feel?
Superb. The V8 revs all the way to 7,300rpm and has seemingly endless pull until you need to switch gear. But even in Sport+ mode, the RC F still listens closely to driver input, flattering and working with you. The big V8 is not turbocharged, and is easy to co-opt into hooliganism, both in straight lines and around corners (leaving huge black lines).

There are certainly faster, lighter machines around, but few can match the RC F in terms of being fun and engaging to drive fast. Plus, it’s the only naturally-aspirated, rear-wheel drive high-performance coupe in its segment here.  Take that with the unique Japanese presentation and packaging only Lexus can do, and you have a rather special, one-of-a-kind high-performance coupe.

BOX: Smart Heart
The RC F’s engine is much evolved from its origin as the IS F’s powerplant

●      The new engine is codenamed 2UR-GSE and is the most powerful Lexus V8 to date.

●      Compression has been increased to 12.3:1, power is up by 54bhp and maximum revs from 6,800 to 7,300rpm.

●      Engine and transmission cooling has been bolstered for track day use.

●      There are a huge number of new parts including titanium valves, forged conrods, intake manifold, throttle body.

●      The fuel-injection system, D4-S, incorporates both port and direct injection.

●      The valve timing is particularly clever, opening the intake valves for longer to reap benefits (less pumping loss and resistance) from Atkinson cycle operation, as seen on Toyota and Lexus hybrids.

●      The system operates constantly, but is most efficient at highway speeds and gives the engine the effective emissions of a 4.2-litre engine. 

Lexus RC F
NEED TO KNOW

Engine                                     4,969cc, 32V, V8
Power                                      470bhp at 7100rpm
Torque                                     530Nm at 4800-5600rpm
Gearbox                                    8-speed automatic
Top Speed                                 270km/h
0-100kmh                                  4.5 seconds                                   
Fuel efficiency                             10.9L/100km
CO2                                            253g/km
Price                                           $438,000 with COE
Availability                                  Now

Also Consider: Audi RS 5, BMW M4, Mercedes C63 AMG.

about the author

Derryn Wong