The 2023 Lexus RC F isn’t an ideal automotive. It’s outdated, heavy and sluggish in comparison with its opponents. But it surely’s not all unhealthy. Pop the hood and also you’ll discover the RC F’s saving grace: an impressive 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine. Step on the accelerator, hear the engine’s low burble flip right into a high-pitched yell, and hastily you don’t care concerning the RC F’s flaws anymore.
Full Disclosure: Lexus lent me a 2023 RC F with a full tank of fuel throughout a weeklong journey in Southern California.
2023 Lexus RC F: Driving and Powertrain
Clichés about an engine dominating the expertise of a automotive are thrown round rather a lot, however I promise you, on this case it isn’t hyperbole. From the second you press the beautiful feeling begin button and the 5.0-liter V8 roars to life, you already know this engine means enterprise, however not in the best way you’d anticipate.
The motor places out 472 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque, which aren’t numbers to sneeze at by any means. However in a automotive that weighs 3,900 kilos, it isn’t actually sufficient to make it fast or outright quick. After all, the RC F isn’t sluggish in comparison with most on a regular basis autos, however a BMW M3 or Mercedes-AMG C63 will certainly steal the Lexus’ lunch cash with out a lot of a combat.
The RC F may not have the straight-line velocity or cornering potential of its rivals, however its V8 has such a beautiful character that it’s arduous to not be smitten. Positive, you actually must wring it out to get the total expertise, and there’s not a lot energy down low within the rev vary, so driving round city isn’t all that thrilling. (The exhaust baffles don’t open up till you crest 3,000 rpm.) However the sound this factor makes close to its 7,200-rpm redline is music to my ears.
The RC F isn’t an all-out monitor star, however on an exquisite Saturday morning drive, it’s beautiful. The steering could be very properly weighted and stuffed with suggestions, although not the quickest unit on this planet. Sharper turns require extra hand-over-hand motion that you simply’d in all probability need; the RC F is a lot better suited to lengthy sweepers.
The chassis is a little bit of a combined bag. The RC F undoubtedly favors understeer, and it will probably get a bit unsettled on a bumpy floor, however in the event you give it some juice mid-corner, it’ll come round quite properly. At its coronary heart, the RC F is a cruiser that may have enjoyable on a winding backroad. This isn’t a razor-sharp sports activities automotive.
There’s however one situation with the RC F’s drivetrain: its eight-speed computerized transmission. It’s sluggish to shift if you’re not going all out, and doesn’t prefer to downshift by itself in computerized mode. You’ve bought to provide the throttle an actual boot-full if you’d like the gearbox to kick down. Like a lot of the RC F, the transmission seems like a product of days passed by. I suppose you can say that it provides an in any other case refined driving expertise a little bit of imperfect character.
Contained in the RC F
The RC F’s cabin is typical Lexus, which is to say it’s supremely well-built, however you’ve bought to be keen to look previous technological shortcomings. The general match and end feels sturdy and premium, and for essentially the most half it additionally seems extra attention-grabbing than the interiors of different autos in its class. There’s loads of leather-based, carbon fiber, suede and actual steel contained in the RC F that can virtually make you suppose it’s value its $91,210 asking worth (together with $1,150 for vacation spot). It’s undoubtedly an outdated design at this level, contemplating the very fact this automotive first got here out in the course of the Obama administration, however it’s a design that has aged very nicely, all issues thought-about.
The entrance seats are particularly great. They’ve bought a superb quantity of assist, aren’t too tight for my extensive hips, and on prime of that, they give the impression of being incredible. There’s little doubt that my check automotive’s white leather-based will find yourself getting soiled, however in the event you simply dropped over 90 grand on a automotive, you’ll be able to in all probability afford to have a detailer on standby.
Rear seat occupants get their very own air vents, a few cup holders and little else. A lot to my shock, an actual grownup particular person can sit again there for semi-extended durations of time. My buddy Sarah is 5 toes, 6 inches tall, and she or he was in a position to get again there simply wonderful. I wouldn’t suggest throwing somebody again there for hours on finish, however in a pinch it’ll get the job carried out.
The RC F’s Outdated Tech
I’ll minimize proper to the chase: Not one of the know-how contained in the RC F seems like a product of 2023. If tech in your sports activities automotive isn’t essential, then it isn’t a lot of a difficulty. However for this sum of money, I anticipate much more.
Now, to be honest, Lexus at the very least up to date the RC F’s tech roster for 2023. Drivers now have a touchscreen within the heart that can be utilized as a substitute of Lexus’ terrible trackpad. However nonetheless, this infotainment system doesn’t precisely really feel innovative. It’s not very fast to reply to inputs and it isn’t very customizable. It does include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, however by way of a wired connection solely. Oh, and that wire is USB-A solely.
The RC F additionally has bizarre stuff like capacitive contact controls for the cabin temperature and a totally redundant set of local weather controls baked into the infotainment display screen. There’s additionally a bizarrely small speedometer and gauge cluster graphics that look, once more, extra at dwelling in a automotive from the previous. That being stated, the middle tach is all digital and a throwback to the LFA, in order that’s fairly neat.
Seems to be and A Massive Choice
The RC F’s design will be the higher a part of a decade outdated, however for essentially the most half it has withstood the check of time. I’ll say that my tester’s elective $595 Flare Yellow paint goes a protracted option to making the RC F look particular.
The opposite factor that units my RC F aside is the Carbon Bundle. For $17,775 (sure, you learn that proper), your RC F will get a carbon fiber roof and rear bumper, carbon fiber aero bits and a retractable carbon fiber rear wing that’ll deploy and let everybody know you’re dashing. You additionally get 19-inch matte black wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, and inside, this costly bundle provides some carbon fiber trim, heated and ventilated entrance seats and a heated steering wheel with an influence column. So yeah, I suppose you get a whole lot of stuff for the cash, however wow does it fully biff up the value of the RC F.
Figuring Out The Lexus RC F
The RC F begins at $66,695 if you’d like a bare-bones instance. And at that worth – which is about $10,000 cheaper than a base BMW M4 – I believe it makes a whole lot of sense. Hell, even when the RC F value $75,000, I might in all probability wrap my head round that. It’s very well made and it has one of the crucial great engines I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. Nevertheless, with the Carbon Bundle, the particular yellow paint and a handful of different little choices, the RC F I examined prices $91,210. That is just too a lot cash for this automotive.
My actual situation is that, at 91 grand, you’re pushing up on Lexus LC 500 territory. A base LC 500 will set you again $98,850 (together with vacation spot). For those who’ve bought $91,000 to spend on a automotive, you’ve additionally bought $99,000 to spend on a automotive. Plus, with the LC you get much better seems, a extra fashionable inside and a greater transmission – all with the identical nice V8 engine.
2023 Lexus RC F RC F RWD Specs
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