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Road Test: 2015 Lexus RC F

The 2015 Lexus RC 350 marked the return of the coupe to Toyota’s luxury car lineup. It is positioned against the likes of the BMW 4-Series, Infiniti Q60 and Audi A5. Where the Lexus RC excels is in combining the visual elements of aggression and fashion with a solid driveline, a comfortable driver-focused cabin and good driving dynamics.

With a solid foundation to work with, there was something missing. The Lexus IS F was no longer in production, leaving a huge void in the Lexus lineup to engage with enthusiasts. Though it did not introduce a second-generation IS F, Lexus had something else up its sleeve.

The 2015 Lexus RC F represents the latest in Lexus performance. The RC’s sleek body was beefed up to form an aggressive design that is also functional. The hood becomes taller creating a “power dome” above the engine. Additional intakes and outlets allow for better airflow onto the front brakes, while an additional mesh grille on the hood enables air to enter and exit the engine bay. The RC’s grille was enlarged with additional air ports for better air intake.

Out back, four exhaust ports are framed within a solid black diffuser, which is designed to allow air to flow up from under the RC F. There is a rear spoiler that is automatically actuated depending on accelerator and brake action. This helps in keeping the rear of the RC F planted. This function can be turned off, however. Nineteen-inch multi-spoke aluminum wheels that wear high-performance summer tires are standard on RC F.

2015-Lexus-RC-F(6)Seating could be straight out of a race car. These seats are heavily bolstered with a high backrest incorporating the headrest and a provision for a five-point racing harness. The RC F only offers a three-point seat belt, which serves the driver and front passenger well. Instrumentation is similar to the RC 350 F Sport, with the addition of a smaller speedometer to the right of the center circular TFT screen. The TFT screen itself looks more aggressive, with a thicker yellow tachometer stripe that pulsates when the RC F is revved. With the exception of some blue stitching, a shorter gear lever, carbon fiber trim, the instrument binnacle and leather surfaces on the seats, there really isn’t much difference between the RC F and its lesser brethren.

The heart of the 2015 RC F is a 5.0-liter V8 engine with 467 horsepower on tap. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard with power sent to the rear wheels. There is no manual option for the RC F, though performance can be dialed in by a Drive Mode knob on the center console. Sport S and S+ modes enable sharper shift points, along heavier steering feel and a tighter suspension. Also available is a torque vectoring differential that is also adjustable by a switch on the center console. The braking system features larger discs and more aggressive calipers.

2015-Lexus-RC-F(5)There are a lot of adjectives that would describe how the RC F drives. The sports car driver will appreciate its performance and driving dynamics, though there is a certain muscle car feel to the engine and exhaust that’s combined with a lot of technology to ensure a superb driving experience. This is a car that inspires confidence whether you’re cruising on the highway or running laps at the track. In all, the RC F is a very easy car to drive, with a quick learning curve for the novice performance car driver.

The starting price for the 2015 Lexus RC F is $62,400. It is pitted against the 2015 BMW M4, Dodge Challenger SRT 392 and the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS.

The Lexus RC F is the kind of car an enthusiast will appreciate. There are not a lot available through the dealer network, which makes it a treat when you pull up to your local hangout … or into your driveway. This is one super drive that satisfies the soul.

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