The back catalogue of fast Lexuses makes for brief reading. There’s the LFA supercar, the IS F saloon and… that’s all. It’s very recent history, too, but Lexus now seems determined to establish the ‘F’ series as a credible alternative to M Power and AMG.
It’s a very different approach to the comfort and quiet that Lexus has made its own since 1990. But are big wheelarches, wide tyres and gaping air vents (not to mention a walloping great V8) enough to make us Brits love Lexus the way we do our German brands?
The RC F goes into battle with the BMW M4 and Mercedes C63 AMG Coupé on broadly equal terms in its power output and pricing, so presumably we’re about to find out!
The new 5.0-litre V8 produces 450bhp and 383lb ft of torque, and is priced at £59,995 (or £67,995 for the ‘Carbon’ edition). So far, so M4/C63. If you’re wondering, the Carbon does have carbon fibre reinforced plastic panels, amongst other upgrades including – for the first time in a front-engine, rear-wheel drive car – a torque-vectoring differential (optional on the entry level model).
Not that carbon fibre makes this is any kind of CSL-style lightweight. A lengthy standard equipment list sees to that.
Perhaps it doesn’t matter. Perhaps the ‘halo’ effect is enough to justify the new F’s existence; after all, it will look great on magazine covers, and will give the brand coverage where it wouldn’t otherwise have any (right here, for instance). Perhaps it’s more accurately the Lexus ‘PR’ CF.
Whether it’s a sales hit or not won’t affect the way it drives, though. And a powerful V8 and rear wheel drive sounds very promising indeed. We’ll be more than willing to set aside badge snobbery and give it a try.