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2016 Lexus RC F Overview

James Flammang
Contributing Editor - December 11, 2015

After launching the RC series coupe in 2015 with just one version, Lexus is offering four varieties for 2016, topped by the track-ready, super-powered RC F. Priced far above its less-potent mates, the RC F is loaded with performance-focused components that make this coupe at home on a racetrack, as well as on an expressway or a two-lane road.

What's New for 2016

Introduced for the 2015 model year, the RC F is a four-passenger coupe, similar to its moderately-powered cohorts but packing a 467-horsepower V8 and a cornucopia of performance goodies. Nothing has changed for 2016, except for the addition of Lexus Enform Connect, which allows the owner to monitor certain vehicle details remotely, using a smartphone.

Lexus RC F

Choosing Your Lexus RC F

Lexus RC F Interior

Enthusiasts know that in the lexicon of Lexus, the suffix “F” may as well stand for fast, and possibly even furious, if not fantastic. Power and performance figures tell a prominent part of the RC F tale, as it compares to the trio of other RC models.

Most notably, the 5-liter V8 engine generates an eye-opening 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque, driving an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission that includes paddle shifters and a manual-shifting mode. Other Lexus RC coupes hold V6 or four-cylinder turbo engines.

The V8 is something of a curiosity, because it operates in two distinct cycles: the familiar Otto cycle, and an Atkinson cycle that reduces power output and eases fuel consumption. When power is needed to pass or merge, the Otto cycle is active. Under more relaxed driving conditions, the Atkinson cycle takes over. If there’s any doubt about RC F capabilities, three driving modes are selectable: standard, slalom, and track.

Offered only with rear-wheel drive, the RC F is no lightweight at nearly two tons, but has well-balanced 55/45 (front/rear) weight distribution. Brembo brakes have 15-inch front discs and 13.6-inch rear discs. Forged aluminum 19-inch wheels hold 255/35R19 tires up front and 275/35R19 rubber at the rear. When the RC F is cornering at higher speed, an available Torque Vectoring differential sends power to the rear wheel that’s most “loaded.”

Lexus RC F Front Seats

External details are similar to the regular RC models, with some exceptions. For instance, the RC F has functional side vents that enhance cooling. Underbody panels are installed, to improve airflow. Compared to other RC coupes, chassis rigidity has been enhanced, and the suspension is tuned more firmly.

Acceleration to 60 mph can be achieved in a sizzling 4.4 seconds, according to Lexus. Fuel economy is estimated by the EPA at 16 mpg in city driving and 25 mpg on the highway (19 mpg in combined driving). Not exactly a fuel-sipper, by any means, but better than might be expected for a car with track-ready potential.

Standard equipment includes 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, NuLuxe simulated leather seats with enhanced lateral support, hand-finished aluminum interior trim, leather/silver-trimmed steering wheel, power front sport seats with three-position memories, pushbutton start, and Bluetooth 3.0 audio streaming. The 10-speaker, 256-watt audio system has a 7-inch screen, and the backup monitor includes dynamic grid lines. An audible alert occurs when the engine reaches its rpm limit, and an active rear wing spoiler deploys at 50 mph.

Options include a moonroof, leather-trimmed seats, navigation, Park Assist, orange brake calipers, 10- and 20-spoke wheels, and a pre-collision system with dynamic radar cruise control.

To make this pugnacious coupe look and act even hotter, a Performance package includes a carbon-fiber roof panel and rear wing, along with the Torque Vectoring Differential.

CarsDirect Tip

Buyers who envision driving their RC coupe on a track as well as on the road are the prime candidates for owning an RC F coupe. So, too, are those for whom the 306-horsepower engine in an RC 350 simply won’t do. You’re paying quite a hefty surcharge for that additional 161 horsepower, but a barrelful of high-performance components are packed into the RC F. No, it’s not for everyone by any means; but a fair number of RC prospects are sure to say “yes” to the ultimate edition.

Get your price on a Lexus RC F »

Lexus RC F Rear Quarter