Heir to a King
The LFA Supercar is one heck of a car that, for a few short years, fulfilled its duty as the pinnacle of Lexus high-performance. Well out of the price range for most new car buyers, I would have given my left testicle – kidney at least – just to drive it for a few minutes, but it never materialized.
The RC series is the new, aggressive face of Lexus, and the RC F succeeds the LFA as the automaker’s halo product. More importantly, perhaps, company president and CEO Akio Toyoda believes that performance, not just luxury, will be the company’s guiding light for future product, and critical to the success of Lexus as a global luxury and performance brand.
Building on the higher-volume RC 350 and RC 350 F Sport rear-wheel-drive coupes, the RC F is a true high-performance luxury coupe that is lower, wider and longer than its cousins. Lexus Canada says it will account for 10 percent of all RC sales in the first year. The goal is 1,000 units.
From a design and engineering standpoint, Lexus wanted a platform that makes a statement at first sight – one that would stand up to badges such as AMG, M and RS. Using a GS section in the front for wide wheels, an IS C centre section for rigidity, IS rear section for a short rear overhang and GS suspension, bushings and other enhancements, the GS/IS underpinnings ensure the RC series is a sporty, aggressive and fun-to-drive platform.
An all-wheel-drive version will also be available; and the RC 350 F Sport (RWD only) does have rear-wheel steering that adds up to two degrees of steering angle. It wasn’t at the launch event, but the RC F is already pretty impressive without it.
“It is designed for anybody to drive,” says Yukihiko Yaguchi, the car’s Chief Engineer. Yaguchi-san has been with Toyota and Lexus since 1977; and has been responsible for many key Lexus vehicles, including the original GS 400 and IS F.
The “F” in all this madness refers to the Fuji Speedway, which is where this car has been developed and refined just like its IS F and LFA predecessors. Of course, the Nürburgring Nordschleife was also important for benchmarking the RC F.
Continue reading my experience with the 2015 Lexus RC F at the Monticello Motor Club in upstate New York on the IGNITION LUXURY & PERFORMANCE website!
And here is some raw footage of me driving the RC F flagship at Monticello.