Lexus has been making a very strong comeback lately, mostly due to the daring design applied to its new products that has made them much more appealing to customers.
Nevertheless, going after the all-conquering Germans in the sports coupe niche has never being the brand’s strong suit and, so far, it has ended up on the losing side.
The RC F has bucked the trend for downsizing, opting for a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 while both the BMW M4 and the Merc-AMG C 63 have moved on to smaller units with forced induction. At 467 HP, however, the Lexus still beats the M4 on paper, though its huge weight handicap (it’s around 300 kg heavier) and old-fashioned auto gearbox, instead of a dual-clutch one, means its 4.4-second 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) sprint is actually slower than that of the Bimmer.
Almost all reviewers have, so far, deemed the RC F to be the lesser car. Driving an bright orange example fitted with the Performance package, which brings some carbon bits and, most importantly, a torque-vectoring rear differential, shows that this Lexus might lose on outright speed or on-the-limit driving dynamics, but it still is a quality item that can be fun in an old-school kind of way.
An M4-beater it is not, then, but that was a very tall order to begin with. Even so, being naturally aspirated, its instant throttle response and the gruff sound of that V8 are immensely gratifying – certainly more so than that of its German rivals.