Lexus RC-F vs BMW M4: fight!

As prices for the new V8 Lexus are announced, we see how it stacks up against the Beemer

The new Lexus RC-F will cost £59,995, and if you like the look of it, you can order it today.

Lexus has revealed prices of its upcoming, V8-powered, BMW M4 rival, with order books opening today, ready for first deliveries in January 2015.

There’s another version too, the Lexus RC-F ‘Carbon’ edition, which costs £67,995. This Carbon edition adds a torque vectoring differential, lightweight carbon fibre roof, bonnet and rear spoiler, as well as Alcantara heated seats and a Mark Levinson audio system. This is on top of all the regular goodies the RC-F gets.

One of these goodies is of course, the stonking, naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre V8. This is Good, because we love stonking, naturally-aspirated engines here at TG. Just how stonking? More than 450bhp and 383lb ft of torque. It’s related to the old V8 in the recently departed IS-F, and therefore boasts a bit of pedigree.

It’s also £850 more expensive than the rival BMW M4 with its twin-turbo straight-six and automatic gearbox (if you spec like for like – an M4 with the manual ‘box costs £56,650). Looks like a good match-up of super coupes, don’t you agree?

Click through to see how the two cars fare up against each other on paper…


Both the new BMW M3 and M4 (that’s the M3 Coupe, don’t forget) will use a turbocharged engine producing 431bhp and a whopping great 406lb ft of torque, making it easily the most powerful production M3 in history. But, that comes at the expense of two cylinders, as this new M4 (we’re going to stop calling it the M3 Coupe now, so just remember M4) uses a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six in place of the old N/A V8. BMW is rather adept at making really, really good straight-six engines, and this one promises fireworks.

A brief history of the BMW M3 Coupe


The Lexus however, has taken a more old-school approach, and one we whole-heartedly approve of here at Top Gear. It has decided to fit a stonking great 5.0-litre V8 under the bonnet of the new RC-F (though it does go into Atkinson-cycle mode, like a Prius, under light cruising); it’s related to the old V8 that sat in the last IS-F, and should thus be an absolute screamer. We’re promised over 450bhp and a not inconsiderable 383lb ft of torque. The Bee-Em edges it on torque, but this comfortably produces more horsepower.


Praise be! The BMW M4 is offered as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, with the seven-speed double clutch transmission as an option, both powering the rear wheels via an active M differential (electronically controlled, multi-plate LSD). Though it’s an option you might want to consider, because contained within the software is a mode BMW officially calls (and we’re not making this up) the ‘Smokey Burnout’ function. The M4 is therefore officially a hooligan.


Lexus meanwhile, made an interesting deduction about the transmission on offer for the new RC-F. There’ll be an eight-speed auto gearbox with a new e-diff powering the rear wheels, and rear wheels only – there won’t ever be a 4WD RC-F. When we asked Lexus boss Mark Templin for a manual to complement the old-school feel generated by that bloody big V8, he replied: “Everybody wants to talk about a manual, but no-one wants to buy one”.


The M4 is roughly 80kg lighter than its predecessor, clocking in at 1500kg, and with more power, comes more fastness: 0-62mph takes just 4.3 seconds with the manual, and 4.1s with the DCT ‘box. It’ll also run on to a limited top speed of 155mph.


The Lexus RC-F promises 0-62mph in under 4.5 seconds, though it’s much heavier than the M4, weighing in at 1800kg.


Air curtains on the front bumper and breathers in the front arches massage the air around the front of the BMW M4. There’s also a smooth underbody, a rather natty CSL-style CFRP rear-end and CFRP roof.


The RC-F manages with a bonnet vent that cuts front-end lift, as well as a smooth underbody, aero stabilising fins, a lifting rear spoiler and many cooling inlets.

So, which one gets your vote? The turbocharged six-pot BMW M4, or the V8-powered, free-breathing Lexus RC-F? Tell us below.

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