With the latest BMW M3 and M4 tearing up the news scene, and the W205 C63 AMG on the near horizon, Lexus has finally detailed the outputs, specs, and foreign pricing of their M4 competitor, the RC F. Whilst others are choosing to downsize and add turbos, Lexus have remained resolute in their naturally aspirated performance approach, opting for aural theatre rather than efficiency.
The RC F will be powered by a 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8, the same unit previously seen in the IS F. This time around though, power has been bumped up to 335kW, with 520Nm on tap – 30Nm shy of the biturbo-6 in the M4. The V8 will drive the rear wheels through an 8-speed Sports Direct Shift automatic transmission.
But despite retaining an un-boosted setup with less torque than the competitors, Lexus are still hoping to put up a brave fight thanks to some weight loss. The RC F Carbon package provides the benefits of a CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic) roof, bonnet, and rear spoiler to reduce weight and lower the centre of gravity. The Carbon package also adds a torque-vectoring differential to prevent things getting too lairy.
Providing additional performance benefits, the RC F features high performance Brembo brakes, Sachs monotube shock absorbers, an active rear wing, and 19-inch forged alloys, all helping with handling and stopping. But, we’re yet to know what the RC F is capable of as Lexus still haven’t revealed any performance claims.
What we do know is that the RC F’s standard kit will feature LED headlights, a 10-speaker multimedia system, a new touchpad control system, navigation, dual-zone climate control, and a drive-mode selector. A reverse camera, hill start assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitor, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, and keyless entry also feature as standard. Adaptive cruise control, sunroof, torque-vectoring differential and a Mark Levinson surround sound system are all optional extras.
Price-wise, the UK specification RC F is slightly more expensive than the BMW M4 – R60 000 more expensive. So if you’re going to think about buying the RC F when it arrives in SA, you’re likely to pay about the same amount more than the BMW. The question is, is it worth it? Could the naturally aspirated Lexus, with lower figures, be better than the definitive car in this segment?