RCF Dialling it up a notch
The most extreme car that Lexus makes, the RC F Track Edition is a brutal performer and all-round showstopper.
There are few cars on the road that are able to turn heads like the Lexus RC F, but when you talk about the Track Edition things ramp up a few levels in every way.
Firstly, the RC F Track is a true, unadulterated performance vehicle. Under that long, carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) bonnet beats a 5-litre V8 engine that is naturally aspirated (which means that there is no turbocharger). While most rivals favour turbo power, the RC F manages to produce very similar power and torque outputs without one – 351kW and 530Nm. One of the main advantages is that there is no turbolag or hesitation when you accelerate – the power is delivered as soon as you press the accelerator, and it arrives predictably and with linear progression, making the car extremely easy to drive (extremely) fast. Maximum power is founder high up the rev-range, which tops out at a heady 7100rpm, and is accompanied by a delicious V8 howl, no doubt assisted by the quad titanium exhaust system of the Track model (which is 7kg lighter than the standard exhaust). An eight-speed automatic gearbox sends the power to the rear wheels, making this a driver’s car through and through. The Track Edition is capable of sprinting from 0 – 100km/h in just 4.3 seconds, while the it is electronically limited to a top speed of 250km/h.
It is, however, still a Lexus, and that means that the dynamic handling that is good enough for a track hasn’t come at the expense of comfort. You can still drive this car very day, to the office and back, without arriving at work with a sore back and needing your assistance to lever you out of the driver’s seat.
In addition to the CFRP bonnet, the Track Edition is also fitted with a CFRP front spoiler and roof. The lighter bonnet and roof reduce vehicle kerb weight by 9kg while lowering the centre of gravity and delivering an aggressive look befitting of a racetrack-focused flagship. Then there are unique Track Edition alloy wheels and ceramic brakes, which together cut 25kg from the weight of the standard RC F. Overall, the Track is 80kg lighter than the standard version, each gram making a difference to performance and handling.
The RC F offers a comprehensive Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management system with four modes, which effectively gives it the vehicular equivalent of multiple personalities. Standard mode is obviously the most usable on a day-to-day basis, but the thrills mount up when SPORT S+ mode is selected, and a less restrictive vehicle stability control (VSC) setting is enabled. This mode allows drivers a high level of both driving confidence and fun that is suitable for a racetrack environment.
When the vehicle is in SPORT S+ and the VSC Off switch is pressed, EXPERT mode is enabled. EXPERT provides pro-active slide control of the vehicle that is suitable for a racetrack environment, allowing the driver to hone their skills on the track with a small degree of electronic assistance.
Both the RC F and the RC F Track Edition are spectacular looking cars that turn heads wherever they go, but the Track does look more special than the subtler standard version.
This continues as you move inside the RC F Track, where luscious red Alcantara seats make a bold announcement of intent. In fact, they are referred to as ‘Competition Red’ by Lexus. It is undeniably a Lexus, though, with a finely crafted interior of premium materials and cutting edge technology.
It is, in short, a car that pushes boundaries and transcends roles. A focused sportscar that is also a talented allrounder, that can be used daily and yet dominate on the track when asked to do so.
The RC F Track is priced at R2 161 000, as opposed to R1 358 100 for the ‘standard’ RC F. It is covered by a class-leading 7-year warranty and 7-year/105 000km maintenance plan, as are all new Lexus models. What is notable is that Lexus allows you to take your RC F to a racetrack without voiding the warranty!
Naturally aspirated V8 power
Sporty, fantastic interior