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  • 2017 Lexus RC F

    Posted on January 5th, 2018 ninarussin

    Sport coupe melds style and performance

    By Nina Russin

    2017 Lexus RC F

    2017 Lexus RC F

    The Lexus RC F might be the car that convinces German car enthusiasts to consider changing camps. Like the RC coupe on which it’s based, the F-Sport is a driver’s car through and through: fast, nimble and unabashed, with its low, menacing stance and wide spindle grille. It looks like all business and in fact, it is.

    Power comes from a 467-horsepower V-8 engine that delivers 389 pound-feet of peak torque, mated to an eight-speed direct shift transmission. While its curb weight is higher than some of its competitors, the Lexus RC F has enough power to get in plenty of trouble, both on and off the track.

    Base price is $64,165 excluding delivery. Options on the test car include 19-inch alloy rims, LED headlamps, Mark Levinson audio system, heated and ventilated front seats with memory, blind spot monitoring and a trunk mat. Final MSRP is $80,445.

    Test drive in Southern Arizona

    2017 Lexus RC F

    2017 Lexus RC F

    This week I drove the RC F through Phoenix, Arizona’s east valley, along the Beeline Highway leading up to Payson and south on the Bush Highway on the western edge of the Superstition Mountains.

    As with its Lexus siblings, the RC is a luxury car that can live in the real world. Drivers can save some gas by selecting the normal mode, or go for maximum power by dialing in sport mode. Lexus is known for quiet interior and the RC F is no exception. The only noticeable sound during the test drive was a pleasant exhaust belch during hard acceleration.

    The optional Mark Levinson audio system delivers symphony hall sound quality, for a more pleasant daily commuting experience. Active safety features such as pre-collision with autonomous braking, blind spot monitoring and Lexus Enform with Safety Connect protect occupants on crowded highways peppered with distracted drivers.

    2017 Lexus RC F

    2017 Lexus RC F

    But the Lexus RC F is a car that lives for the weekend, when its owners leave the city for their favorite twisty two-lane thoroughfares or perhaps, a day on the track. Punch the throttle and the RC F Sport launches from zero-to-sixty in 4.4 seconds: about the same amount of time it takes the driver to inhale deeply and hold on.

    The electric power steering system delivers perfect on-center response and the four-wheel independent adaptive variable suspension makes instantaneous adjustments to shock damping based on the road surface and driving style. Push the car hard into the apex of a turn and the steering and suspension will do the rest of the job for you.

    Front-to-rear weight balance is 55/45: close to perfect. Ground clearance is a scant 5.1-inches, giving the F Sport model a lower center of gravity for high-speed handling.

    Large ventilated Brembo disc brakes stop the RC F on a dime.

    Visibility around the perimeter is good. A standard rearview camera eliminates blind spots in the back corners and makes it easier to back out of parking slots when surrounded by high profile vehicles. Blind spot monitoring illuminates LED signals in the side mirrors when cars in adjacent lanes pass through the driver’s blind spots. Because the B pillar is behind the driver, over-the-shoulder visibility is quite good.

    At night, LED headlamps project long beams of light close to daylight to illuminate dark suburban streets and rural roads.

    Driver-focused interior

    2017 Lexus RC F

    2017 Lexus RC F

    As with most two-plus-twos, the RC’s back seat is essentially a nod to the insurance companies. It will hold some extra luggage or groceries and perhaps the family dachshund. Adult passengers will not be particularly comfortable.

    The front sport seats are heavily bolstered in keeping with the coupe’s performance mission, but occupants should find access and egress pretty-easy. Standard keyless entry and start saves the driver from fumbling for a key fob in his pocket.

    I found the power driver’s seat easy to adjust for a clear forward view with ample lower lumbar support. Lexus uses a mouse-type device on the center console to control the infotainment system: it should be intuitive for anyone familiar with personal computers.

    The trunk has enough rooms for the weekly groceries and moderate size luggage. The rear seating area adds some additional storage for longer road trips.

    Standard safety

    The Lexus RC F Sport comes with eight airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, daytime running lamps and tire pressure monitoring.

    Lexus builds the RC F at its Tahara, Aichi Japan assembly plant.

    Like: A stylish sport coupe for serious driving enthusiasts that can also live in the world of the 9-5 commuter.

    Dislikes: None

    Quick facts:

    Make: Lexus
    Model: RC F
    Year: 2017
    Base price: $64,165
    As tested: $80,445
    Horsepower: 467 HP @ 7100 rpm
    Torque: 389 lbs.-ft. @ 4800 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: 4.4 seconds
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: No
    Off-road: No
    Towing: No
    Fuel economy: 16/25 mpg city/highway
    Comment: The manufacturer requires 91 Octane premium unleaded gasoline.

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