Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton Georgia served as the scene for an exhilarating day with the 2015 Lexus RC F. Torrential downpours and tornado warnings hovered over us all day before we eventually jumped on the oval. In the interim, participants learned the intricate details and technology of the Japanese sports coupe inside the garage. Once it was time to take to the track the sun suddenly shined and allowed us to enjoy an unforgettable experience.
The predecessor to the RC F was the Lexus IS which was unveiled to the world in 1998 as an entry-level, luxury four-door sedan and five-door wagon. A 2-door variant eventually came down the line many years later. The Lexus IS-F brand was introduced in 2007 with a 416 horsepower V8 engine. Now we have the 2015 Lexus RC F, that borrows much of its design from the IS and then some from the Lexus LFA 552-horsepower V10 premier supercar. On site were demos of the direct competitors to the Lexus RC F including the BMW M4 and the Audi RS5. Hot laps and road routes in the various vehicles helped to showcase the differences in handling, steering, cornering, braking and overall driving enjoyment.
Lexus spared no expense by allowing us to test the Molten Pearl RC F with the Performance Package which introduces carbon fiber to the vehicle. Both the roof and deployable wing (raises at 50 mph or 80 mph in ECO mode) are carbon fiber and also comes equipped with the rear torque vectoring differential with three driving modes: Standard, Slalom and Track. Stacked quad exhaust tips and 19” forged aluminum wheels with summer tires exemplify the exterior styling. A Mark Levinson 17-speaker premium surround sound system is a nice touch that blasts out 835 watts of crystal clear rhythms.
Our guest for the afternoon was radio host Big Tigger from V103 in Atlanta and DJ for the Atlanta Hawks. This was Tigger’s first time on a speedway and he was surely ecstatic. Upon entering the motorsports park he was ushered into a Lexus RC F driven by professional race car driver Shane Donley, and immediately was given a demo on drifting and a burnouts. Go Pro HERO 4 dash footage showed the excitement on Tigger’s face and caught his energy as well. Once Shane was finished, Tigger exited the car emphatically shouting, “Wow, this is going to be a good day!”
This model has a 5.0-liter, 32-valve, V8 engine delivering 467 horsepower, 389 pound-feet of torque, accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, runs the quarter-mile in 12.5 seconds and owns a top speed of 170 mph. Automotive Rhythms didn’t get the Lexus RC F up to 170 mph but its performance was outstanding. Quick acceleration and great handling would be the best way to describe it, although we would have liked a sturdier feel to the car. With quick acceleration comes a great need for efficient brakes. The Lexus RC F has a Brembo brake package complete with front 6-piston aluminum monoblock calipers and 15” slotted discs and the rear brakes are 13.6” discs with 4-piston aluminum monoblock calipers.
If you’re wondering, “F” stands for Fuji Speedway because that is where Lexus conducts much of its high-speed development. Big Tigger proclaimed the “F” in RC F stood for “Fast and Fun.” Lexus has definitely hit the nail on the head with the RC F. Luxury, power and performance all in one exciting equation.