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Lexus RC F review – performance and 0-60

The revised RC F has dropped a couple tenths in the 0-62 charge over the last one, now with a very competitive 4.3sec time

Evo rating
Price
from £63,240
  • A masterpiece of internal combustion under the bonnet
  • Can feel cumbersome and a little unsophisticated. Infuriating infotainment

Have you driven a brisk hot hatch recently? Something like a Golf R or a Mercedes-AMG A45? Because if you have, the RC F will probably feel like the slower car, especially in day-to-day driving. That's because instant gratification is not the game here, as when mooching around at low revs that naturally aspirated V8 doesn’t really have much in the way of low-down grunt. It’s not unresponsive –  actual throttle response is very crisp – it just doesn’t pack much instant punch.

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Commit to the throttle, though, and the urge is there. Once the 5-litre engine has filled its lungs, the numbers quickly start to pile on as the upper half of the rev range reveals what the complex variable valve timing and camshaft is capable of when on its more aggressive map.

Keep the throttle pinned and the RC F will top out at a limited 168mph. The claimed 0-62mph acceleration time is 4.3sec, an impressive number in isolation, and on a par with the previous-generation F82 BMW M4 (4.3sec), but quite a bit behind the modern rear-drive G82 M4 CompetitionAudi RS5 and Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe (all 3.9sec).

Around one of Bedford Autodrome’s smaller loops the RC F trailed a regular F82 M4, without the Competition upgrades, by 0.35sec and the old, heavier, less powerful, naturally aspirated Audi RS5 by 3.35sec.

There is a reward for your patience, though. When wound up the 2UR-GSE V8 engine reveals its true character – this is a stunning example of engine design and engineering, backed up by a baritone rumble turned NASCAR shriek as you approach the redline. It's a completely unique experience in the class, and aside from the Ford Mustang is one of very few naturally aspirated V8s still for sale in the UK. But it's not just nostalgia that plays a role with the RC F, because it's genuinely an incredible engine in its own right – a precision mechanical timepiece in a world of Apple Watches. 

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