There’s a new badass in town.
Launched at the legendary Mount Panorama racing circuit this week (watch here for our review), the RC F enters as the new Lexus performance flagship - taking a position that even the coming new GS F sedan won’t be able to budge it from.
But, while the IS F signalled the Japanese marque’s intent to take on the heroic BMW M3, and the new GS F is a ‘sorta kinda’ M5 rival, the first-ever RC F will square off instead against the first-ever M4.
It could be in with a shot, too, if sticker price is anything to go by.
Starting at $133,500, the RC F is a handy $33,400 more affordable than the M4. That’s change enough to park a ‘daily driver’ family car beside your RC F.
The new hero Lexus is also more powerful, kicking out 351kW from its naturally aspirated 5.0 litre V8 against the M4’s 317kW twin-turbo six.
The M4 has the edge for torque, however, twisting to the tune of 550Nm against the RC F’s 530Nm.
For the record, the RC F’s 351kW comes on at 7100rpm, and its 530Nm is available from 4800 to 5600rpm.
The RC F’s 351kW makes for around 12 percent (or 40kW) more power than the IS F's 5.0 litre V8, whose block forms the basis for the RC F's engine.
But while the block might be similar, virtually everything else has been changed. (Read more about that in our tech-heavy ‘RC F Detailed!’ article.)
The new hero coupe is a heavy thing, though, with a kerb weight of 1780kg empty, against 1537kg for the M4.
Stopping all of that mass are 380x34mm front rotors with six-piston calipers and 345x28mm rear rotors with four-piston calipers.
Still, despite its weight the RC F is capable of sprinting to 100km/h in just 4.4 seconds, and it'll run the quarter mile in 12.5 seconds on its way to a 270km/h top speed.
There’s also a special ‘Carbon’ version of the RC F, adding a carbon-fibre upgrade for the bonnet, roof, active rear wing and interior trim.
The greatest effect of that upgrade is up top, with the carbon roof weighing 4.1kg - compared with 10.2kg for the regular steel roof.
The RC F bonnet weighs 11.9kg in aluminium and 9kg in carbon.
Likewise, the rear aerodynamic wing weighs 2.4kg when made in resin, while the carbon version cuts that to 1.9kg.
All of this rides on 19-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels as standard, although there’s another optional 19-inch design and a top-shelf 20-inch design.
Standard features with the RC F include heated and ventilated front seats with semi aniline leather accents, smart key card entry, clearance and rear parking sensor, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, eight airbags and lane departure warning.
There’s also 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio, moonroof, DAB+ digital radio, Bluetooth calling and audio streaming, and USB connectivity.
Opt for the extra-special RC F Carbon and there’s Alcantara seat trim along with all of the carbon exterior features.
PRICING (excludes on-road costs)
- RC F - 5.0 litre V8 - $133,500
- RC F Carbon - 5.0 litre V8 - $147,500