A minimum of this automotive appears cool.
The considered spending per week with a hyper-limited, track-focused, special-edition automobile with an enormous, high-revving, naturally aspirated V8 is fairly rattling thrilling. That is the stuff that automotive lovers dream about, proper? Sadly, actuality hardly ever lives as much as our goals, and that’s actually the case with the 2021 Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Version.
LikeExcellent construct qualityStrong carbon-ceramic brakes
Do not LikeLazy drivetrainRough rideToo costly
On paper, the RC F Fuji version appears nice. It is bought tons of carbon fiber, carbon-ceramic brakes and the 5.0-liter 2UR-GSE V8 you will discover in efficiency vehicles just like the Lexus LC 500, the beloved IS F and the brand new IS 500. That engine produces a good 472 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 395 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm, nevertheless it’s right here that the RC F’s bummers start.
This engine actually does scream in its higher registers, as evidenced by the revs at which it makes peak energy. It is right here the place the V8 is thrilling and responsive and alive. Sadly, within the decrease a part of its rev vary, the 5.0-liter V8 runs on the Atkinson cycle, the identical efficiency-focused cycle that Toyota makes use of in its hybrids. This implies the valve timing adjustments to concentrate on gasoline effectivity on the expense of energy, torque and responsiveness.
2021 Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Version: A minimum of it sounds good
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On paper, having a extra environment friendly automotive at around-town speeds sounds good, however in actuality, it makes a track-focused beast just like the RC F really feel lifeless and unexciting. If this had been something however a flagship sports activities mannequin, I would be much less vital, however in a automotive like this, with an enormous carbon wing, hyper-aggressive styling and a large price ticket, it appears like an enormous misstep. I would like my massive, naturally aspirated V8 to kick ass on a regular basis, and this one would not.
That V8 is paired with an eight-speed automated transmission. Not like the engine, the transmission works effectively on the town however lets the driving force down on good canyon roads. It shifts slower than a number of the ZF eight-speed ‘containers I’ve skilled and, once more, in a track-focused automotive, it should not be this manner. A minimum of this transmission is paired with a locking rear differential that works as marketed and is a welcome addition within the RC F.
You will discover this 5.0-liter V8 within the LC 500 and IS 500.
The RC F Fuji’s suspension is one other space that needs to be spectacular purely based mostly on its specs however would not stay as much as the hype. The entrance double-wishbone suspension options adaptive Sachs dampers and a hole entrance sway bar. The rear makes use of a multi-link design. The entire setup is extraordinarily stiff and unsightly round city but it would not do a superb job of controlling the RC F in high-speed driving. Additional, I discover it troublesome to belief the automotive to remain planted because it strikes round on quick canyon roads as a result of it by no means feels actually settled. The RC F’s obscure digital energy steering additionally does a poor job of offering driver suggestions, including to that general insecurity on the highway.
Arguably the perfect factor in regards to the Fuji is its set of 14.9-inch Brembo carbon ceramic brakes. The RC F is a heavy automotive with a curb weight of three,781 kilos (121 kilos lighter than the usual RC F), and with practically 500 hp on faucet, these unflappable brakes are a welcome addition for repeatable, confidence-inspiring stopping. Coupled with the moderately sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, the RC F’s general grip is sweet, regardless of the problems I’ve with the suspension.
The RC F’s cabin is a sea of leather-based, Alcantara, carbon fiber and buttons. At 6 toes, Four inches, I am admittedly taller than most drivers, however I battle to get snug in any place. The seats are attractive and sure very supportive for smaller drivers, however after an hour within the canyons, I really feel like they have been boxing my kidneys, and it is not enjoyable. Headroom additionally may very well be higher, contemplating the shortage of a moonroof within the carbon-roof-equipped Fuji. The BMW M4 presents more room for heads (and helmets), however at the least the RC F has loads of legroom. The entire cabin is exquisitely constructed with nice supplies, at the least — a trademark of Lexus merchandise.
The inside is properly appointed, however the infotainment tech is admittedly unhealthy.
The RC F lacks blind-spot monitoring (because of its carbon fiber aspect mirrors) and rear cross-traffic alert, however at the least comes with adaptive cruise management, automated emergency braking, automated excessive beams, lane-departure warning and the like. However whereas the security suite is simply OK, the infotainment system is fairly unhealthy. The RC F would not have a touchscreen, however fortunately Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are commonplace, and my take a look at automobile is supplied with the optionally available Mark Levinson audio package deal — a compulsory add for any Lexus, so far as I am involved. The Lexus Enform system is problematic resulting from its clunky interface and laggy response, to not point out the finicky trackpad which is tough to make use of whereas driving.
The RC F Fuji Speedway Version has a beginning worth of $98,275, together with Lexus’ $1,075 vacation spot charge. That is a more-than-$30,000 premium over the usual RC F, so what, apart from exclusivity and carbon ceramic brakes, is Lexus giving patrons for that cash? The large aesthetic variations are the carbon fiber hood, rear wing, roof, entrance lip and aspect skirts, in addition to purple leather-based and Alcantara inside with carbon trim. There’s additionally a titanium exhaust system, solid BBS wheels and the aforementioned torque-vectoring rear finish.
Not many of those can be offered.
However is it value it? In brief, no. The RC F Fuji Speedway Version shouldn’t be an excellent automotive on public roads and it is not entertaining on winding stretches of canyon roads, both. It could be good on a race monitor as its identify would suggest (although I am unable to affirm that), however with its punishing journey, cramped inside and disappointing drivetrain, I am unable to think about selecting this over another sports activities automotive at this worth. For the $102,510 as-tested worth of this RC F, I would relatively have a base Porsche 911, which is each a greater sports activities automotive and a way more livable day by day driver.
For 2022, Lexus determined to increase the Fuji Speedway Version by a further 50 items. The corporate additionally added a brand new colour — a beautiful blue known as Electrical Surge — and gave the Fuji a brand new set of 19-inch wheels. Sadly, these updates do nothing to extend the enchantment of this tremendous onerous promote.