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2018 Lexus RC F Test Drive Review

Finding a proper rear wheel drive V-8-powered luxury sports coupe these days is getting more and more challenging. Automakers seem to be dropping V8 engines in favor of twin-turbo V-6 units that produce similar horsepower ratings, better performance, and better fuel economy. However, there is just something that really gets a sports enthusiast excited to hear the rumblings of a naturally aspirated V-8 engine under the hood.

If you’re in the market for a luxury sports car that offers you instant power delivery and an outstanding exhaust note, you may want to look at the new 2018 Lexus RC F. We recently test drove the new Lexus RC 300 F Sport and while we loved the ability to use it as a daily driver and the overall performance of the four-cylinder turbo, when we found out that we would spend a week with its V-8 sibling – we were rather excited. Let’s take a closer look at the all-new 2018 Lexus RC F.

2018 Lexus RC F Exterior

Lexus designers have already done a great job with the Lexus RC lineup. Everything from the four-cylinder RC 300 to the V-8-powered RC F looks spectacular. No matter which model of the RC you end up parking in your driveway, they all have the extremely energetic front end design with the brand’s signature spindle grille.

The 2018 Lexus RC F takes things to next level with model specific details like stacked exhaust tailpipes, an active rear wing, wider tires, black mesh pattern on the grille, functional intake and outlet ducts, air scoops, cooling ducts and available carbon fiber body features. Our test model also came with a couple of extra design elements including the Performance Package that adds a carbon fiber roof and rear wing for lighter weight. The rear wing deploys from the trunk lid at speeds higher than 50 mph and drops at speeds below 25 mph.

The 2018 Lexus RC F also sits slightly lower, wider and longer than the other RC models. The length comes in at 185.2-inches with a wheelbase that measures 107.5-inches. The width of the Lexus RC F stretches 72.6-inches while the height stands at 54.7-inches.

Overall, the exterior design of the 2018 Lexus RC F is probably the best in the segment. Instead of trying to look too luxurious, the RC F looks and acts the part of a V-8 sports car.

2018 Lexus RC F Interior

Take a seat inside and the first thing you’ll notice are the sports seats that will hug you under aggressive driving conditions. The second thing you’ll notice is the Dynamic Gauge Cluster that is taken right out of the Lexus LFA supercar. Other than that, you’ll find all the high-quality materials, comfort, and style that you see in other Lexus RC models.

While there are many technology options that come standard with the 2018 Lexus RC F, you will have to pay extra to enjoy some other gizmos. Buyers can add the Premium Package which adds on heated and cooled seats, rain-sensing wipers, and a range of driver assist safety features that we’ll get into later. You can also add on navigation with a 10.3-inch display, power moonroof, an upgraded Mark Levinson Premium sound system, heated steering, and more.

The interior of the 2018 Lexus RC is pretty snug with front-row passengers getting a total of 45.4-inches of legroom and rear passengers getting just 27.3-inches of legroom.

Overall, the interior of the 2018 Lexus RC F is an exceptional balance of sports, luxury, comfort, and style.

2018 Lexus RC F Performance

Let’s get down to the fun part. The 2018 Lexus RC F is powered by a 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V-8 engine that produces an outstanding 467 horsepower with a peak torque of 389 lb-ft. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters) zero to 60 mph comes in just 4.4 seconds with a top speed of 168 mph.

The power delivery of the 2018 Lexus RC F is remarkably quick and smooth. As soon as you pounce on the accelerator (especially in Sports+ mode), the Lexus RC F takes off like a bullet. Now while you do have a couple of driving modes to circle through, the 2018 Lexus RC F takes the performance to the next level with a torque vectoring differential that comes with the Performance Package. The system allows you to pick between three additional modes including Slalom, Track, and Standard. Depending on the setting the system throws the power between the inside and outside of the back wheels to help put the vehicle in the direction of the turn. This gives you the ability to really get on the accelerator during a sharp turn without losing control. The RC F also comes standard with a Torsen limited-slip differential which gives you the further confidence to drive this beast on the track to its absolute potential.

Stopping power for the 2018 Lexus RC F comes courtesy of huge Brembo brakes with  6-piston aluminum monoblock front calipers and 15.0 x 1.3-in. ventilated rotors and 4-piston aluminum monoblock rear calipers.

Overall, the 2018 Lexus RC F is a joy to drive as a daily driver and on the track.

2018 Lexus RC F Safety

While the 2018 Lexus RC F comes with a long list of standard safety features, the Lexus Safety System+ is also standard and includes adaptive cruise control, a rearview camera, a pre-collision warning system, lane departure warning with steering assist, and automatic high beam control. The Performance Package or the Premium Package will add on blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and parking assist.

2018 Lexus RC F Overall

It’s refreshing to see a powerful V-8 engine in the luxury sports coupe segment and the 2018 Lexus RC F is unquestionably one option you should consider if you’re in the market for a big-engine sports car. Everything from the performance to the design underlines the aggressive and tough theme Lexus was going for here. Prices for the 2018 Lexus RC F start at $64,650. Visit your local AutoNation-affiliated Lexus dealer for a test drive today.

*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

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