Naturally aspirated, direct- and port-injected V6, gasoline
DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
306 @ 6,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
277 @ 4,800
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
There's very little difference among Normal, Sport and Sport+ during maximum acceleration (mere hundredths of a second); however, disabling traction control to allow some wheelspin allowed the car to accelerate more freely from a standstill. This method reduced time-to-speed by about a half second across the board. The engine is a gem: making power throughout its rev range, revving extremely freely and sounding rather sporty while doing so. Upshifts are quick and silky-smooth and there are plenty of them (with an eight-speed transmission) on the way to a quarter-mile finish line. Manual shifting via paddle shifters does automatically match engine revs on downshifts, but does not hold a gear at redline.
Steady, unrelenting brake power, minimal dive and undetectable ABS functionality from the first (and shortest) stop to last of five from 60 mph. Straight as an arrow, with no lane wander or unusual behavior.
While the speed this car achieved through our slalom is not particularly poor, it isn't particularly good for a sport coupe either. Perhaps we were expecting more RC F in this RC 350 F Sport. The steering doesn't react in a predictable manner from the first few degrees of driver input (off center). It's hard to detect how much of this is due to the steering setup (and its variable ratio) and how much is due to the rear-steer mechanism. Either way, it's overdone and the rear of the car feels less stable and isn't always in unison with the front (something a slalom test magnifies/intensifies). When the limits of the car are approached, the electronic stability control system (ESC) is keenly aware of the situation and is surprisingly heavy-handed in its corrections. Seems like there could've been more work done to improve the chassis rather than relying on the ESC to clean up the pieces. Disabling the ESC on the skid pad, we found there is a greater ability to adjust the car's behavior/direction with the throttle and a fair amount of grip from the tires. This car is far better in steady-state corners than it is in rapid transitions.