Performance Tested - 2015 Lexus RC F Long-Term Road Test

2015 Lexus RC F Long-Term Road Test

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2015 Lexus RC F: Performance Tested

March 16, 2015

2015 Lexus RC F

When we got our 2015 Lexus RC F, it was delivered to us fully broken in and ready to take to our test track. With a 467 horsepower V8 and starting price just north of $60K, the 2015 RC F has the unenviable task of bringing the fight to sports car behemoths like the BMW M4. With its torque-vectoring differential, carbon-fiber roof and carbon-fiber spoiler, the RC F certainly looks up for a fight. We have performance numbers for both coupes. So which one wins at a stoplight drag race? Read on to find out.

Vehicle: 2015 Lexus RC F

Odometer: 3,800

Date: 1/6/2015

Driver: Chris Walton

Price: $80,000 (Estimated)

Specifications:
Drive Type: Rear-wheel Drive
Transmission Type: Eight-speed automatic
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 4,969 / 303
Redline (rpm): 7,250
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 467 @ 7,100
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 389 @ 4,800

Brake Type (front): One-piece ventilated and slotted disc with six-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): One-piece ventilated and slotted disc with four-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type(front): Independent double wishbone, coil springs, monotube dampers, anti-roll bar Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, monotube dampers, anti-roll bar

Tire Size (front): 255/35ZR19 92Y
Tire Size (rear): 275/35ZR19 96Y
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Pilot Super Sport
Tire Type: Summer, asymmetrical

As-Tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,040

Test Results: 

Acceleration:
0-30 (sec): 2.0 (w/ TC on 2.2)
0-45 (sec): 3.2 (w/ TC on 3.4)
0-60 (sec): 4.6 (w/TC on 4.9)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.4 (w/TC on 4.6) 
0-75 (sec): 6.6 (w/TC on 6.9) 
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.8 @ 110.7 (w/TC on 13.0 @ 110.6)

Braking: 
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 110

Handling:
Slalom (mph): 72.9 (70.5 w/ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.93 (0.93 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1,800

Comments:

Acceleration comments: It's unexpected that this car, with all of its electronic modes/options, lacks a launch control feature. As a result, we found that the best run was the result of nearly zero wheelspin with the traction-control disabled in Sport+ drive mode with the differential set to Track. Compared to a previous test of a different RC F, we found this car was less lenient with the driver overlapping the brake and throttle pedals at a standstill. Doing so too long would either make it putter off the line (in what felt like second gear) or issue a stern visual warning on the instrument panel and take the throttle away completely. Regardless of all of this, this is a thrilling car to run down the drag strip with the glorious sound of that V8 and the lightning-quick and ultra-smooth upshifts. Aside from the initial default run (Normal drive mode, Drive, standard differential setting), each max-attack run thereafter was very consistent. Manual shift mode via the console lever (back for downshifts) isn't our preferred orientation, however the paddles on the steering wheel (left for downshifts) are.

Braking comments: Firm pedal from first to last stop and not one bit of ABS buzz or jerkiness. These brakes can clearly handle a bit of heat and our shortest stop came on the fourth of five total. Straight as an arrow and didn't seem to mind pavement irregularities as much as other high-performance taut-suspension cars have. Excellent performance.

Handling comments: This car feels like two different cars on the slalom course and on the skid pad. In the slalom, it points quickly from cone to cone, offers amazing line-adjustability with throttle input, will allow predictable and useful rear wheel slides, and punches through the exit with the differential sorting out how to put the power down. The steering takes a few runs to get used to its quickness, but the car eats up the slalom... Heck, it has a dedicated 'slalom' mode so it should. [Note that with all the settings in default 'Normal' mode, it was still very capable]. On the skid pad, however, no matter what modes we tried, the RC F would stubbornly understeer at the very same limit without an ability to drive 'through' it or drive around it with any amount of driver influence. I would love to drive this car on a track to see where its 'happy' and 'grumpy' places are because these are but two of many handling traits.

Here is the comparison between our 2015 Lexus RC F and the 2015 BMW M4. The M4 we tested (MSRP $77,450) had a manual transmission and carbon ceramic brakes ($8,150). It wore Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, the same as the Lexus. Its tire sizes were 255/35ZR19 92Y for the fronts and 275/35ZR19 100Y for the rears.

 

2015 Lexus RC F

2015 BMW M4

Curbweight as Tested (lbs.)

4,040

3,508

0-30 (sec.):

2.0

2.0

0-45 (sec.):

3.2

3.3

0-60 (sec.):

4.6

4.4

0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec.):

4.4

4.1

0-75 (sec.):

6.6

6.1

¼-mile (sec @ mph):

12.8 @ 110.7

12.4 @ 116.0

Skid Pad Lateral Accel (g):

0.93

0.98

Slalom:

72.9

72.9

Braking 60-0 mph

110

106

Braking 30-0 mph

28

27

Cameron Rogers, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 5,823 miles


2015 Lexus RC F

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