In an era when many new models have been put on strict diets, often shedding hundreds of pounds in the process, the 2017 Lexus RC F is not one of them.
In fact, its extra weight, relative to that of other performance-oriented coupe competitors, is one of its major downsides. The good news is that for those who like the RC F's good looks and sporty demeanor, the extra poundage will largely be a non-issue.
That's because the RC F still offers strong acceleration and sharp handling, even if neither qualifies as class-leading. The 467-horsepower V8 engine provides plenty of thrust: 0 to 60 mph takes just 4.6 seconds, and it has a great exhaust note to go with it. The transmission's quick upshifts are admirable, though downshifts can be jerky at times.
Quick steering is a plus, though its precision is a tad lacking and the car's extra weight makes understeer a common problem, especially when you push hard. Strong, easily modulated brakes are a definite plus, though they tend to show some signs of fade under the most extreme use. In short, the RC F is exciting to look at and drive around town. It's less so if you're on a racetrack.
Inside the RC F, you'll find outstanding materials and handsome design. The front seats are extremely comfortable (if you fit in them) and make a fine place to enjoy the RC F's engaging driving dynamics. Add the available 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system and you have a good excuse for taking the long way home.
Lexus offers the RC F in a single trim level. There are a handful of option packages, of course. We can recommend the Premium package, which is filled with LED headlights, automatic wipers, heated and ventilated seats, parking sensors and rear cross-traffic alert. The Performance option package may sound appealing, but honestly, it's overkill on a car like this.
There are other quibbles as well: The car's sport-tuned suspension yields a fairly stiff ride quality that may be rougher than luxury car buyers expect. As noted, the handling is not cutting-edge. Some buyers may find the lack of a manual transmission disappointing. The touch-based infotainment and climate controls are finicky and frustrating. Finally, the rear seats are really seats in name only, offering so little room they should be considered more of a spacious package shelf for purses or gym bags.
All things considered, however, the 2017 Lexus RC F makes a fine and handsome sport coupe, even if its extra pounds prevent it from leading the pack. Let Edmunds help you find the one that's right for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.