Ask a random soul what descriptors first come to mind when they think of the Lexus brand, and they're likely to offer terms like "luxury", "refinement" and "maturity". Back in 1989, the first Lexus models made landfall in the US as a premium alternative to the more commonplace vehicles produced by parent company Toyota, with the LS sedan leading the charge ? a car which embodied those values and continues to do so today. More recently, Lexus has sought to make inroads in the sport-luxury market, a segment long dominated by BMW's M division, AMG and Audi's S and RS lineup. The most recent volley in that direction comes in the form of the RC Coupe, a model with its sights set clearly at cars like the BMW 4-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe. At the time of its announcement, RC and IS chief engineer Junichi Furuyama commented that the RC Coupe was designed to "deliver extra response that exhilarates rather than overwhelms drivers". If that's case, then it's safe to assume that the RC F, the most sport-focused iteration of the RC Coupe which comes packing a 467 horsepower naturally aspirated V8, is for Lexus loyalists who have decided that they're ready to be a little bit overwhelmed.

What is the idea behind the Lexus RC F?

It doesn't take too much effort to start drawing parallels between the mission of the RC F and cars like the BMW M4 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, much in the way the IS F sedan did with the four door counterparts of those cars several years ago. The RC F derives its 5.0-liter, naturally aspirated V8 from the IS F, tuned here to generate 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque. That powerplant is hooked exclusively to an 8-speed automatic gearbox which sends power to the rear wheels. Handling is bolstered beyond that of the RC Coupe by way of a reinforced subframe, uprated springs and sway bars, Sachs monotube shock absorbers, unique control-arm rear suspension, and a specially tuned version of the Lexus Dynamic Handling system. 19-inch BBS wheels make contact with the road by way of Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 rubber, and Lexus co-developed the braking system with Brembo, resulting in the six-piston front (14.9-inch), four-piston rear (13.5-inch) combination that comes standard on all RC F models.

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