Recently, the good folks at Lexus put me behind the wheel of one of their smokin' hot RC F sports coupes.
To say that it was a transformative driving experience would be an understatement.
Let's just say that it's been a week now since biding my ultra-white RC F adieu and I still can't seem to wipe the smile off my face.
From the hourglass-shaped grill, to the finned vents to the rear speed-activated wing (which deploys down pressure on the vehicle at 50 mph-plus) the RC F is mean, sleek and fun.
Depress the engine button and you'll get a pleasing growl as the hulking V8 in this speedster comes to life.
My tester can pack a serious punch on the road with its 467 horsepower 5.0-liter power plant.
During a recent drive down California's picturesque Highway 101 to the quaint town Paso Robles where I met a friend for lunch I had a couple opportunities to punch the RC F beyond the century mark.
What's apparent is that the machine could effortlessly cruise at that speed all the live-long day while wondering why its driver was holding back on it. Lexus says the RC F will top out at 170 mph and I have no trouble believing that.
I did, at one point, clock a 0 to 60 run from a standing start at just under 4.5 seconds and that's pretty darn quick.
While the rear-wheel-drive RC F is a true street racer I can only wonder what it'd do in the hands of a professional driver at a track.
My RC F came on 19-inch steel alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires and seriously beefy Brembo brakes. The car's electric steering is tight, compliant to the driver's needs and conforms to the multiple driving modes offered by Lexus: eco, normal, sport and sport+.
The RC F's big V8 is mated to a smooth shifting 8 speed automatic transmission.
Even though I read the BMW M4 is generally faster than the RC F because it is about 400 pounds lighter, I can see that Lexus engineers are working on the problem by using carbon fiber across the roof and in many places inside the cabin. The trick, of course, is to shed the weight while still keeping the RC F's desirable low center of gravity which, yes, allows it to corner like it was on rails.
Although Lexus claims you can get four adults into the RC F let's all be honest and say the vehicle fits two adults very comfortably and, well, that's about it.
Inside the cabin the driver will encounter leather heated and cooled seats (supposedly stitched in such a way as to work the way human muscles work) and are designed to do some actual driving and maneuvering in.
Unfortunately the tiny rear seats don't fold down or offer access to the car's trunk.
Other features include a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, USB ports, Bluetooth-enabled electronics, blind spot monitors and a super 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system.
Primary competition for the RC F includes the famous BMW M4, the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupe as well as the Audi S5.
Mileage on my RCF was OK. I received just 16 mpg in the city, 25 out on the highway and 19 mpg combined.
The MSRP -- as trimmed out -- was $77,905 -- not inexpensive to be sure but also worth every penny.
Lexus should be commended for making what is truly a great sports coupe. No, it may not yet best its European competitors, but I can't wait to see what future RC F's can do. That will be an exciting day indeed.