Lexus’ performance-oriented RC F sports coupe has been updated for 2018 with dynamic improvements, premium interior appointments and expanded safety technology.
The RC F is newly equipped with Lexus’ Drive Start Control, a launch control function that ensures smooth starts and optimum acceleration by managing power and torque delivery from the coupe’s high-revving naturally aspirated V8 engine through its eight-speed transmission.
To support driving enthusiasts, the system will not engage when the car’s traction control is switched off. A light in the instrument panel indicates when the system is operational.
The 2018 RC F, with its adaptive variable suspension, also gains a custom mode for its Drive Mode Select, enabling drivers to set their preferred powertrain, chassis and air conditioning settings.
The luxury interior now features a 10.3-inch display audio screen compared with the previous 7-inch unit and the multimedia system has also been upgraded. The Lexus Remote Touch pad is larger, making it easier to use.
An improved Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+) suite of technologies for RC F results in the pre-collision safety function1 being able to detect pedestrians as well as other vehicles.
LSS+ also incorporates simplified switchgear for the radar active cruise control and an upgraded lane departure warning function (LDW+) that now includes steering assist and steering-wheel vibration alert. Automatic high beam is also part of the package.
The rear-wheel drive RC F is powered by a 5.0-litre V8 engine producing 351kW at 7100rpm and 530Nm from 4800 to 5600rpm. It’s matched with a stiff chassis, torque-vectoring differential and racetrack-developed suspension and brakes.
The paint palette now includes Zinnia Yellow, which was introduced with the flagship Lexus LC coupe while Titanium replaces Sonic Silver. The RC F Carbon’s 20-spoke forged high-grade alloy wheels have a new matte finish.
The halo V8 RC F is also offered with Carbon variant which applies carbon-fibre technology to its roof, active rear wing and interior trim for weight saving and added visual appeal. The bonnet is now aluminium, replacing carbon fibre.
Despite the higher specification, competitive pricing has been maintained for the RC F with prices starting from $138,100, an increase of just $149.
Improvements for RC Line
The interior and safety updates introduced with the RC F also apply to the RC Line – the turbo-powered RC 300 (changed from RC 200t in line with the new Lexus naming convention) and the V6-powered RC 350. Both RC powertrains are offered in three equipment levels – Luxury, F Sport and Sports Luxury.
The 3.5-litre V6 engine in the Lexus RC 350 has been repowered to provide greater flexibility while improving fuel economy by more than three per cent.
Equipped with D-4S dual-injection to maintain acceleration performance while reducing fuel consumption and emissions, its combined-cycle figures improve to 9.1 litres/100km (an improvement of 3.2 per cent).
Other new technologies include VVT-iW (intelligent variable valve timing – wide) on the inlet camshafts and an integrated catalyst converter.
The V6 delivers 232kW of power at 6600rpm and 380Nm of torque from 4800 to 4900rpm, a gain of 2Nm and reduction of 1kW compared with the superseded engine.
RC 350 has an eight-speed direct-shift transmission, a feature shared with RC 300 and RC F.
Like the V6 engine, the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in the RC 300 features VVT-iW and D-4S dual injection. It delivers 180kW of power at 5800rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1650 to 4400rpm.
2018 Lexus RC and RC F pricing (excluding on-roads)
|RC F Carbon||$152,300||-$6,248|
Options (RC 300, RC 350):
Premium paint $1,500
Enhancement pack $2,500 (Luxury, F Sport)
Options (RC F, not RC F Carbon):
Forged high wheel $2,500
Forged high plus wheel $2,500