2021 Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Edition proves exclusivity isn’t always a good thing

    At least this automotive seems to be cool.
    Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow
    The considered spending every week with a hyper-limited, track-focused, special-edition automobile with an enormous, high-revving, naturally aspirated V8 is fairly rattling thrilling. That’s the stuff that automotive fanatics dream about, proper? Unfortunately, actuality hardly ever lives as much as our goals, and that’s definitely the case with the 2021 Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Edition.

    LikeExcellent construct qualityStrong carbon-ceramic brakes

    Don’t LikeLazy drivetrainRough rideToo costly

    On paper, the RC F Fuji version appears nice. It’s acquired tons of carbon fiber, carbon-ceramic brakes and the 5.0-liter 2UR-GSE V8 you will discover in efficiency vehicles just like the Lexus LC 500, the beloved IS F and the brand new IS 500. That engine produces a good 472 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 395 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm, however it’s right here that the RC F’s bummers start.This engine definitely does scream in its higher registers, as evidenced by the revs at which it makes peak energy. It’s right here the place the V8 is thrilling and responsive and alive. Unfortunately, within the decrease a part of its rev vary, the 5.0-liter V8 runs on the Atkinson cycle, the identical efficiency-focused cycle that Toyota makes use of in its hybrids. This means the valve timing modifications to give attention to gas effectivity on the expense of energy, torque and responsiveness.

    2021 Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Edition: At least it sounds good
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    On paper, having a extra environment friendly automotive at around-town speeds sounds good, however in actuality, it makes a track-focused beast just like the RC F really feel useless and unexciting. If this have been something however a flagship sports activities mannequin, I’d be much less crucial, however in a automotive like this, with an enormous carbon wing, hyper-aggressive styling and a large price ticket, it seems like an enormous misstep. I would like my huge, naturally aspirated V8 to kick ass on a regular basis, and this one does not.That V8 is paired with an eight-speed automated transmission. Unlike the engine, the transmission works nicely on the town however lets the motive force down on good canyon roads. It shifts slower than a number of the ZF eight-speed ‘bins I’ve skilled and, once more, in a track-focused automotive, it should not be this fashion. At least this transmission is paired with a locking rear differential that works as marketed and is a welcome addition within the RC F.

    You’ll discover this 5.0-liter V8 within the LC 500 and IS 500.
    Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow
    The RC F Fuji’s suspension is one other space that must be spectacular purely based mostly on its specs however does not reside as much as the hype. The entrance double-wishbone suspension options adaptive Sachs dampers and a hole entrance sway bar. The rear makes use of a multi-link design. The entire setup is extraordinarily stiff and unsightly round city but it does not do an excellent job of controlling the RC F in high-speed driving. Further, I discover it troublesome to belief the automotive to remain planted because it strikes round on quick canyon roads as a result of it by no means feels actually settled. The RC F’s obscure digital energy steering additionally does a poor job of offering driver suggestions, including to that general insecurity on the street.

    Arguably one of the best factor in regards to the Fuji is its set of 14.9-inch Brembo carbon ceramic brakes. The RC F is a heavy automotive with a curb weight of 3,781 kilos (121 kilos lighter than the usual RC F), and with almost 500 hp on faucet, these unflappable brakes are a welcome addition for repeatable, confidence-inspiring stopping. Coupled with the fairly sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, the RC F’s general grip is sweet, regardless of the problems I’ve with the suspension.The RC F’s cabin is a sea of leather-based, Alcantara, carbon fiber and buttons. At 6 toes, 4 inches, I’m admittedly taller than most drivers, however I wrestle to get comfy in any place. The seats are beautiful and sure very supportive for smaller drivers, however after an hour within the canyons, I really feel like they have been boxing my kidneys, and it isn’t enjoyable. Headroom additionally might be higher, contemplating the shortage of a moonroof within the carbon-roof-equipped Fuji. The BMW M4 affords extra space for heads (and helmets), however at the least the RC F has loads of legroom. The entire cabin is exquisitely constructed with nice supplies, at the least — a trademark of Lexus merchandise.The inside is properly appointed, however the infotainment tech is absolutely unhealthy.
    Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow
    The RC F lacks blind-spot monitoring (due to its carbon fiber facet mirrors) and rear cross-traffic alert, however at the least comes with adaptive cruise management, automated emergency braking, automated excessive beams, lane-departure warning and the like. But whereas the protection suite is barely OK, the infotainment system is fairly unhealthy. The RC F does not have a touchscreen, however fortunately Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are normal, and my take a look at automobile is supplied with the non-obligatory Mark Levinson audio bundle — a compulsory add for any Lexus, so far as I’m involved. The Lexus Enform system is problematic as a consequence of its clunky interface and laggy response, to not point out the finicky trackpad which is difficult to make use of whereas driving.The RC F Fuji Speedway Edition has a beginning value of $98,275, together with Lexus’ $1,075 vacation spot charge. That’s a more-than-$30,000 premium over the usual RC F, so what, apart from exclusivity and carbon ceramic brakes, is Lexus giving consumers for that cash? The huge aesthetic variations are the carbon fiber hood, rear wing, roof, entrance lip and facet skirts, in addition to crimson leather-based and Alcantara inside with carbon trim. There’s additionally a titanium exhaust system, cast BBS wheels and the aforementioned torque-vectoring rear finish. Not many of those might be offered.
    Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow
    But is it price it? In quick, no. The RC F Fuji Speedway Edition just isn’t an excellent automotive on public roads and it isn’t entertaining on winding stretches of canyon roads, both. It could also be good on a race observe as its identify would suggest (although I am unable to affirm that), however with its punishing trip, cramped inside and disappointing drivetrain, I am unable to think about choosing this over every other sports activities automotive at this value. For the $102,510 as-tested value of this RC F, I’d quite have a base Porsche 911, which is each a greater sports activities automotive and a way more livable day by day driver. For 2022, Lexus determined to increase the Fuji Speedway Edition by a further 50 items. The firm additionally added a brand new coloration — a beautiful blue referred to as Electric Surge — and gave the Fuji a brand new set of 19-inch wheels. Unfortunately, these updates do nothing to extend the attraction of this tremendous onerous promote.

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