LEXUS RC-F: FUTURE UNICORN?

Lexus will remember 2017 for the introduction of the LC. Don’t remind them that they still make a sports-luxury coupé with a magnificent V8, aggressive styling and sumptuous interior appointments for a sticker price that’s $22k below the LCs–and can’t sell it. Good luck with that LC…

lc-copy.jpg
The new, more expensive LC. Does this make you want an RC-F?

Perhaps it’s not their fault, but Lexus can’t seem to find success with the sports-luxury coupé formula. Every time they try it, the end-product is a dancing bear, unsure whether it wants to a driver’s car or a boulevardier. The RC-F is indeed complex, but it’s still a good car.

WE’RE IGNORANT AND WE DON’T DESERVE THIS CAR

Whereas parent company Toyota has completely embraced the world of sheeple to which they market cars, Lexus seems to hold out hope in the intelligence of their buying public. They launched the RC head-on into a segment dominated by BMW and Mercedes, at a time when Cadillac was on their A game.

Read what the major periodicals have to say about the RC-F; it’s death by complement.

Road & Track proclaims that it’s “the perfect Japanese pony car” and deserving of a second look. Motor Trend cites that it lost a comparison to the M4 because of its lower performance envelope, despite being “one of the most well-rounded [cars in its segment] offering excellent performance and daily drivability”.

Noone buying this car cares whether it laps a test track within a few seconds of an M4, C63 or ATS-V, but they notice that it came in last place. When was the last time you heard anyone quote the lap times of a ’65 Mustang?

OLD PEOPLE AND BAD TIMING

Despite being dealt a tough hand by reviewers, periodicals aren’t to blame for this car selling under 5000 units to-date. Lexus is. They seem to have gambled on pensioners feeling rather spry after the economy turned around.

Marketing for the RC has been all but nonexistent, which is intriguing when you consider that Lexus will sell you an RC-F for less than $70k. Try leaving the dealership with an M4 for that money.

The car has new-money looks and old-money values. Until you dial all the RC’s drive-mode settings to 11, it’s docile, weighty, a specimen of the bank-vault build quality Lexus is known for.  You just wouldn’t adorn a bank vault with this many scoops and vents, and therein lies the problem.

rc_F_back
Sure, grandma would drive this…

 

A RARE BEAST INDEED

The handful of mid-life-crisis-afflicted executives and cool grandpas that did spring for the RC have got themselves a hell of a car. The RC-F might be one of the last great atmospheric V8-powered coupés ever made, it can go 0-60 in 4.3 seconds and top 170mph, but most of the time it doesn’t make you bite your nails.

Most of the time the RC is perfectly happy to loaf around quietly, its competent 8-speed transmission operating smoothly in the background, its leather-lined interior cosseting inhabitants. Maybe Jaguar should share the blame with Lexus. The F-Type is precisely this formula with 100 times more sex appeal.

Ftype
Pat yourself on the back, Jag, you finally outsold someone!

UNINTENTIONALLY EXCLUSIVE

What’s that you ask? Sell my RC-F? Why no, it’s probably got another 10 good years in it. Yes, sir. That and more.

We’ll watch these cars disappear into miniscule garages in San Francisco and Florida, where they only fit thanks to the custom-installed lift that offers space for a daily-driver RAV4. Some of them will be crippled by sheer lack of attention, but some won’t.

If you own an RC-F, drive it, hard. If you don’t drive it hard, keep up on the services, please. Someone will pay you good money for it in 40 years. If we’re still allowed to drive cars with V8s in 40 years.

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