NAPA, CALIFORNIA — There’s something about driving a naturally aspirated, high-revving V8 engine that brings a smile to any car-lover’s face. In an era that’s dominated by forced-injection engines, the RC-F’s glorious V8 reminds us of why we love to drive. The RC-F is now ten years old and to put an exclamation point on that, the team at Lexus issued this 10th Anniversary Edition that brings some extra bling.
This is also one of the most rare Lexus’ ever made as there were only 240 of them manufactured. Its matte gray finish (dubbed Nebula Gray) is easily one of the most bad-ass colors we’ve ever seen on any sports car, however, Lexus recommends that you never take it through a car wash. Along with the unique paint scheme are black 19-inch BBS alloy wheels, blue brake calipers, blue leather interior surfaces with white accents and triple beam headlights.
That beautiful V8:
Nothing has changed with its potent 5.0-liter V8. It still churns out 467 horsepower at 7100rpm and 389 lb-ft of torque. It’s good enough to get all 4,000 pounds from zero to sixty in about 4.5 seconds. Its fast-shifting 8-speed automatic slams through the gears with ease, especially in Sport+ mode.
You’ll love the RC-F’s exhaust notes, however, some of it is artificially “augmented” inside the cabin. Not really a fan of that but it is what it is. Even with that being the case, it still sounds brilliant outside the car. The q uad-exhaust tips help add to the drama.
Lexus uses Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Super Sport P255/35 ZR19 92Y tires up front with Michelin Pilot Super Sport P275/35 ZR19 92Y tires in the rear.
Waves of blue in here:
Inside, you’ll be rewarded to what is perhaps the best-looking interior we’ve seen in any Lexus. At least the most sporty. Blue leather, suede and carbon fiber are of the highest quality you’ll find. The white stripe accents contrast in a way to make the car look much more expensive.
The seats are simply amazing. Talk about superb bolster support — this RC-F has it in spades. In fact, it is one of the most comfortable sport cars to sit in and drive. It’s as if the seats hug your body in such a way that combines excellent support and comfort at the same time.
Yes, there’s still the annoying touchpad interface for the infotainment center that is cumbersome to use. However, the Mark Levinson audio system will reward you with excellent audio reproduction with solid subwoofer performance, smooth mid-range and balanced highs. Support for MP3/CD/AM/FM/XM and Bluetooth audio are all in tow. As far as rear legroom goes. Forget about it. Just forget those seats are even back there as anything outside of a child seat is going to have a rough go at it. We’re convinced they’re only there as Lexus couldn’t think of anything else to fill the space with.
On the road:
Out on the open road is where the RC-F beckons you to hit it hard. Those country roads that have ideal corners with a wide-open horizon will help free your inner spirit. The combination of how everything comes together here creates a very rewarding driving experience. Braking is solid, never fades and is up to the task for whatever you throw its way. Keeping the engine rpms up helps keep the beautiful exhaust notes going as well as keeps you in the torque curve.
The way the RC-F handles itself through tough corners is sublime. Virtually no noticeable body roll, and suspension that keeps all four tires firmly planted on the road. Its torque-vectoring differential helps as well by putting the power down where needed. The only thing we’d love to see in future models would be a built-in launch-control system.
The 10th Anniversary Edition prices out at $84,560, which adds an extra $16,160 dollars over the regular base version and if you’re one of the lucky ones to acquire one, it could prove to be an investment in the long run due to how scarce they are.
In the end, it’s easy to see why Lexus would want to release this version of a car that’s been an important piece in their overall line-up. Even though its LCA died off in 2012, there are definitely hints of it that live on in the RC-F. While it’s not the fastest car for the money, it definitely is one of the most comfortable and rewarding to drive we’ve tested in a long time.