It seems as if the guys up at Toyota Japan finally got the wake up call they needed when it comes to performance cars in their line up. For years we've been subjected to mundane family orientated or budget type cars from them, which don't get me wrong, is great but we were craving cars with more oomf from the Japanese manufacturer and in the past few years, we've witnessed the rise in their Gazoo Racing division which has a great knock on effect to their production line. We got a taste with what they were up to with their Yaris GRMN, a car which I've personally never driven but every single motoring journalist who did, had nothing but praise for the little hot hatch. Then a few weeks back, Toyota introduced their fifth generation Supra to the country, again, a car that I haven't driven yet but heard so many good things about from people locally and abroad.
This week, the luxury division of Toyota, Lexus brought in their rival to the German performance coupes, the RC-F. While South Africa did get the RC when it was initially launched, Lexus felt that the RC-F wasn't suited to the local market at the time, and I would tend to agree with them but I'm glad they've decided to introduce it now. Along with the RC-F that was launched in Durban this week, they brought along the RC-F Track edition which see's no performance upgrades to it, but it has shed a lot of weight compared to the normal RC-F.
While most German rivals are going the turbo route, Lexus oddly stuck with the normally aspirated V8 engine. Lexus Sales and Marketing Vice President, Glenn Crompton says, "These highly sophisticated, proudly unique, normally aspirated V8 powered coupes have never been better represented than after such comprehensive upgrades. Offering an aggressively priced RC-F and a more aggressively dynamic RC F Track edition is an ideal twin-strategy in this performance loving South Africa market". The engine pushes out a maximum power of 351kW and 530Nm of torque, does a 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds and the track edition, 4.3 seconds.
In terms of design, the RC still remains the best looking coupe on the market for me, with the F Design kit, it only enhances the looks of the car. The stacked tail pipes echo back to the IS-F and the multi-spoke rims are reminiscent of the LFA Nurburgring edition. The interior remains fairly the same, which is a slight disappoint to me as I liked the look on the UX cabin and the new RX models. The Sports seats are a nice touch and that digital instrument cluster is always a show stopper. The Track Edition sheds a lot of weight, and has a carbon fibre bonnet and gets a carbon fibre rear wing for added down force.
It's a welcomed move to have Lexus bring these two models into the SA market, and brings in much needed competition to the likes of BMW's M4, Mercedes Benz C63 Coupe as well as Audi's RS5. Pricing for the RC-F starts at R1 318 300 for the standard and R2 098 200 for the Track Edition.