Lexus RC350 vs Lexus RC F
Which Lexus racing coupe is right for you, RC F or RC350?
On the left we have the $133k (+ORC) V8, and on the right the $74k RC350 F Sport. Which to choose?
The 351kW V8 RC F has a torque-vectoring rear differential, various stability control modes and a variety of g-force readouts. The 233kW RC350 F Sport fights back with adaptive suspension, four-wheel steer and is over 100kg lighter even if it’s a portly 1760kg. The 0-100 times are 4.5 and 6.1 seconds.
Here’s the styling so you decide which best pleases your eye:
Which one when?
All of my helpers who drove both cars preferred the 350, and these are people that know their high performance vehicles.
There was universal agreement the RC350’s styling was better both inside and out, as was the ride, as was the drive. The feeling was the 350 was more responsive and had better dynamics.
And I agree. For my money it’d be the RC350, unless you intend to take your RC to a racetrack where you can properly use all that glorious V8 power and appreciate the extra RC F features like the torque vectoring differential and various electronic modes. But even then, I’d buy an RC350 and use the $60k+ saving over the RC F to buy a new WRX STi, BRZ or Toyota 86, then throw $10k+ at it which would turn it into a track weapon.
On public roads the 350 is just as quick as the RC F and handles much the same. If you really push on there’s differences, but neither car really encourages that sort of driving, they’re more about grand touring ground-covering that aceing apexes. In the 350’s second gear you reach just under 100km/h at redline, whereas in the V8 RC F you’re at 100km/h at 6000rpm, 1100rpm before redline. So you can’t legally use all that power, whereas the V6 allows you to feel like you’re working the car. I’d rather have the adaptive suspension, four-wheel steer and lighter weight than a V8 with a trick diff. And while the RC350’s V6 and 8-speed automatic are not snappily responsive, both are better than the RC F’s V8 and gearbox which are lethargic at public road speeds.
I also think the RC350 looks better. Some of that is perhaps due to the lovely red, but the 350’s styling is a bit less busy – no side intakes, no adjustable spoiler at the rear. Coupes are naturally beautiful and anything that distracts from the flowing shape makes the look worse.
The RC350 even wins the practicality battle. The tyres are the same front and rear, and it has at least a space-saver spare. As it drinks less fuel there’ll be longer drives between servos too, it’ll take 95 not 98RON fuel, and it’s got the 40/60 split fold-down for the second row.
The interior styling is much the same, but with fewer buttons and a simpler display the 350 comes off as less busy. The RC350 has all the basics and more, even if it’s not particularly well appointed for the money it’s certainly much better value. I can’t think of anything on the RC F that I missed when I drove the RC350.
Here’s a second opinion:
After a drive, can confirm it’s a comfortable daily. Seats are great, some of the interior design is a bit questionable but better than the RC F colour scheme wise, less clashes. Looks aren’t to my liking and it’s quite large (with more storage and passenger room than an 86/BRZ as a result) but the average Joe would enjoy it as luxury cruiser. I struggled to understand or appreciate the RC F at it’s price point, this car has ~100kw less but that doesn’t detract in any way from the average suburban driving experience, I’d suggest that it’s better at that than the RC F. It doesn’t make the sounds that the RC F does nor rip off your face when power kicks in. The power delivery is much better. Not a bad car.