Everyone but ricers forget the Supra’s refined offspring. The Lexus SC 300 that housed a 225 hp non-turbo 2JZ from the famous Supra, the the SC 400 that had a 4.0L V8 producing 250 hp which was later given 10 more hp. These are forgotten in all probability because Lexus debuted the SC 430 which looked like the designer was a half blind plagiarist who got a hold of the early 350z concept drawings. It’s one of those cars that is impossible to drive without looking like a complete and utter goof. Someone that went their entire life without having a personality, and decided that he needed a cool new sports car to drive to his work at the jewelry store everyday. Then stumbled onto a Lexus showroom and gave his soul to the salesman in exchange for a car that he didn’t even know the model name of.
So in 2007 when the IS F came up to the the bar and gave the M5 a good shove we all laughed! After a good brawl we all realized the kid was alright, but I would have had a hard time turning down the M5, not just because of merit, but because of the superior handling as well.
Now Lexus is taking swings at BMW’s newest prodigy, the M4 coupe, and the world is noticing! So can it play with the big boys or is it’s mouth writing checks that it’s arse can’t cash?
This RWD beast from the east is housing an all new 5.0-liter V8 producing a seismic 450 hp and 383 ft lbs of torque. That many foot pounds of torque is enough to burn some nice 11′s if you want to get scientific about it.
They’ve installed a Torque Vectoring Differential as well, which will make sure the proper amount of power gets to the asphalt at all times. Same idea as the Formula 1 traction control of years past – just stamp your foot down and drive it.
It has an 8 speed transmission controlled by paddle shifters as well. In my opinion that is too many gears for a car that tops out at 168 mph, which is nothing to scoff at, but it only requires 7 speeds at the most. It’s going to constantly be changing its mind on the highway.
Supposedly it’ll hit 60 mph in under 4.6 seconds as well. The very cool retractable rear spoiler deploys at 50 mph, and retracts once back down to 25 mph. It has a stiffened chassis, stiff rocker arms, a wider stance and wider tires to enhance the grip and handling. However it does weigh, near as makes no difference, 4,000 lbs, so it is quite heavy.
The styling on the Lexus is not fantastic either. The bulges in the hood give it a bullish bruising look, however that bow tie grille is hideous! It’s just gawking angrily at everything. I dare not even use the word angry because that implies emotion and the styling on the RC F doesn’t seem to project a personality or emotion. It’s just bulges and lines everywhere with huge grilles and weird headlamps.
The Lexus RC F is badly in need of an identity. Meanwhile the BMW M4 is very clean and bold looking. The interior doesn’t have a stupid analog clock in it, the grilles follow traditional BMW heritage but the whole car manages to look aggressive.
Let’s compare all of that to the BMW M4. The RC F is nearly an astonishing 700 lbs heavier than the M4 at 3,300 lbs! The M4 has gone back to the lighter, and better sounding, twin turbocharged inline 6 format. It makes 25 less horsepower than the RC F at 425 hp, but 23 more ft lbs of torque at an impressive 406 torques per foot pounds! And the M4 has that many…torques…starting at 1850 rpm and continues to not fall off until 5500 rpm which is coincidentally when the motor starts reaching it’s peak horsepower. Compare that to the RC F that has yet to release information that specific, other than the fact that the torques will be controlled by the “Torque Vectoring Differential”. The RC F also will not be available with a manual box, while the M4 will. The M4 is expected to have a price tag starting out around $60,000 while reports have suggested the Lexus RC F will be closer to $100,000.
So, Do I still prefer the German alternative? In a word, yes. In many words, it’s lighter, will sound better, will have a manual box, more torque, looks better, and costs less. The M4 is already a legend in it’s own right, while the Lexus RC F goes against everything that made Japanese performance cars great buys.