Did you know Lexus has been making “F” cars for ten years? Wait, did you know that Lexus was even making F cars? I did but I didn’t know that. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew Lexus had this F designation, but I never knew what it designated. So here we are, ten years on, and we get to celebrate, what, exactly?
According to Lexus, that F badge means the car has “the purest expression of Lexus performance.” Sure, whatever. Essentially F is to Lexus what M is to BMW and S is to Audi. F is the performance sub-brand within Lexus itself. And, to say the least, Lexus is pretty durned happy about making these things for ten years.
Windy City Showcase
They are so happy in fact, that at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, the Japanese luxo-brand rolled out not one but two commemorative rides: The 2018 Lexus GS F and RC F 10th Anniversary. The GS F and RC F special editions are set to arrive at Lexus dealers this summer and, unsurprisingly, will come with exclusive features befitting of limited-edition models.
Starting with the outside, both cars come in a matte finish Nebula Gray paint scheme. This is a fond return to matte finishes for Lexus, since the last time they used it was on their LFA supercar. And while we’re here: Hey Lexus, when are we going to get a follow-on to the LFA? Anyhoo, Lexus says this new Nebula Gray has been toughened up for “the rigors of everyday use, including the ability to withstand the average mechanized car wash.” That’s nice of them.
Polished black multispoke 19-inch wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires come standard, and contrast nicely with the dark gray paint. Beneath these fancy wheels are blue brake calipers to add a splash of color.
Deep Blue Something
On the inside, that theme continues with blue carbon fiber trim for the panels and dash with blue leather accents throughout. Further cool anniversary stuff to be found in the RC F coupe are the sport seats outlined in blue leather with white accents, and a blue shift knob. Same goes for the steering wheel and instrument panel. For the GS F, there’s additional blue carbon trim on the center console, a blue suede dash, and blue seatbelt straps.
Blue, blue, blue. Everywhere blue!
Power & Performance
Powertrain-wise, both the coupe and sedan work with the same 467 horsepower 5.0-liter V8, but there are differences and tweaks here and there. The plant in the RC F coupe sends the grunt to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic box. Lexus says this is good enough to scoot to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Nice! There’s also a Torsen limited-slip diff as standard, along with variable dampers (shocks) and multiple drive modes. If you want to take up the option, there’s a torque vectoring differential available. Take it.
Like I said, the GS F sedan has the same mill and also works with the same eight-speed automatic to put power to the rears. The torque vectoring diff, however, comes standard. Even though the GS F is a sedan, it is only a tic slower than the RC F coupe, clocking 4.5 seconds from a stop to 60 mph. Oh, and it gets up to 24 mpg on the highway. Not bad! Variable dampers? Check. A selection of drive modes? Also check, but there’s a full custom setting allowing you to adjust different parameters. Slick.
Pricing & Availability
Finally, there is the nearly compulsory engraved plaque bragging about the car’s limited-edition status. And by limited, Lexus means only 240 10th Anniversary RC Fs will be seen on the streets. That works out to one anniversary RC F per U.S. dealer. So get line now. If your tastes run more toward the GS F, you really got to hustle, since there will be only 100 of them.
Lexus says there will be additional packages for both, but cryptically notes they “will be required.” What on Earth that means, I do not know. There’s no word on pricing either.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format.