Sunday, February 25, 2024

2022 Lexus RCF Review, First Drive – Cherish The Climax

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There are a lot of sports cars and supercar makers in the world now. Some of them are gone with the wind while the rest stay in one form or the other. The legacy of these high-strung engined two-seater cars with sporty intent rests on the shoulder of legacy manufacturers. Lexus is one of them. It even went ahead and gave the world a supercar which was nothing short of an F1 car for the road with a proper body on it. Taking inspiration from that is the Lexus RCF. No, it is not an impractical comically fast car but a logical and practical everyday sports coupe that people can enjoy with Lexus’s last V8 engine that is used across its family of cars. In the Indian context, it has to meet the demanding Indian consumer, poor road conditions, and that one moment where it seemed worth spending Rs 3 crore on it. Does it do it all? We think it does! Let us find out in detail!

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On the outside, the orange color of our test car is not the only highlight. The carbon fiber bonnet and roof make it look contrast and help the car weigh lighter too. The triple beam headlamps setup ends up looking like a design element that grabs attention. The side profile is very unique to the Lexus. The rear has sharp led lamps, a Lexus trait that is really well done. The rear can look boxy, in a way that compliments the entire design altogether. Quad exhaust pipes at the back give it the perfect sports car attribute. The multi-spoke alloy wheels in black along with the contrast orange color make it look sporty too. The pillarless doors, low stance, and loud color make sure it grabs everyone’s attention on the road.

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On the inside, the build and quality are excellent and so is the expansive feature list. However, the button-ed layout of the cabin and small screen size makes it look a thing from the past. Cherish it or not, it is up to you. The RCF gets automatic lights and wipers to reversing cameras, LED lamps, and more. The main screen is slick, quick, and works quite well but only with a mouse pad as it is not a touch screen unit. There is no Apple Car Play or Android Auto. The car has ventilated and heated seats and steering along with roof material that is suave. Of course, there is no sunroof, the roof is made of carbon fiber to keep the weight low.

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The instrument cluster area has all fuel economy indicators and other bits can be seen with a touch of the toggle button on the right side of the steering buttons. The digital part displays everything and in sports mode it looks like the LFA-inspired cluster. The speedometer is small and you can only see the needle once you cross 120 km/hr!

A fantastic sound system by Mark and Levinson as always makes the experience top-class. The space at the back is best for baby seats or children under 10 years old. Adults can volunteer, but at their will. Most of the time you can keep things behind. The boot space is good enough at 300 liters and the overall practicality of the interior is just about ok thanks to thin door pads and just two cup holders, a medium-sized glovebox, and under-arm rest storage.

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Road noise inside the cabin is higher due to large low profile wheels that let the sound inside the cabin even on smooth surfaces. Like any other Lexus, it is still a pleasant place to be thanks to things like soft touch suave material all around, even on the roof. Safety kit continues to be high with the inclusion of active safety features such as electronic stability control and six airbags on the top-end variant, Hill Hold Assist, ABS, ESP, and EBD, and more come as standard.

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Lexus engines are smooth, free-revving, and low on NVH and the one on the RCF also falls in line. Be it in any part of the rev range. Low and mid-range are good on this motor, but not great. Top-end is where this motor pulls hard and fast. You need a lot of road to reach its top speed but it is done so quickly that you don’t realize how much distance you end up covering. The 5.0-liter 8-cylinder unit makes 477 PS and 530 Nm of torque! It also has a fast and smooth shifting 8 automatic gearbox. The shifts are smooth and quick. You rarely use the paddle shifters on this car even when you are in a hurry. A flexible power band and a well-tuned gearbox show that it can do it all. 5.0 liter also delivered 5 km/l in the city and 9 km/l on the highway in our testing which involved fast, moderate, and traffic driving conditions. The engine sounds brilliant at redline, albeit muted. A loud V8 in 2022 is rare.

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The ride quality is surprisingly good over bad roads. Bigger potholes need to be taken slowly in the interest of alloy wheel damage and that makes the car ride much better than we anticipated on Mumbai roads, which are at their worst in monsoon season. The ground clearance is surprisingly good enough to deal with small to medium-speed breakers as well. With a good ride and enough ground clearance, it makes it a very practical sports car for everyday driving too.

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The steering gives enough feedback and is very precise at all speeds. It weighs up well on the highway too. High-speed stability is spot on thanks to the ideal balance of underlying stiffness and compliance. The brakes were good too with great pedal bite and a lot of performance on offer. Body roll is negligible at any given speed. Overall, a very easy-to-drive car and the same time the most fun-to-drive sports coupe from the brand Lexus.

2022 Lexus RCF Review, Verdict

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As we said, RCF does it all. It is practical, fast, fun, and quite a bit entertaining too. It may not be everything to everyone who is always looking for the very best. It still has things that others never posses or will. What it is, is a dependable sports car that you can buy off the shelf right now. Lexus’s reputation for great after-sales supports, service and most important reliability mean you can use this car every day, and enjoy it every time, for a very long period of time. A time when this car might not be sold at your nearest Lexus showroom. A time when you cannot hear an exhaust like this from a car of this demeanor.

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A time of no noise, no header pipes, no gaskets, no gearbox, and no orchestra from within the bonnet. There will be just thrust and silence. As electric cars gain popularity, the RCF will be one of the few last-standing beacons of pure motoring a car that will start with one thumb to the starter even after all these years, ending up in a smile on your face, as you cherish the climax of IC engine cars.

2022 Lexus RCF India Review
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Space
  • Features
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
  • Safety
  • Practicality
  • Quality
  • Value
Mohit Soni
Mohit Soni
NOT A Commander, Director, Editor-In-This/ That, CEO, MD, President, Entrepreneur, etc etc. Just a first employee at Thrust Zone with a team of enthusiasts who love car and motorcycles more than anything else in the world, just like I do. Hashtag blessed

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