2021 Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Edition review: Exclusive doesn’t always mean good

Victoria D. Doty

At minimum this motor vehicle appears amazing.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

The assumed of paying out a week with a hyper-constrained, monitor-centered, special-version automobile with a huge, high-revving, by natural means aspirated V8 is really damn exciting. Which is the stuff that motor vehicle fans desire about, proper? Sadly, actuality not often life up to our desires, and that is absolutely the case with the 2021 Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Version.


  • Fantastic build quality
  • Strong carbon-ceramic brakes

Don’t Like

  • Lazy drivetrain
  • Rough ride
  • Also highly-priced

On paper, the RC F Fuji version appears wonderful. It can be acquired tons of carbon fiber, carbon-ceramic brakes and the 5.-liter 2UR-GSE V8 you may locate in overall performance vehicles like the Lexus LC five hundred, the beloved IS F and the new IS five hundred. That engine creates a respectable 472 horsepower at 7,a hundred rpm and 395 pound-feet of torque at four,800 rpm, but it can be right here that the RC F’s bummers start off.

This engine absolutely does scream in its upper registers, as evidenced by the revs at which it tends to make peak electric power. It can be right here the place the V8 is exciting and responsive and alive. Sadly, in the lessen aspect of its rev array, the 5.-liter V8 operates on the Atkinson cycle, the exact performance-centered cycle that Toyota takes advantage of in its hybrids. This implies the valve timing adjustments to focus on fuel performance at the price of electric power, torque and responsiveness.

On paper, getting a a lot more effective motor vehicle at close to-town speeds sounds superior, but in actuality, it tends to make a monitor-centered beast like the RC F really feel useless and unexciting. If this have been something but a flagship sporting activities design, I’d be a lot less significant, but in a motor vehicle like this, with a huge carbon wing, hyper-aggressive styling and a sizable selling price tag, it feels like a big misstep. I want my huge, by natural means aspirated V8 to kick ass all the time, and this one particular will not.

That V8 is paired with an 8-pace automated transmission. Compared with the engine, the transmission operates nicely in town but lets the driver down on superior canyon roads. It shifts slower than some of the ZF 8-pace ‘boxes I have knowledgeable and, yet again, in a monitor-centered motor vehicle, it shouldn’t be this way. At minimum this transmission is paired with a locking rear differential that operates as marketed and is a welcome addition in the RC F.

You will locate this 5.-liter V8 in the LC five hundred and IS five hundred.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

The RC F Fuji’s suspension is yet another place that should really be outstanding purely primarily based on its specs but will not dwell up to the hoopla. The entrance double-wishbone suspension capabilities adaptive Sachs dampers and a hollow entrance sway bar. The rear takes advantage of a multi-hyperlink structure. The complete setup is very stiff and disagreeable close to town nevertheless it will not do a brilliant position of controlling the RC F in high-pace driving. Even further, I locate it challenging to have confidence in the motor vehicle to remain planted as it moves close to on rapid canyon roads mainly because it by no means feels actually settled. The RC F’s vague digital electric power steering also does a very poor position of offering driver feed-back, incorporating to that overall absence of self-assurance on the highway.

Arguably the very best point about the Fuji is its established of 14.9-inch Brembo carbon ceramic brakes. The RC F is a significant motor vehicle with a control excess weight of three,781 kilos (121 kilos lighter than the normal RC F), and with nearly five hundred hp on tap, these unflappable brakes are a welcome addition for repeatable, self-assurance-inspiring halting. Coupled with the moderately sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, the RC F’s overall grip is superior, despite the issues I have with the suspension.

The RC F’s cabin is a sea of leather, Alcantara, carbon fiber and buttons. At 6 feet, four inches, I’m admittedly taller than most motorists, but I battle to get at ease in any situation. The seats are gorgeous and possible incredibly supportive for smaller motorists, but right after an hour in the canyons, I really feel like they’ve been boxing my kidneys, and it can be not enjoyment. Headroom also could be superior, contemplating the absence of a moonroof in the carbon-roof-outfitted Fuji. The BMW M4 presents a lot more space for heads (and helmets), but at minimum the RC F has a great deal of legroom. The complete cabin is exquisitely crafted with wonderful resources, at minimum — a hallmark of Lexus products.

The interior is properly appointed, but the infotainment tech is seriously negative.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

The RC F lacks blind-place monitoring (thanks to its carbon fiber aspect mirrors) and rear cross-traffic notify, but at minimum will come with adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, automated high beams, lane-departure warning and the like. But although the safety suite is only Ok, the infotainment process is really negative. The RC F will not have a touchscreen, but thankfully Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are normal, and my check automobile is outfitted with the optional Mark Levinson audio bundle — a obligatory insert for any Lexus, as much as I’m worried. The Lexus Enform process is problematic due to its clunky interface and laggy reaction, not to point out the finicky trackpad which is tricky to use although driving.

The RC F Fuji Speedway Version has a commencing selling price of $98,275, which include Lexus’ $one,075 destination rate. Which is a a lot more-than-$thirty,000 high quality about the normal RC F, so what, other than exclusivity and carbon ceramic brakes, is Lexus giving customers for that cash? The huge aesthetic discrepancies are the carbon fiber hood, rear wing, roof, entrance lip and aspect skirts, as nicely as purple leather and Alcantara interior with carbon trim. There’s also a titanium exhaust process, cast BBS wheels and the aforementioned torque-vectoring rear close.

Not numerous of these will be bought.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

But is it worthy of it? In small, no. The RC F Fuji Speedway Version is not a incredibly superior motor vehicle on community roads and it can be not entertaining on winding stretches of canyon roads, either. It might be superior on a race monitor as its identify would suggest (however I are not able to validate that), but with its punishing ride, cramped interior and disappointing drivetrain, I are not able to consider selecting this about any other sporting activities motor vehicle at this selling price. For the $102,510 as-analyzed selling price of this RC F, I’d fairly have a base Porsche 911, which is the two a superior sporting activities motor vehicle and a much a lot more livable daily driver. 

For 2022, Lexus made the decision to increase the Fuji Speedway Version by an further fifty models. The organization also added a new colour — a attractive blue known as Electric Surge — and gave the Fuji a new established of 19-inch wheels. Sadly, these updates do absolutely nothing to improve the appeal of this super tricky offer.

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