European sports cars have a long history of delivering speed with smart engineering. American sports cars tend to be muscle-bound two-door rides with as much flash as speed. How does Lexus, a Japanese luxury maker, compete in this market? Well, they seem to be making some serious inroads.
For starters, the Lexus RC-F looks as much as a serious contender as a car could look. It even seats only four, demonstrating that it is focused on the driver first and foremost. Designers have created an iconic look shaped around the familiar Lexus grille. Eye-like headlights fill in the gaps left by that pinched grate.
If you don’t look at the front end, you may not have any clue that this is a new Lexus. That’s how curvy and downright sexy they’ve made this car.
The RC-F runs fast, making the zero-60 miles-per-hour leap in 4.2 seconds, while the RC-F Edition can do it in 3.92 seconds. This swifter model has lots of carbon fiber to lighten the load. It also has a fixed rear wing and Titanium mufflers.
Just behind the regular RC-F, the LC 500 can handle the sprint in 4.4 seconds. Engineers have packed this car with the components that a sports car needs to succeed. It starts with the V8 engine which kicks out 471 horsepower.
This is complemented by an adaptive variable suspension. If you haven’t experienced this device, it is as much about assisting the driver as it is about comfort. Also, fast to react, the ten-speed automatic transmission can shift gears every 0.12 seconds. Lexus has put active rear steering on the menu, which makes this particular ride especially exciting.
As for looks, this one is as sexy as it is smart. Engineers kept the weight down by using a lightweight roof and carbon fiber elements. The sculpted exterior has performance features such as four air intakes up front and aero ducts at the rear to help with downforce. Of course, the most desirable LC 500 is the one with a speed-activated rear wing. It opens when the car reaches 50-mph highway speeds to reduce lift.
Rounding out the list, the Lexus LC 500 convertible is one of the newest Lexus available. The open-air car has the same 471-horsepower engine. On the other hand, the LC 500h has a hybrid powertrain. This might sound like a slower car, but it has a 354-horsepower engine that lets it do the sprint in 4.6 seconds.