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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy/ The 2020 Lexus RCF Coupe is shown in Ultra White.

The Porsche 911 GT3 RS flew by me at high revs and then exited Highway 27. Cute. ... Oh, and here it comes again, charging back up the on-ramp in my direction.

Hmm. It has settled in behind me, as if examining the quad exhausts of our Lexus RC F tester — which looks otherwise benign in its Ultra White paint.

Instantly, I felt a powerful urge to blow some leaves off the hood of our Lexus so I encouraged the RC-Fs 5.0-liter V-8 to propel us a wee bit faster. Consequently, the Porsche suddenly started to shrink in my rear-view mirror. After a few rounds of leap-frog both cars went their separate ways like panting puppies.

Good times.

If not for moments like this, though, what good is a Lexus muscle car? And indeed, that's exactly what the RC F is — a huge hunk of Japanese muscle. The non-turbocharged V-8 rumbles under the domed hood like a caged animal. The high-backed sports seats, which can be lowered to inches above the pavement, put you in racing posture.

some text Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy/ A black and white interior cocoons the driver.

FAST FACTS

* Model: 2020 Lexus RC F Coupe

* Exterior color: Ultra White

* Interior color: Black and white

* Engine: 5.0-liter, V-8

* Horsepower: 472

* Transmission: 8-speed automatic

* Fuel economy: 24 mpg highway, 16 mpg city

* Local Dealer: Lexus of Chattanooga

* Price (as tested): $78,849

 

WHAT IS IT?

The Lexus RC F is the performance version of the Lexus RC Coupe, which was introduced about five years ago. It has back seats, but don't plan on using them for regular-sized humans. Check Lexus of Chattanooga on Lee Highway for availability. The RC F is not a high-volume model.

 

some text Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy/ The blacked-out spindle grille gives the 2020 Lexus RC F a menacing look.
 

WHAT WE LIKED

The snarling, normally-aspirated engine raises the hair on the back of your neck. The styling — which includes the domed hood and cooling ducts that look like fish gills — is cutting edge. We also like that you can ease back on the throttle and you'll feel like you are driving a completely civilized Lexus automobile that will get you back and forth to work in style. Also, the base price of $64,750, is only about $137 per horsepower. Our tester, with options, rings up at $78,849.

 

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

The architecture of the hood makes the blind-spots a bother. We suggest the $5,350 premium package for its blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert features. Meanwhile, the bolsters on the sports seats are a little too tight for our tastes.

Online

In the market for a new vehicle? To access hundreds of Mark Kennedy’s Chattanooga Test Drive columns visit www.timesfreepress.com/testdrive.

 

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

The RC F is a fun machine capable of a 4.1-second 0-60 mph dash. It competes with the BMW M4 among others, and has the chops to hang with other cars in the class. Its 3,902-pound weight makes it grounded and relatively easy to handle. Big Brembo brakes handle the stopping chores with aplomb.

some text Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy/ A quad exhaust hints at the performance of the RC F.

 

BOTTOM LINE

The Lexus RC F Coupe makes for a great weekend playmate. Just ask the Porsche.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.


View other Test Drive stories by Mark Kennedy



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