More Details on the Production Lexus LF-C2 Convertible

Lexus LF-C2 Convertible

Automotive News has more details on the Lexus LF-C2 and its chances of reaching production:

Bracken says the LF-C2 was “purely a concept” and not slated for production. But according to a person familiar with Lexus’ planning, the brand is considering whether to produce a version of it to sell as the convertible RC — an affordable, sporty stablemate for its newest coupe — or to build a convertible version of the much more exclusive LF-LC concept it showed in 2012 at the Detroit auto show.

A convertible based on the LF-LC would be a halo car that elevates the brand, while the RC version would sell more vehicles. “The question is: Is the brand willing to support two convertibles?” the person said.

The uncertainty of two convertibles in the lineup makes more sense than the earlier rumor that Lexus had to decide between the RC convertible and a three-row crossover — this point is addressed in the Automotive News article:

Lexus dealers say they are eager for an entry in the growing three-row crossover segment, one that could compete with the BMW X5 and Audi Q7. Lexus said the decision over how to replace the IS convertible will not affect its plans for a three-row crossover.

[Source: Automotive News]

Motor Trend Comparison: Lexus RC F vs BMW M4

Lexus RC F vs. BMW M4

Motor Trend has published a comparison between the Lexus RC F & BMW M4, and it’s a total mess of conflicting information:

We preferred the Lexus around town, as it’s a more interesting car to sit in thanks to its wealth of technical and visual details. The styling may be a large miss, but we admire the effort. And we were genuinely impressed with the ground the RC F made up on the racetrack. It offers performance similar to the M4’s, but it feels friendlier.

Alas, we picked the M4 when it came down to the car we’d rather take home. Its engine lacks the Lexus’ aural satisfaction, but its powerband over-delivers. Its suspension works excellently on a bumpy racetrack and isn’t exceptionally rough on normal roads. Overall, it offers a higher performance envelope than the Lexus, and while it might take more time to get accustomed to, we found more engagement and satisfaction in the process.

Let’s see — the RC F is easier to drive, handles better on public roads (where 99% of all owners will drive), costs $10,000 USD less, has better technology and a more impressive cabin. On the other hand, the BMW has a powerband that “over-delivers” and “offers a higher performance envelope”.

How does the M4’s “higher performance envelope” over-deliver? By returning a track time just .32 seconds faster than the RC F:

Lexus RC F vs. BMW M4

The M4 performs (marginally) better than the RC F on the track, it’s right there in the numbers. The testing is not the issue.

No, the issue is that a major automotive magazine has decided that a half-second and subjective opinions are worth more to their readers than near-identical performance, $10,000, and better everyday driving comfort, technology and utility.

Great photos, though.

Read the full Motor Trend Lexus RC F vs BMW M4 Comparison

Video Comparison: Lexus RC F vs. BMW M4 & Audi RS 5

Lexus RC F BMW M4 Audi RS 5

AMCI Testing, one of the most respected independent automotive testing companies in the world, has conducted a comparison between the Lexus RC F, BMW M4, and Audi RS 5:

Considering the video is being hosted on the Lexus USA Youtube page, it would be easy enough to write off the results — however, this quote from the AMCI Testing website set my mind at ease:

Only AMCI Testing work meets the strictest requirements set forth in Section 5 of the FTC Act, substantiating claims and guarding all parties against unfair and deceptive advertising practices which are subject to prosecution by the federal government.

As proof of the unassailable substantiation services we offer, no ‘AMCI Testing-Certified’ competitive claim has ever been retracted due to a legal challenge- a record that spans nearly 30 years.

2015 Lexus RC F Configurator Now on USA Website

Lexus RC 350 Online Configurator

For those US readers interested in purchasing an RCF, the Lexus USA website has been updated with an online configurator to help you build the exact car you want.

As detailed earlier, pricing for the RC F will start at $63,325 — unfortunately, it appears the carbon fibre Performance Package has been delayed, as it’s not currently an option in the configurator.

Build your Lexus RC 350 on the USA website

Interview with Lexus International President Tokuo Fukuichi

Lexus International President Tokuo Fukuichi

The Lexus UK blog has an insightful interview with Tokuo Fukuichi, the president of Lexus International — here he is talking about the brand’s current design direction:

Within the premium brands, there are the German three: Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. We have to consider how Lexus should position itself against the German three. So I think to myself – what would make Europeans buy Lexus?

If it were similar to the German three I wouldn’t buy Lexus if I were a German, I would buy [a product from] one of the German three. The only way I would choose to buy Lexus is if the brand had something that the German three didn’t have. So of course there are multiple aspects, hybrids for example. The new technology is important, but the design especially. It has to be something that is original and unique and has character, something that gives a raison d’etre for Lexus.

Fukuichi-san also shares an interesting story about the NX design:

When we decided on the design for the NX, which was over two years ago, there were three ideas that we looked at. The one we chose wasn’t the best idea at that point but we developed it. My selection criterion was that I wanted to go a different direction than the German three, so while it might not have been yet complete we still had time [to refine it], so I focused more on the originality aspect.

Of course the other ideas scored higher, but if we produced a car along that line then we would have come up with a car that was quite similar to the German three. I intentionally rejected those ideas and chose the idea that was very similar to the original NX that you see. At the point of selection, which was over two years ago, if I had selected the lowest risk design at that time, two years later it would have become the highest risk item.

The full interview is definitely a worthwhile read, bringing some well-deserved attention to the man steering the Lexus ship.

Read the full Fukuichi interview at the Lexus UK Blog