By Mike Torpey on 2018-05-13 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Lexus RC F Carbon
LEXUS describes its RC F sports coupe as being engineered for exhilaration - a case of head turner meets heart racer.
Well there's no doubt the muscle car styling and race-bred lines of this £60,000-plus speed machine make it impossible to ignore, whether that be seeing or hearing it.
Hand built and tuned by stethoscope no less, the RC F has a 5.0-litre V8 engine beneath its domed bonnet, and developing 477bhp plus a towering 520Nm of torque it is the most potent V8 engine Lexus has ever developed.
Its sole purpose is to deliver awesome performance and to that end the power is volcanic, a mini-eruption taking place every time you hammer the throttle.
Add Lexus's Carbon pack of bonnet, roof and spoiler all made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic panels - with its weight-saving of 9.5 kilos - and the RC F both looks and sounds the real deal.
Splashing out the extra £8,000 it costs for these extras, which also includes a Torque Vectoring Diff as standard, and you could be forgiven for thinking this is a car to be kept well clear of public roads.
But while the racetrack is no doubt an ideal habitat, this is also very much an everyday supercar - one you come to appreciate the more you drive it.
For starters it's commendably comfortable with its high-backed Alcantara seats that both support and cosset the driver and front seat passenger.
And its small steering wheel has just the right weight and feedback from the car's firm but not over-stiff suspension - plot yourself a decent stretch on the motorway and the thing's an absolute dream.
The popping as the throttle blips responsively between the gears of the eight-speed Sport Direct Shift sequential transmission is wonderful and there are plenty of extra features to alter the RC F's driving characteristics.
So features like the Drive Mode Select allow the driver to flick between Eco, Normal, Snow, Sport S and Sport S+ modes, which alter the accelerator response, steering weight, traction control and gearbox mapping.
And on Carbon editions with the Torque Vectoring Diff you can prod a button to switch between Standard, Slalom and Track.
Otherwise, the RC F's 19-inch alloy wheels are forged rather than cast in a process that mimics the b blows of a blacksmith's hammer to combine strength with lightness.
Inside, the cabin feels accommodating and upmarket with its seven-inch infotainment screen placed high on the dash, even if the touchpad controlling it isn't exactly straightforward.
On the downside, however, there's not much in the way of stowage space - to the point that the door bins a so narrow that you can't drop a cup or bottle in there - and the rear seats really only offer enough space for kids. That said, there's a decent boot with a wide opening too.
Lexus RC F Carbon
Mechanical: 447bhp, 4,969cc, 8cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 168mph
0-62mph: 4.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 26.2
Insurance Group: 50
C02 emissions: 251g/km
Bik rating: 37%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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