When the 2021 Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Edition was initially dropped off to me, I marveled at the amount of carbon fiber that the car was wearing. There’s a carbon fiber hood and roof cap, and let’s not forget that large carbon fiber wing sitting on the trunk. It looks like a car from the Fast and Furious franchise. Truth be told, I knew almost nothing about this particular Lexus RC at the time. But after spending some time in it, I’ve realized that it is really fast, but I don’t feel like it’s that furious.
The Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Edition is a very limited production car
The Lexus RC is a bit of an odd duck in the lineup. It’s a two-door coupe that’s meant to be sporty but feels really soft instead. The Lexus RC F kicks things up a notch with a V8 engine under the hood, so I gather that it feels even sportier (I’ve actually never driven one). However, the RC F Fuji Speedway Edition turns things way up by offering race-ready parts like the aforementioned carbon fiber bits in addition to other sporty features.
Those features include large carbon-ceramic brakes that sit behind 19-inch alloy wheels in addition to a Torsen limited-slip differential. All of that hardware works harmoniously with its stout 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 472 hp @ 7,100 rpm and 395 lb-ft of torque. The power is routed through an eight-speed transmission and out to the rear wheels. But all of that stuff isn’t what makes this car special.
Instead, what makes it special is the fact that I’m driving 1 of only 60 Lexus RC F Fuji Editions that will ever be produced. And somehow, I’m left feeling like I want a little more out of it.
It’s fast, but it doesn’t feel fast
Car and Driver said that the RC F Fuji Edition looks like “a race car stripped of its numbers and sponsorship decals,” and I completely agree. They also put the car through its paces on their test track, which resulted in a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.0 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 12.4 seconds. That’s a fast car, especially considering it weighs 3,839 pounds, but I’m still not convinced. Then again, I realize that it’s probably because I don’t have a race track to drive this thing on.
I have driven it around town and on the freeway, though, just like many of the lucky 60 owners of this car will do. In “comfort mode,” the RC F feels almost as sedate and easy-to-drive as its ES sedan stablemate. The suspension softens up and the steering feels somewhat light.
However, throw it into “sport” or “sport +” and the steering stiffens up, the throttle is more responsive, and the car sounds more lively. In those modes, it’s hard not to bury the throttle every chance you can get. I can tell you that the sonorous roar of the monstrous V8, especially in the upper RPM range, made me want to keep my foot to the floor.
But since I could only drive the RC F Fuji on the street, and mash the pedal between stoplights, that’s where the fun ended for me. Don’t get me wrong, the car feels quick off the line. But the shifts from the traditional automatic transmission bog it down a little whereas a dual-clutch transmission might not. Additionally, its high-rpm nature is probably a blast to drive on a track, but on the street, it can be tough to keep it there without inadvertently speeding into the triple digits.
The car makes getting on the freeway a lot of fun, though.
I can’t afford a speeding ticket
Ultimately, the 2021 Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Edition is an extremely well-built and very fast sports coupe. But there’s a reason that it’s named after a racetrack and not a street. It belongs in a place where the driver can take advantage of its high-revving nature and relentless agility.
And yes, technically, I could drive it like that on the street, but I can’t afford a speeding ticket. So for now, I’ll drive it normally. It’s too bad that it doesn’t feel as impressive when you can’t drive it at its full potential. But at least it looks really cool with all of that carbon fiber.