RAC Cars News


Lexus RC-F Takes on The BMW M4

By raccars Published

The BMW M contingent is a formidable beast, but up and coming premium brands, such as Lexus and Infiniti, are chasing the German's tail. BMW's new M4 is facing an interesting challenger in Lexus's RC F sports saloon. Lexus believes it has the winner in terms of pure driving experience enjoyment but BMW has illustrious form in this department, so how do the two stack up in facts and figures?

The M4 and RC F start from a pretty level playing field, with matching two door, rear wheel drive layouts and similar power outputs. The BMW M4 (which was known as the M3 Coupe in earlier iterations) is a magnificently torquey beast, generating 431bhp from its turbocharged 3.0 litre unit, and straight sixes are something of a BMW speciality. The RC F goes back to basics with a massive 5.0 litre V8 engine, which will apparently produce 450bhp but has a slightly lower torque ratio to balance it out.

The M4 does have one attractively old school feature, however, in its six speed manual transmission. While this is easily the purist's choice, there's an intriguing sounding seven speed dual clutch automatic that you shouldn't automatically dismiss, as it comes with a 'Smokey Burnout' feature, that surely heralds great blacktop entertainment. Lexus has eschewed the possibility of a manual gearbox altogether in the RC F, claiming they don't sell. Instead, there's an eight speed automatic unit, while the option of a four wheel drive has also been discounted.

At 1,500kg, the M4 is slightly lighter on its feet than the 1,800kg RC F, which also gives it the edge on speed. It takes only 4.3 seconds to reach 62mph as a manual or 4.1 seconds if you opt for the auto version. Its top speed is limited to 155mph. The RC F lags slightly behind but is still no slouch, getting from 0-62mph within 4.5 seconds and limited to 168mph. Both cars are assisted by aerodynamics boosting packages, while the M4 has plenty of carbon fibre reinforced plastic in its construction.

Both are rather glorious looking – sleek and muscular, but the finish to the front and rear ends of the Lexus is arguably slightly clunky in comparison to the elegance of the M4, with sharp edges to the tail-lights and a front grille that borders on the vulgar.

It's hard to overcome the weight of that BMW badge, particularly on an M branded car, but the 2015 Lexus RC F is giving it a damned good try. Prices and a release date are yet to be announced.

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