More svelte than sporty

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Five Things -

The RC F isn’t as track­o­ri­ented as, say, a BMW M4 and for some that will be part of the at­trac­tion. Driven with less than manic in­tent, it is a pre­dictable and pol­ished reardriver. The steer­ing is pre­cise — if a touch heavy — and the sus­pen­sion doesn’t crash and bash over low-speed bumps, mak­ing it a more-thanac­cept­able work­day com­muter. Grippy tyres and a torque-vec­tor­ing diff give it se­ri­ous cor­ner­ing po­ten­tial, es­pe­cially through high-speed sweep­ers. It’s more svelte grand tourer than out­right sport­ster.

The RC F’s 5.0-litre V8 is more muted than your av­er­age HSV or Mus­tang but as the revs rise it snarls with fe­roc­ity — lower a win­dow and lis­ten. Peak power and torque (351kW/ 530Nm) ar­rive in the last 2500rpm of the rev range, so there are no per­for­mance traits at low revs, a ben­e­fit around town. Set the drive mode to Sports or Sports + on back roads to en­cour­age the eight-speed auto to hold lower gears and keep you hus­tling. Of­fi­cial thirst is 10.9L/100km, though not if you are try­ing to match the claimed 4.5-sec­ond sprint from 0-100km/h.

In­side the $158,837 twodoor, the feel is ev­ery bit as classy as the Euro­pean op­po­si­tion. Suede and leather sur­faces dom­i­nate and the seven-inch in­fo­tain­ment screen is suit­ably high-res. Less im­pres­sive is the touch­pad con­troller — fid­dly at best and tem­per­a­men­tal at worst, it isn’t within cooee of ri­vals’ ro­tarystyle con­trollers. There are eight airbags and ac­tive driving aids ex­tend to adap­tive cruise con­trol, lane-de­par­ture and blind-spot mon­i­tors and rear cross-traf­fic alert. As with most sports coupes, the rear seats are for oc­ca­sional adult oc­cu­pa­tion.

The car­bon-fi­bre bon­net, roof, wing and in­te­rior add more than $20,000 to the cost of a stan­dard RC F but still can’t ad­dress the big­gest prob­lem: at pace the V8 is too heavy for the front end and it pushes wide on tight turns. The RC F is hefty com­pared to its ri­vals, even though the car­bon cuts 80kg off the stan­dard 1860kg. The car­bon looks the goods, though, and the pre­sen­ta­tion in­side and out is up there with the best.

Curved roof apart, the RC F is all about an­gles and chis­elled lines and it some­how works, turn­ing heads with the same ra­pid­ity as a Mercedes-AMG C63 coupe, es­pe­cially with the car­bon-fi­bre pro­claim­ing per­for­mance in­tent. The 19-inch al­loys fill out the arches and the ac­tive rear spoiler de­ploys at 80km/h to im­press the driver be­hind. The sports seats are snug and the 17-speaker au­dio al­most packs enough punch to drown out the V8 bel­low. Craig Duff

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