More svelte than sporty
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