Lexus 2014 IS F or 2015 RC F – Which is faster on a track?
One year ago Torque News published a story called “2015 Lexus RC F destroys the 2014 IS F on track.” The story was a result of my having driven the two cars on the same track, pretty extensively, one week apart. At that point in time there is a good chance that I knew, as well as anyone outside of Lexus, how these cars performed on a track. I did not use lap timers. Today, Car and Driver (CD) published its newest Lightning Lap issue testing the RC F. The IS F was tested back in 2011. CD did time the laps. The results? IS F 3:05.4 and RC F 3:05.8.
After I had published the story, readers questioned the headline and the results I reported. I learned something that day. Since, I have been very careful with such claims. The readers were polite, but they were right. Using a definitive headline as I did wasn’t well thought out. Still, the RC F felt so much faster it seemed obvious. Apparently, I am now learning the same lesson many other writers reporting on the RC F vs. M4 have learned. Perceptions and track times do not always correlate.
Car and Driver is a respected magazine, and I don’t question their results. The whole point of the lightning lap is to drive the same exact course year after year to create a permanent record of how fast cars can turn a lap. That said, the drivers vary. The environmental conditions vary, and there are even small variations in the cars themselves.
One thing that could be true is that I am much faster in the RC F, and CD’s more skilled drivers are faster in the IS F. I relied on the RC F’s intuitive transmission to shift the car for me. CD manually-shifted the RC F and also the IS F.
Read what Car and Driver Thought of the IS F here. To read about their recent RC F test you will you have to buy the October 2015 issue ( page 53).