Give the marque a standing ovation!

10 years ago, Lexus shed its luxury skin and revealed a side of it that, until that point, very few of us knew existed. The birth of the Lexus F marque not only gave Lexus a chance to showcase its performance capabilities but more importantly, it opened the doors for a series of performance cars that have made their mark in the business. Without the Lexus F, we wouldn’t see the IS F, the RC F, the GC F, and most prominently, the LFA supercar. Imagine a world without the LFA. I certainly can’t.

The Japanese automaker is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and it’s bringing not one, but two special edition models to the Chicago Auto Show. If you haven’t paid attention to the Lexus F yet, the arrival of the RC F and GC F 10th Anniversary models in Chicago is a good time to start giving the marque the credit it deserves.

A decade of excitement

2008 Lexus IS-F
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2007 lexus if-s
The first Lexus F model arrived in 2006 with the launch of the IS F performance sedan

Before Lexus introduced the F marque in 2006, the automaker was regarded simply as Toyota’s luxury arm, a position it has held since the brand was established in 1989. It wasn’t until the middle part of the last decade when Lexus decided to branch out from its nest. That decision eventually led to the creation of the Lexus F performance marque. For those who don’t know, the “F” in its name refers to two things: the word “flagship” and “Fuji Speedway,” the primary test site for of the company’s performance vehicles.

The first Lexus F model arrived in 2006 with the launch of the IS F performance sedan. Derived from the existing IS at the time, the IS F featured a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that produced 416 horsepower and 371 pound-feet of torque. The performance sedan also came with a number of aerodynamic styling cues, including aggressive fenders and skirts, side air vents, and a body that was lowered by 0.5 inches compared to the standard model.

The IS F lasted four years in the market. It also gave birth to a number of special edition models, including the IS F CCS, the IS F Evolution, and the Neiman Marcus IS F Special Build that made up the first 50 units of the model to hit the U.S. market.

Lexus ultimately decided to send the IS F to the woodshed in 2010, partly to make room for its successor, which remains to this day as the crown jewel of Lexus’ F Series: The LFA supercar.

The monster arrives

2011 Lexus LF-A
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The arrival of the production LFA was a groundbreaking moment for the Japanese automaker

What else is there to say about the Lexus LFA that hasn’t been said already? I still remember where I was when Lexus announced plans to build a production model of the LF-A Concept it introduced in 2007. The arrival of the production LFA was a groundbreaking moment for the Japanese automaker. Not only was it the company’s first-ever supercar, it was also a clear shot from Lexus that it was ready to play ball with the biggest exotic car makers in the world.

Development of the LFA supercar took time and a lot of money, but in the end, Lexus unveiled the production LFA at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. The car was staggering in every way. It was dripping with aggressiveness and aero bits. It also featured a 4.8-liter V-10 engine that pumped out in excess of 550 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, becoming the first-ever Lexus to reach a top speed of more than 200 mph.

Production of the LFA was capped at 500 units and each unit didn’t come cheap. It was priced at $375,000, but even with that kind of gaudy price tag, it didn’t take long for the LFA to sell out. The supercar only lasted two years in the market, but it was arguably two of the most impactful years any supercar has had in recent memory. There was even a Nurburgring Edition LFA that Lexus introduced in 2012, a nod to the world-famous race track where the supercar was developed.

Today, the Lexus LFA is still regarded as one of the best supercars to arrive in recent years, a well-earned honor for a car that effectively put Lexus on the performance car map.

The current field

2016 Lexus GS F
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There are two Lexus F models in the market today: the RC F and the GS F.

There are two Lexus F models in the market today: the RC F and the GS F. Of the two, the RC F arrived in 2014 as the high-performance version of the RC coupé. If the LFA is regarded as the supercar that put Lexus F on the map, the RC F is the model that made it clear to everyone that Lexus wasn’t messing around.

Beyond the fact that it sports Lexus’ current design language, the RC F also has a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that produces around 467 horsepower. That’s on top of having an aerodynamic package that includes an active rear spoiler, tuning of the underbody, the intakes in the grille and the front fender vents, and aero stabilizing fins.

Two years later, the GC F burst into the scene, proving that Lexus F could also work on an executive sedan and give it F-worthy power and performance credentials. Like the RC F, the GC F also features a 5.0-liter V-8 mil that produces 467 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque.

10th Anniversary Models

10 Years of Lexus' F Series Culminates With Pair of Chicago Auto Show-bound Special Edition models Exterior
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240 units will be for the RC F 10th Anniversary model, with the remaining 100 units coming in the form of the GC F 10th Anniversary model.

Seeing as the RC F and GC F are the incumbent models under the Lexus F marque, it’s fitting that the automaker is using both models to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

The Lexus RC F 10th Anniversary special edition is headed to the Chicago Auto Show with its counterpart, the GC F 10th Anniversary special edition. The two SEs actually made their debuts at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, but at that time, it was believed that both SEs would be limited to the Japanese market.

Turns out, we’re getting both models in our shores too. That’s the good news. The bad news is that only 340 units of both special editions will find their way in the U.S. Of that total, 240 units will be for the RC F 10th Anniversary model, with the remaining 100 units coming in the form of the GC F 10th Anniversary model.

Both SEs will get generous helpings of cosmetic enhancements, including a Nebula Grey body finish and a blue leather and carbon fiber trim in the cabin. Both models won’t receive any power upgrades, but with an output of 467 horsepower, both models won’t be lacking in power and performance abilities.

References

Lexus RC F

2018 Lexus RC F 10th Anniversary Special Edition
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Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus RC F 10th Anniversary Special Edition.

2015 Lexus RC F High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus RC F.

Lexus GS F

2018 Lexus GS F 10th Anniversary Special Edition
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Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus GS F 10th Anniversary Special Edition.

2016 Lexus GS F
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Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS F.

2016 Lexus GS F – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full driven review on the2016 Lexus GS F.

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