Which high-performance coupe would YOU rather own, the Lexus RC F or Shelby GT350 Mustang?
Admittedly, these cars aren’t exact rivals; drivers are unlikely to cross-shop a Lexus and Ford. The RC F is an indulgent two-door with a premium cabin and other high-end amenities, the Shelby is an all-American muscle-machine that’s as loud as it is proud.
That’s not to say the Lexus can’t run; don’t make that mistake. Power is provided by a 5.0-liter gasoline-fueled V8 that delivers 467 horses and 389 lb.-ft. of twist. This engine rips to a redline north of 7,000 RPM, all the while making scintillating sounds, a refined rumble that’s sure to arouse all your senses.
Sending that juicy goodness to the RC F’s broad rear wheels is an eight-speed automatic, the sole transmission offered in this car. Making sure you don’t roast the tires (unless, of course, you want to) is a standard Torsen limited-slip differential. Stepping up from here, you can also opt for an available Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD), which is driver-selectable and can react to inputs or changing road conditions in just 1/1,000th of a second.
As for the Shelby, its main attraction is a 5.2-liter engine. Also of the V8-persuasion but fitted with a flat-plane crankshaft so it builds revs explosively, this impressive piece of work is rated at 526 ponies and 429 lb.-ft. of twist, an appreciable bit more than what the RC F offers. Also, it’s capable of spinning north of 8,000 RPM.
Unlike its Japanese rival, this Mustang is only available with a Tremec six-speed manual gearbox, so you’d better know how to use three pedals before attempting to ride this pony. Helping the GT350 handle like a world-class sports car are standard magnetic dampers. With various settings, these fancy shock absorbers can smother potholes and expansion joints or eliminate body roll while circling a race track, the choice is yours.
As for performance, these two cars are probably quite evenly matched. The Mustang has more horsepower and torque, plus a near-200-pound weight advantage, but the Lexus has more gears in its transmission. Which one is faster? We can’t say for sure, but we’d LOVE to do some testing to find out.
Pricing is another Mustang advantage. A base Shelby can be had for $57,000 and change; the RC F starts a little beyond 65 grand, though you get a much nicer interior, more luxury amenities and legendary reliability, so that extra cash isn’t necessarily wasted.
Which of these cars would you rather own, the luxurious Lexus or muscular Mustang? Check out their detailed specs right here and make sure to vote in the poll down below.