Battle Of The Alternatives: Audi RS5 Vs Lexus RC-F

Let’s say that you’re out in the market for a really fast four-seater coupe but you don’t want a BMW M4 or a Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe. Your only options -if you live in Europe- are either the Audi RS5 or the Lexus RC-F.

The Audi RS5 is the latest member of this segment and has already been criticized for being much less of a sports car compared to the benchmarks, despite being blindingly quick off the line.

Audi reckons it’ll do 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, thanks to the combination of a 444hp twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6, an eight-speed automatic gearbox and the latest version of the trademark Quattro all-wheel drive.

Perhaps it’s not Audi’s fault for the aforementioned criticisms as the company was first to acknowledge that the new RS5 is supposed to be “the gran turismo model in the RS lineup”, which is a fancy way of saying you shouldn’t expect the same driving thrills with an M4 or a C63.

That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad car though, only one that’s not as sharp as the best ones in the class. And then there’s the Lexus RC-F, a fast coupe with the visual presence of a…clown, especially with that exposed carbon bonnet.

Lexus hasn’t made many friends with its busy design language but everyone agrees that a car powered by this naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 is one that deserves respect. On paper it might have more power than the RS5 but the combination of the heavy body with the lack of torque in the low rev range might not impress you, especially after driving the Audi.

Autocar tries to find out which one is better on their latest review below.


  • Matt

    Parking next to the RS5 is not exactly flattering for the RC-F.

  • vantageman1

    That hood ruins it on the RCF but I would rather have the Lexus exterior and the Audi interior, this time around the A5 and its models look boring and outdated its like they said w hat would the current A5 look like if it came out in the late 90s early 2000s when too many creases was popular. The sportback models look better but the purpose of a 2 door coupe isnt to look like a 2 door sedan which is all it looks like. The RS has all that black trim that doesnt match the chrome window surround on most models. The RC at least looks distinctive

    • Matt

      I disagree, I think the RS5 makes the RC look dated and old fashioned. The comparison also highlights the slightly heavy-handed proportions of the RC and it’s annoying lack of any surface tension. It comes across a little ‘blobby’.

      The RS5 may be considered conservative to some, but it translates better in person because of its taut surfacing and better proportions.

      • vantageman1

        Styling is subjective for sure, but anyone that can say the at best futuristic and at worse way overstyled new Lexus cars and call them dated and old fashioned especially when compared to any Audi a brand that is super conservative in their styling clearly is just a fan boy……because that comment lacks logic in every sense of the word. Especially since the A5 as Audi has stated is meant to draw cues from past vehicles and in person in passing looks alot like the last one with a bad face lift

        • Matt

          I’m no VAG fanboy at all, I drive a French car and while I appreciate the qualities of VAG vehicles, I still probably wouldn’t but one.

          It’s fair to say Lexus’s new styling language is ‘futuristic’, but the RC is really an orphan child in that while it has a few futuristic styling cues (swoosh DRLs etc), it’s really a pretty conventional (but not pretty) coupe design.

          The RC was widely criticized at launch for its ungainly proportions, even by US consumers which is Lexus’s biggest market. So I don’t think I’m alone in my criticism of it.

          The RS5 will still look good in 5 years time because Audi got the basics right BEFORE they started adding the RS styling bits. The RC on the other hand, probably won’t fare as well.

          • vantageman1

            you just said the EXACT same thing as I did except instead of just agreeing you need to continue to argue with nonsensical points just to not agree and move on were not politicians here we can agree and be 2 different people. The RC love it or hate it is a 2 door version of Lexus’ current futuristic and overstyled design language simple as that which means its styling isnt conventional, old fashioned, boring, or conservative. The rest of your post is nonsense it has a conventional coupe design??? The only unconventional coupes in profile on sale are ones that arent 2 doors… should be a politician because not even a lack of logic would stop you from arguing just to argue.

          • Matt

            I didn’t say the same thing as you at all. Perhaps if you learnt how to use correct punctuation then your ‘points’ wouldn’t be so hard to understand and there would be less room for them to be misconstrued.

            However, if my points were the same as yours then why are you debating them in your reply?

            Think about it.

  • salamOOn

    from this duo i would like to have

    exterior – audi
    interior – audi
    engine – lexus
    reliability – lexus

  • Kash

    Wouldn’t really call the RS5 and “alternative” its apart of the German trio and the ATS-V is the other alternative to them.

  • Craig

    They’re such snots. “No Dan it [the RCF] looks hideous!” Like fuck off. Such cowards. The Audi looks like every Audi before it. In fact – to make it a BMW just change the grill. To make it a Mercedes just change the grill. Gosh! Those daring Germans. They’re the ‘boy bands’ of the automotive world. Keep pumping out the same ‘look’ year after year after year.

    • Matt

      The RC is hardly a beauty queen.

      • Craig

        Quasimodo is hideous. The RC is hardly THAT! [Sorry Quasi! I mean HIM!]

  • Christian Wimmer

    I might be in the minority but the Audi A5/S5/RS5 used to be so good-looking and sexy in a subtle, quiet and understated sort of way. I loved that design.

    Then came THIS FACELIFT – and car ends up looking horrible. I hate the new look. Hate it.

    • Matt

      Technically it’s not a facelift, as the entire platform and bodyshell is all-new.


    both are trash despite RS5 stands out in performance

  • An Existing Person

    The RS5 isn’t really an alternative as its always been included in the German trio. The only other alternative currently besides the RC-F would be the ATS-V Coupe.

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