Artistic License: A Blown Lexus RC F On Air
Exciting Toyota!

When I think of the Lexus 350 RC F Sport, the words ‘supercharger’, ‘Rocket Bunny’, and ‘air ride’ are not what come to mind.

I think of the glorified Toyota as exactly that: a glorified Toyota. It’s a nicely built, sporty people carrier that will last for 40 years if you change the oil and don’t drive like a complete buffoon. It’s a sensible car to own, but not one I would ever spend my money on.

But Roel’s creation from the 2015 model is something entirely different. He’s taken the boring, big-body luxury coupe refined for daily driving, and injected it with a healthy dollop of ‘why the hell not.’

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When I said I made a trip to the Pacific Northwest, I knew I was in for a treat; there are just so many next-level builds in this corner of the States. Perhaps all you want to see here are big wheels, bags, and fender flares, but there’s so much more to this Lexus than that.

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It’s always fun shooting these types of builds in town where passers by insist on taking photos and asking just what exactly it is they’re looking at. Despite the prominent Lexus badging on the car, on this particular day we got everything from Supra to NSX. Enthusiast or not, it’s definitely a car that stops you in your tracks.

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But I can’t blame anyone for their off-the-wall guesses; the end result of this Lexus is far from the factory’s intentions, aesthetics, and performance.

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Putting a good car together is always bit of a dark art, even when you may seemingly be following a specific (perhaps overused) methodology. Roel’s checked all the right boxes on this one, though.

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With the AirREX setup he can comfortably cruise through downtown Portland…

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…Or drop the molded bodykit directly onto the asphalt. It’s a car that’s completely gone through the wringer to come out better in every way.

Performance Matters
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Underneath all the madness, the car is still is a Lexus. Thus, the RC F has a handful of luxurious accommodations that come with the territory, making it a pleasant car to putt around in if that’s what Roel wants to do.

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The interior has that factory refinement retained, without a lot of nonsense that gets in the way of getting from point A to point B.

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Many overfenders/suspension/wheels cars I see start out as something cheap, only be be modified with a mindset that I can only imagine is some sort of leftover fantasy from childhood. But this is not a child’s car, this is a gentleman’s car. You shouldn’t need more proof of that than the analog clock and tasteful carbon fiber trimming on the dash.

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The most striking changes inside, of course, are the custom roll-cage, Recaro seats, and Sparco harnesses. Unlike other similar setups the seats don’t suck to sit in or make your life miserable, so nothing is lost here from a comfortability standpoint.

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In the back of the Lexus you’ll find the control system for the suspension tidily tucked away, surrounded by an audio setup you would expect to see in a car of this nature.

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Pop the hood, and things get a bit more serious. Read: over 500hp on the stock internals. Roel is thinking of building a block and cranking up the boost, or the possibility of a radical swap down the road.

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This power output is made possible with a completely modified RR-Racing supercharger, one that you can’t really see from any angle. It’s also a kit that you couldn’t find anywhere on the market until Roel had his completed — part of Roel’s inspiration for building something that no one else had done. The ECU and intake are also RR-Racing bits, while the exhaust is a great-sounding unit from ARK Performance.

But the one-off supercharger doesn’t seem to be quite enough to keep Roel’s drive for something different satiated, and he’s since had a harness made that will allow him to swap in a twin-turbo 2JZ and still retain features like the paddle shifters. Here’s hoping he can actually pull it off.

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Moving away from the engine bay, tucked into the massive wheels are a set of Wilwood brakes; slowing down over 4,000lbs is a big job after all.

Style Is The Key
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While I’m glad the Lexus has the power to back up its wild style, it is the style itself that will make or break a build like this. There’s something about that molded Rocket Bunny kit that just works so nicely with the body lines and that deep glossy black paintwork, and it’s just crazy that the wing looks at home here too.

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Then you have the vibrant gold Avant Garde Wheels providing ample contrast. It’s a combo that I found myself staring at time and time again during my afternoon with the car, and I wasn’t the only one.

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This build is the absolute exception to my dislike for big wings on cars that can lay frame – I’m really a fan of actual race cars, not that whole ‘track-inspired’ craze. But this brings me back to the dark art I was talking about before, like cracking some sort of forgotten code.

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It’s possible to make a series of questionable choices that strike the right combination, resulting in something other-worldly. It’s like Roel’s flying around town in some sort of spaceship from the future that an alien race based off of a 2015 Lexus and sent back in time.

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Okay, maybe not quite, but it’s just so crazy to look at and hard to believe how well it all works together.

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Even though I know all of the bits and pieces that went into this car, the end result is so much greater than the sum of those individual parts.

A tremendous amount of work went into making this F Sport unlike any other. As I was tagging along with my good friend Mark Vasilyuk for this shoot, it’s only fitting I share another one of his videos that shows a bit of what went on with this Lexus before completion.

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Building something like this requires a vision, and Roel saw something in this chassis that I never could have.

This is what makes car culture an art unlike anything else.

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto
TYRphoto.com

Lexus related stories on Speedhunters

Cutting Room Floor
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27 comments

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1

"Perhaps all you want to see here are big wheels, bags, and fender flares, but there’s so much more to this Lexus than that."
"Many overfenders/suspension/wheels cars I see start out as something cheap, only be be modified with a mindset that I can only imagine is some sort of leftover fantasy from childhood."
Sorry Trevor i couldn't agree with you this time, what i see is a nice and lovely executed grownup child car. I loved the car but didn't find that extra thing you're talking about.
Also, it's good to see a 2JZ with paddle shifters but why go back to dinosaurs age (i know the JZ series are legendary bulletproof engines) while 500HP is reached on stock interior engine.

2

It has a clock on the dash...no just kidding.

For me it was the molded widebody and the paint job that followed. Nothing was an afterthought and his vision with this chassis was excecuted really well in my opinion.

Call if a grown-up child's car if you want, but there's nothing distasteful, incomplete or cheap feeling that I typically dislike about these builds.

3

Having a massive GT wing bolted to the trunk without having the load transferred to the chassis is pretty incomplete to me. So its just for show and added drag. And unless he travels at over 150mph all the time it does nothing except unbalance the car and lift the front end. Its a massive "I have more money than brains build" that seems to be a weekly theme here...

4

Don't feel bad Trevor this is a great car that you featured and doesn't deserve hate.

5

Well, now i got your point even if i'm not fully supporting your thoughts, maybe i have to check it in person so i can see these minor details you're talking about. And sure it deserves the article.
Don't get me wrong, a grown-up child car is a car that your inner child will ever love it (and nothing can beat this love) but in a grown-up execution (some elegance and care to details).

6

I'm sorry Trevor, but I have to respectfully disagree. This isn't 2001 anymore. The massive rear GT wing on a street car is utterly ridiculous. Not just in terms of looks, but function. Everybody knows, that real race cars mount their downforce generating devices directly to the chassis. Fastening to the rear deck lid is just poor form.

But, the real point is, that under 100mph you get no appreciable downforce, and thus, that massive wing is useless on the street. Also, because the front doesn't have any real downforce generating ability (no front diffuser, or splitter) that rear wing actually causes the front of the car to lift at high speed, which is technically, really dangerous. The most important part of downforce is that it maintains the balance of the vehicle, and not make it more unstable at high speed.

Considering the ride height, the wing, the tires, and the ground clearance, this car is probably more dangerous at high speed, effectively making an 'anti-racecar' because it can't go fast for long periods, because it is designed so poorly.

7

You hate massive wings but at the same time you probably hate the duck tails that are put on cars too

8

It LOOKS really, really, REALLY good.

Better than most of the builds at SEMA.
Utility is another subject, but how do you think the owner is driving it?

Sorry, I’m usually on the other side of this debate, but it’s worth appreciating for what it is.

That’s a damn good show car.

9

Agreed its the people like Roel, that makes the car culture alive and moving forward never back.

10

I'm confused here. In the beginning you say it's an RC350 F Sport, but you later state the "RC F" yadda yadda yadda, then go back to 350 F sport. Which one is it? It's confusing me. But other than that, I think this is a well executed build, and it's cool how he's got a harness that would allow paddles to work with a 2JZ.

11

Interesting because air ride and Rocket Bunny are exactly what I think of when I think of Lexus:

All 3 things are known for having no track record of performance but everyone loves them!

12
Shotgun Chuck

Got 'em!

13

Please don't mix a F and F-sport. Shows you don't know much about Lexus.

14

My thoughts exactly. And then he goes and says its just another rebadged Toyota. Im sorry but the RC shares no chassis with any Toyota. Not sure how someone can criticize something they have little knowledge about.

15

meh

16

He's trying to make a statement...but he's stuttering.

17

I don’t care about any of the details (bags, etc).

That is a NICE f**king car!

18

The molded kit solidifies the whole thing for me.

19
Shotgun Chuck

True that. Even if you're going to do giant overfenders, hiding the fasteners makes it look a million times better.

But won't bending the roll cage around the dash like that create weak points?

20

Just saw this car on the street 20 mins ago...looks quite interesting

21
Francisco Ramirez

Is this an RC350 F-Sport or an RCF? Cus you call it both. You do know there is a difference right?

22

Little does he know how big the differences are lol

23

These kits are great, but definitely common nowadays-- Just not a feature style anymore. Kinda boring that every car has flashy fender kits.

24
Airik Keringes

Jesus Christ... can a car look any MORE mean than this? I guess there's the R34 Z-Tune, but this takes an VERY very close 2nd.

25

That opening shot is incredible!

26

This is like an update to my fav IS-F race car on GT6. It looks top notch in execution, glad they hid the rivets. I grabbed 4-5 of your pics for my desktop. I drove the V8 RC-F at the Lexus driving experience and it handled far beyond my expectations. I hope this car improves on that. If it is a supercharged V8 I can't imagine it needing more power, but if you can do it, go for it!

27

Love Fast and bad ass looking cars in need to get a car and turn it into a fast and bad ass looking car for my driving style.

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