Although not without its foibles, the Lexus RC F Track Pack is a car that really gets under your skin. Forever muscular and purposeful, though never shouty or ostentatious, it falls happily into the role of effortless cruiser while secretly ready to explode into petrol-burning rumble at a moment's notice. It's secret? The oldest in the book: 5.0-litres of atmospheric V8. Little wonder then that it feels like a muscle car done the Japanese way. Little wonder it made us think of Ford's latest - possibly, objectively, greatest - Mustang.
America's muscle car also has a 5.0-litre V8. It also delivers the goods without resorting to forced induction. It is also unusual in that respect. Europe, by virtue of its increasingly stringent environmental legislation, has essentially outlawed the deployment of big capacity, naturally-aspirated engines in any segment shy of the supercar. Even there, it is a vanishingly rare presence.
Admirably, Lexus (Toyota) and Ford have rowed against the tide. They have done so for business reasons, yes - but also because each feels that there is good reason for the fitment of eight cylinders unencumbered by the breathy intrusion of downstream turbochargers. Even better, they haven't gone about the application in precisely the same way; one is unashamedly loud and brash and addictive, the other is buttoned-down and tightly-wound and thoroughly underrated.
Because they punctuate the approaching end of an era, both are brilliant in their own inimitable way. You'd need a heart of stone to think otherwise. Which is why we sent Dan P along to run the rule over proceedings. The rest of us refused to hold a tape measure to either unicorn. We drove and day-dreamed. It was enough. It had to be.
Chat about all things motoring
The Pie & Piston
Chat about everything else…
Win on Sunday, talk about it on Monday
Not all cars are created equal
Meet your hero Matt Bird in person
Need to get something off your chest?