I think the 2015 Lexus RC F is one of the more interesting products to come from an automaker whose normal offerings are the car equivalent of sleeping pills. Do you know who's not interested in it? Japan's automotive journalists, apparently.
Automotive News reports that Toyota was forced to cancel a long-scheduled media drive of the RC F — you know, the ones where we get flown somewhere, stay in a fancy hotel, drive the car, and write about how we managed not to crash and die in it — due to "insufficient attendance." Apparently not enough people RSVP'd with a yes.
(Update: After this story ran a Toyota spokesman said via Twitter said that only the final half-day was cancelled, and that was for business writers and some foreign media.)
The media drive was supposed to be held today in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo. AN reports that the cancellation is "all but unprecedented" for Toyota, and left their public relations team feeling stunned.
The event was for both Japanese and non-Japanese media, although at least some of those writers are probably Japan-based foreign correspondents like Automotive News' Hans Greimel. It included both the 467 horsepower V8 M3-fighting RC F and its more plebeian sibling the RC.
(For the record, they already did do a track day with the RC F at Monticello Motor Club in New York, which Travis attended for Jalopnik. It's the story I linked to above.)
So why the cancellation? Some blame it on a declining interest in cars in Japan, a refrain we hear in America sometimes too but is apparently even worse over there. Foreign journalists also balked at the drive near Tokyo, which would have meant just being stuck in traffic. Location may be the primary issue here.
Auto journalists and enthusiasts alike have complained for years that Toyota's cars were too boring. They finally build something compelling, the best M3-fighter they've ever made, and nobody shows up to drive it because of some traffic.