The 2020 Lexus RC F Track Edition cribs GT3 car looks, packs 472 hp and a titanium exhaust
Is the refreshed Lexus RC coupe a little too conservative for you? Do you need a little more edge in your Japanese luxury performance two-doors? Do you crave one of the last naturally aspirated V8s available in this segment?
Lexus has you covered with the 2020 RC F and the rowdy RC F Track Edition, both of which made their debut just ahead of the Detroit auto show.
This is a refresh, not a redesign, for the model; as we’ve seen previously on the non-F RC, the retouch has brought a number of welcome touches from the LC coupe to the RC’s interior and exterior. Still, when it comes to the performance-oriented RC F, there are many small changes, but nothing revolutionary. Notably, Lexus worked to reduce curb weight, shrinking the air conditioning compressor, switching to hollow half shafts and using aluminum for upper suspension support brackets and toe control brackets.
The car also got the ol' midcycle-stiffening-of-bushings treatment (rear suspension and steering rack bushings, in this case) and engine mounts are now more rigid as well.
The car retains its naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 (one of of our favorite features for the model) but it gains a bit of extra output for the new model year -- it’s now producing 472 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque -- and a higher final drive ratio from the eight-speed automatic transmission, 3.13 to last year’s 2.93, makes it more responsive off the line. 0-60 now takes 4.2 seconds versus 4.4 seconds, and new standard launch control and new Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires should make that fairly easy to achieve achieve.
And then there’s the RC F Track edition. Mechanically, the Track Edition is basically the same as the RC F -- same engine, same transmission, though a lower curb weight (as of yet unspecified) means a 0-60 time of just 3.96 seconds.
As you’d expect, there’s lots of carbon fiber here. Some of it is for aero, like the rear diffuser, the front lower spoiler and the rear wing, which is good for up to a claimed 58 pounds of additional downforce. Some of it is for weight savings, like the carbon fiber roof and carbon fiber partition behind the rear seats.
All of it contributes to the model’s boy-racer effect, which is, honestly, not something we expected to see from Lexus…at least not on something without a roll cage. Having inspected the car in person, the look works -- this is a ridiculous, totally over-the-top car, sure, but that's kind of the point. And while it isn't race car-wide, and the interior is certainly a lot nicer than what you'll on the track at Daytona in a few weeks, the visual connection to the RC F GT3 car is immediately apparent.
The RC F Track Edition isn’t for everybody, but it won’t blend in with the rest of the sport luxury coupes at the country club (or wherever sport luxury coupes congregate). Hopefully, unlike the owners of all those other sport luxury coupes, whoever buys one of these will use it for its intended purpose and actually stretch it out at the track.
It’s a subtle thing, but the RC F Track edition’s titanium muffler, pipes and quad exhaust tips weight less and look great; Lexus points out that this is the kind of touch you really only ever see on full-on exotics or in the aftermarket, which is true enough. Hopefully they sound mean, too.
To slow everything down, it’s is equipped with Brembo brakes and carbon ceramic brake rotors; the bright red calipers are clearly visible behind the 19-inch BBS forged alloy wheels. The matte finish on the wheels' multispoke centers and the bright polished accent around the rims' circumferences is another nod to the wheel design used on the RC race cars.
The Track Edition is offered in ultra white and matte nebula gray, the latter being a Track Edition-exclusive color. Inside, it’s fitted with red leather with Alcantara accents. There’s striking red carbon trim on the doors and dashboard.
Lexus says the 2020 RC F will begin production in the second quarter of 2019, and the car should go on sale in April. Expect pricing and complete specifications as the on-sale date approaches.