2020 Lexus RC F/RC F Track Edition First Review
- Lexus RC F performance coupe upgraded for 2020
- Output bumped to 472 horsepower, 395 lb-ft of torque
- Lighter, quicker and more agile
- Limited run RC F Track Edition also offered
- Pricing starts at $64,750 for RC F and $96,650 for Track Edition
Lexus has upgraded its performance-oriented RC F coupe, giving it sharper styling, less weight and more output. The 2020 Lexus RC F retains its normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 power and rear-drive setup and further hones its dynamics with suspension improvements, upgraded brakes and stickier tires. Also new for 2020 is a limited-edition RC F Track Edition, which removes even more mass to offer greater performance. Only 50 of these Track Edition models will be sold in the U.S.
“The new RC F and the Track Edition, in particular, benefit from constant development since their original launch,” said Koji Sato, executive vice president of Lexus International. “With the latest enhancements, these models help further distinguish the F brand by offering fast, durable, highly capable performance cars that rely on a range of technologies to help make their performance accessible to drivers of all skill levels.”
Styling and performance upgrades
The 2020 RC F and RC F Track Edition were shown earlier this year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Among the changes are new, stacked 3-element LED headlamps flanked by integrated daytime running lights. The grille is also new and at the rear the RC F sports a recontoured bumper and taillamps.
While it retains its normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, upgrades help boost output by five horses to 472 and torque by 6 lb-ft to 395. Power is delivered to the rear axle through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The drivetrain can propel the RC F to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 172 mph. The standard RC F shed 55 pounds of mass through subtle changes that included machining the intake manifold, using a smaller compressor for the air conditioning unit and newly designed aluminum spring support brackets. At the rear, a new bumper support combines carbon fiber and aluminum for a lighter, stiffer brace across the back of the vehicle.
RC F Track Edition even lighter
The weight savings were taken to further extremes in the Track Edition, which is 177 pounds lighter than the previous RC F. Among these upgrades are a titanium exhaust system, a lightweight carbon fiber brace in the rear bulkhead, aluminum suspension components and mounts and lighter alloy wheels, which helps to reduce unsprung weight by 48.5 pounds. Also, the Track Edition features a carbon fiber hood and roof panel.
Other improvements to the Track Edition include the use of lightweight Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors with 6-piston calipers, 19-inch BBS forged alloy wheels and a fixed rear wing to improve aerodynamic downforce. The cabin of the Track Edition models boasts red leather trimmed upholstery with Alcantara accents and red carbon trim on the doors and dashboard. The exclusive 2020 Lexus RC F Track Edition is offered in only two exterior colors, Ultra White and Matte Nebula Gray.
On road and track
While the 2020 Lexus RC F offers plenty of performance, it doesn’t come at the expense of on-road comfort. During our drive of the coupe on the Palms to Pines highway between Palm Springs and Idyllwild, the RC F proved to be quick, linear in its response and compliant without feeling mushy. The normally aspirated V8 not only has a properly throaty exhaust note, it delivers torque quickly and from a low rpm without the lag associated with turbocharged powerplants. The 8-speed automatic provided quick seamless shifts.
We sampled the Track Edition at the Thermal Club circuit near Palm Springs, which was fitting given the attention lavished on the weight reduction and aero package. Most noticeable was the fact that the Track Edition feels livelier than the standard model thanks to its reduced mass. The tauter suspension and low rev torque delivery allows the Track Edition to get off the corner more quickly and the transmission, which has built-in performance algorithms, quickly senses how the vehicle is being driven and adjusts the shift logic to match. While you can select Sport or Sport+ mode, the ability of the RC F Track Edition to figure out what’s going on and to act accordingly is just short of amazing.
The 2020 Lexus RC F has just gone into production and will soon be at dealerships with a base price of $64,750 plus $1,095 destination. Only 50 of the 2020 RC F Track Edition models will be sold in the U.S. and it will cost $96,650 plus delivery. While nearly $100K seems a bit steep over the base model, the level of performance that it offers relative to the price of a Porsche 911 Carrera or Chevrolet Corvette coupled with its exclusivity makes the RC F Track Edition an attractive proposition.