Adrenaline Rush -- The revised Lexus RC F coupe (left) and all-new limited production Track Edition made their debut in Detroit today.
In recent years, Lexus has engaged in a purposeful and passionate pursuit of pulse-quickening performance — without compromising its vehicles’ signature luxury and refinement. Few Lexus models more fully express this fundamental brand shift than the RC F coupe.
That makes the reimagined 2020 RC F along with an all-new limited production Track Edition — introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today — pretty darn important.
And more than a little exciting. You might want to fasten your seat belt.
Pedal to the Metal
When it burst on the scene, the RC F was ostensibly a two-door iteration of Lexus’ highly successful IS sport sedan. But what it lost in terms of passenger ingress/egress it more than gained in track-inspired performance characteristics. The 2020 model takes this concept to an even higher level.
That’s especially true of the new Track Edition that benefits from input from Lexus race teams. It’s got the chops to turn hot laps on the track all day yet also be driven home like a responsible adult at night.
It’s Got the Goods
If you’re lucky enough to get behind the wheel of this souped-up coupe, you’ll soon discover it’s quick off the line and taut through the turns. Here’s some key reasons why:
- Less weight — Several core components have been replaced with parts that weigh less yet deliver improved structural rigidity. Examples include hollow half shafts (in place of solid shafts) in the rear of the chassis, a pared down intake manifold, a smaller air conditioning compressor, and toe control brackets and upper suspension support brackets made of aluminum rather than steel. The Track Edition goes further, employing carbon fiber components made on the same line that supplied the Lexus LFA during its two-year production run.
- More horsepower — The 2020 model carries over the normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 But it’s now rated at 472 horsepower. That’s a five-pony increase, thanks largely to intake tweaks.
- Quicker acceleration — The new RC F also retains its tried-and-true Sport Direct-Shift 8-speed automatic transmission, but it’s faster from a standing start due to a higher final drive ratio — even before engaging electronic launch control. The net effect of that now standard feature, as well as new Michelin® Pilot Sport 4S tires, is a 0-to-60 mph time of just 4.2 seconds for the regular model and less than 4.0 seconds for the Track Edition.
Here’s another fact morsel to whet your appetite:
The Track Edition’s new carbon fiber fixed spoiler simultaneously reduces drag and
adds downforce. How did Lexus engineers pull of this paradoxical feat? First, they shaped the spoiler to maximize airflow and minimize speed-robbing turbulence. Then they adjusted the spoiler’s angle of attack to increase downforce, improving handling.
Voila! Double duty.
And It Looks the Part, Too
Subtle refinements give the RC F a cleaner, more chiseled appearance. Note, for instance, stacked LEDs and integrated daytime running lights up front and taillights that are more tightly knit with the bumper in the rear. And the Lexus signature grille’s lower lip now extends all the way across the bottom, contributing to a visually shorter front fascia.
You’ll know it’s the Track Edition if you see a red leather interior with Alcantara® seat surfaces and red carbon trim on the doors and dash. Another clue is the exterior color. There’s only two choices: either the Ultra White or — exclusive to the Track Edition — Nebula Matte Gray.
Coming to a Lexus Dealership Near You
Start of production for both versions of the RC F is set for the second quarter of this year, with sales following soon thereafter.
In the meantime, you can feed your need for speed by clicking
on these links:
By Dan Miller