2020 Lexus RC F and RC F Track Edition Set to Kick Ass and Take Names
For the 2020 model year, the Lexus RC F coupe is lighter, more capable and more eye catching than ever before.
New to the lineup for 2020, the Lexus RC F Track Edition is a limited production model for hardcore enthusiasts. It blends the luxury and craftsmanship of the standard RC F with performance upgrades typically reserved for exotic sportscars. It’s the latest milestone for the F performance brand that will continue to evolve as an important pillar of the overall strategy at Lexus.
The 2020 Lexus RC F coupe incorporates a wide range of changes that result in improved performance and a more refined appearance. Although not a full redesign, the engineers for the RC F seized the opportunity to expand its performance envelope without sacrificing day-to-day drivability. At the same time, the design team incorporated elements from both the RC F GT3 and RC F GT500 race cars to improve the RC F’s aerodynamics and resculpt its aggressive lines.
Tuning the Lexus V8 Engine
Boasting one of the last naturally aspirated V8s available in a luxury coupe, the RC F has a unique sound and feel that few of its competitors can replicate. Now rated at 472 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 395 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm, the 5.0-liter V8 (2UR-GSE) is a core element of the RC F’s personality.
To enhance throttle response, a redesigned airbox allows for better airflow and air metering from the vehicle’s mass air flow (MAF) sensor. A less restrictive filter element is also used. Yet another change is the point at which the secondary port on the air intake opens. In the previous RC F, it didn’t open until the engine hit 3,600 rpm, but in the 2020 model, the threshold has been reduced to 2,800 rpm for enhanced engine sound and better low-speed drivability.
That slightly sharper engine also benefits from a higher final drive ratio that keeps the engine in the heart of its powerband. The rear end gears go from a 2.97 to a 3.13, which should improve low speed acceleration.
For the ultimate in standing start acceleration, the RC F now includes electronic launch control as standard that deliver an estimated 0-to-60 mph time of just 4.2 seconds, or 3.9 for the Track Edition.
Removing Weight Where It Counts
Weight reduction was a key area of focus for the Track Edition. With a total curb weight of 3,781 pounds, the Track Edition weighs 176 pounds less than the previous RC F.
More than simply a crash diet, the weight reductions were focused on delivering significant dynamic improvements. This led to a focus on reducing unsprung weight since any weight that can be removed from the mass not supported by the suspension pays huge dividends in handling and steering feel.
With that goal in mind, every RC F Track Edition comes standard with Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors and six-piston Brembo calipers. The rotors are significantly lighter than their steel counterparts, contributing to a 48.5-pound total reduction in unsprung weight. Carbon ceramic rotors are also better able to withstand the extreme heat cycling associated with performance driving and their minimal wear characteristics result in less vibration at high speeds.
Additional weight reduction was achieved with the switch to a set of ultra-lightweight 19” BBS forged alloy wheels. They feature a design derived from the RC F GT3 race car with a matte black finish and bright machined lip, and are 1.5 pounds lighter than the standard wheels.
A standard titanium muffler and connector pipes is yet another area where the Track Edition sheds 15 pounds of excess weight. This particular muffler is also tuned to deliver a linear sound over the entire rev range to take advantage of the unique acoustic characteristics of titanium.
The extensive use of carbon fiber is another weight saving measure that you can see as well as feel. All Track Edition models come standard with a carbon fiber roof and hood along with switching to a carbon fiber partition behind the rear seats. Many of these carbon fiber pieces are made on the same line that supplied the Lexus LFA during its two-year production run.
Up front, the carbon fiber front splitter uses two different methods for reducing the coefficient of lift (CL). Canards at each corner generate small air vortexes as the air passes around them. These vortexes create low pressure areas that together reduce lift. Across the front, a small lip spoiler is used at the bottom of the splitter, further reducing drag.
All Track Edition models come with a fixed rear wing made from carbon fiber in place of the active spoiler offered on the standard RC F. The fixed wing is not only lighter than the active spoiler, it does double duty by simultaneously reducing both the coefficient of lift and drag, producing 58 pounds of downforce.
All 2020 RC F models connect to the road through Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires sized 255/35R19 in front and 275/35R19 in the rear. They are specifically tuned for the RC F to increase overall grip and reduce understeer.
The Feeling of High Performance, Inside and Out
In order to give the Track Edition a more exclusive look on the inside, the interior comes standard with Circuit Red leather-trimmed seats with Alcantara accents. The soft Alcantara trim is also used on the center console and armrests. Red carbon trim on the doors and dashboard is also exclusive to the Track Edition along with red carpeting.
Only two exterior colors will be available: Ultra White and Matte Nebula Gray, an exclusive color only available on the Track Edition. Standard RC F models are available in six colors: Ultra White, Atomic Silver, Caviar, Infrared, Flare Yellow and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0.
Both the 2020 Lexus RC F and the RC F Track Edition have started production and will be available at dealers soon. Pricing for the 2020 RC F starts at $64,750 not including destination. The 2020 RC F Track Edition starts at $96,650 not including destination.