Competes with: BMW M4, Cadillac ATS-V, Mercedes-AMG C63 coupe
Looks like: Lexus has uncovered the RC F's mean streak
Drivetrains: 472-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission
Hits dealerships: Summer 2019
Lexus is updating its performance-oriented RC F coupe for 2020 with added power and edgier styling, while also injecting even more excitement into the lineup with a new Track Edition. Both models will be on the Lexus stage at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Related: More 2019 Detroit Auto Show Coverage
The RC F's face gets more attitude for 2020 thanks to a more pinched grille, crisper lines and more dramatic, stacked headlights. In the back, revised taillights nestle into a more chiseled-looking bumper.
The limited-production Track Edition, meanwhile, is hard to miss. It wears a specific lower spoiler made from carbon fiber. Lexus says it was designed to reduce the vehicle's weight and increase front-end downforce for improved handling. The rear end sports a fixed carbon-fiber wing, which replaces the RC F's standard active spoiler. The wing is lighter than the regular spoiler, but it also reduces drag and adds downforce.
The Track Edition loses weight in other ways too. It rides on lighter, 19-inch forged-alloy wheels and sports a lot more carbon fiber, including parts of the hood and the roof. Overall, the Track Edition weighs 176 pounds less than the previous RC F.
The RC F Track Edition will be available in two exterior colors: Ultra White and Matte Nebula Gray.
Inside, the RC F's cabin carries over — including the less-than-loved multimedia system — but the Track Edition's upgrades are sure to stand out. Its standard red leather seats and surfaces are accented by red carbon trim on the doors and dashboard.
Under the Hood
The previous model's 5.0-liter V-8 and eight-speed automatic transmission pairing carries over, but the engine now makes 472 horsepower, up 5 hp. Torque is also up slightly to 395 pounds-feet.
Newly standard this year is an electronic launch control system that Lexus says automatically adjusts the traction and throttle control for maximum acceleration from a stop. With the system, the RC F is good for a zero-to-60-mph time of just 4.2 seconds.
Lexus says the RC F's structural enhancements include improved aerodynamics, reduced weight and a retuned suspension. The weight reduction comes from a few tweaks, including using more lightweight aluminum suspension components. In back, hollow half-shafts replace the previous solid shafts. In front, a pared-down intake manifold and a smaller air-conditioning compressor also help save weight.
The Track Edition uses the same 5.0-liter V-8, but Lexus says all that weight savings pays off: The car sprints from zero-to-60 mph in 3.96 seconds. Bonus: it should sound more aggressive, too, thanks to its Titanium exhaust tips.
That sound is worth enhancing, too, as the Track Edition uses the same 472hp, normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 found in every 2020 RC F. In fact, when combined with the Track Edition's reduced curb weight, this RC F has the best power-to-weight ratio among its competitors. Couple that with the new electronic launch control system, and the RC F Track Edition is a formidable machine.
Both the 2020 Lexus RC F and the RC F Track Edition will start production in the spring. The automaker hasn't yet confirmed how many Track Editions will be made, but officials have hinted that the production run will be very limited.
Lexus are pulling the wraps off the coupes today (Jan. 14) at the Detroit auto show. As usual, we'll have a team of automotive journalists onsite covering all the action, so check back for more information.
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