Say what you will about its wild styling, but the Lexus RC F has a bigger problem: its weight. When we first tested this V-8 coupe in 2014, it weighed in at a hefty 4048 pounds, dulling its performance compared to rivals such as the significantly lighter BMW M4.
That’s being somewhat remedied for 2020 thanks to an update for the RC F that focuses on shedding weight. Along with the same refreshed front- and rear-end styling as the non-F RC coupe, the 2020 RC F gets some chassis tweaks, a new harder-core Track Edition model, and a slight retuning of the standard 5.0-liter V-8 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.
Weight-saving measures for the standard 2020 RC F included making the half-shafts hollow, shrinking the intake manifold and air-conditioning compressor, and switching several suspension brackets to aluminum. Combine this with the RC F Track Edition’s lighter 19-inch BBS wheels, its carbon-ceramic brake rotors, its titanium muffler and exhaust pipes, and its numerous carbon-fiber bits including the front splitter, the hood, the roof, and the rear wing, and Lexus says that this special model weighs 176 pounds less than the previous RC F.
The 5.0-liter V-8, one of a few remaining naturally aspirated engines in the luxury-performance world, gains 5 horsepower and 6 lb-ft of torque for totals of 472 hp and 395 lb-ft. Revised gearing for the eight-speed automatic is said to help acceleration, with Lexus claiming a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.2 seconds for the standard RC F and just under 4.0 seconds for the Track Edition (an RC F previously did the deed in 4.3 seconds in our testing). Launch Control is newly standard.
We’re curious to see what the lighter Track Edition can do at our Lightning Lap event, where the previous RC F’s time of 3:05.6 was hampered by its excess poundage-as we put it, “The RC F only needs a diet to be faster.” New Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires should also help at the track, as should the 2020 model’s stiffer suspension bushings and more rigid engine mounts.
Expect a slight price hike for the 2020 RC F over the current car’s $65,745 starting price, with the Track Edition-which comes only in white or matte gray with a red interior-commanding a fair bit extra. These updated sports coupes will go on sale in April.
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