Just a few months ago, we drove an updated Lexus RC F Sport Coupe. And while we thoroughly enjoyed our time with it, it was hard not to temper our enthusiasm, knowing that this car was just around the corner. It’s the RC F Track Edition, and it is indeed all about fast corners. So let’s hit the track and take in a few!
Lexus, what have you done? You used to be so staid, so conservative, and yes even boring. Now, your face is downright confrontational, and you’re pushing your radical performance agenda like never before. Indeed, that is this 2020 RC F Track Edition.
And since Track Edition is right there in the name, let’s get right to it, on the sandy surface of Savannah’s Roebling Road Raceway.
What an awesome car to drive. Yes, we just said that about a Lexus. From the moment you climb into the jet fighter-like cockpit, this car feels ready for battle. The seats are very aggressively bolstered for a luxury car, and hold you in place on track, but do so with comfort worthy of the brand.
As for getting down to business, Lexus makes it pretty easy; just hit the start button, put it in Sport S+ for max performance from the Adaptive Variable Suspension, and go.
And, boy will it go. Its 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 is a rare beast in the luxury sport coupe world, and we’re glad it’s still around. It gains a few more horsepower for ‘20, now at 472, with some additional torque as well, at 395 lb-ft. The upgrades come from improving airflow both in and out of the engine; as well as software reprogramming, which also provides quicker throttle response.
It’s a fairly easy rear-wheel-drive car to launch; lots of grip, and a chassis that likes to hunker down and spring off the line. We hit 60 in 4.4-seconds.
This 8 also likes to rev. There’s abundant torque throughout the entire band, though power really seems to come on very strong between 5 and 7,000 rpm.
The 8-speed Sport Direct-Shift Automatic transmission delivered timely shifts, short on lag, and long on aggression, helping us complete the ¼-mile in 12.8-seconds at 114 miles-per-hour. Steering wheel mounted shifters for manual triggering if you choose, and the new titanium exhaust system sounds fantastic both inside the car and out.
The engine feels plenty strong delivering power for getting out of the turns as well. Helping deploy it, is an upgraded limited slip rear, not the torque-vectoring diff available in the standard RC F.
In addition to the variable suspension, the actual hardware gets upgraded too, with lighter components, and unique dampers; as well as forged 19-inch wheels. And indeed, you won’t feel too much body roll in corners.
Carbon ceramic brakes with 6-piston Brembo calipers are standard, they proved more than track worthy; tracking straight and true when late braking into corners, with no fade to speak of.
The RC F certainly looks the part. A big rear wing sets the tone; while purposeful elements such as a front splitter and carbon-fiber hood and roof, help deliver the performance. Those BBS wheels not only look great, but shave weight where it’s most important; part of an overall weight loss plan, that sees the Track Edition checking in 176-lbs. less than the standard RC F.
This bad to the bone looking Matte Nebula Gray paint job is exclusive to the Track Edition, and is one of only two colors available; the other being Ultra White.
Away from the track, when you have the ability to slow down and check things out around the cabin, you’ll find some unique pieces; but not enough to distract you from the fact that this is the same basic space that the RC debuted in 2015.
Additions for the Track Edition include Circuit Red leather and Alcantara sport seats, as well as red carpet and trim pieces.
Amazingly Lexus’ touchpad is still here, though we tended to only use it when necessary.
Rear seat room is expectedly tight, but there’s adequate space in the trunk for weekenders, or whatever adventures you have in mind; at 10.1 Cubic-ft.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 16-City, 24-Highway, and 19-Combined…for a worse than average Energy Impact Score; consuming 17.3-barrels of oil yearly, with 7.6-tons of CO2 emissions.
Considering a base RC F costs $66,950, and this Track Edition has been upgraded so much it’s barely the same car; pricing is stiff but not uncompetitive at $97,825. Still, with so many great choices for track day fun these days, this one’s primarily for the Lexus faithful.
Regardless, the 2020 Lexus RC F Track Edition is a refreshing breath of track day fun, from an unexpected place; and proof that Toyota can do high performance right if it sets its mind to it. Maybe, just maybe, Toyota should keep it in house when it comes time for the next Supra.
Engine: 5.0 liter
Torque: 395 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 4.4 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.8 seconds @ 114 mph
EPA: 16 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 17.3 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 7.6 tons/yr