Lexus RC F: First Generation

Introducing the Lexus RC F Track Edition & Updated 2020 RC F Coupe

Lexus RC F Track Edition

After all the spy shots and Nürburgring testing and carefully scripted teasers, the Lexus RC F Track Edition debuts today at the Detroit Auto Show alongside the updated 2020 RC F.

Right from the start, the RC F had style to burn — the coupe was well-suited to all the staples of the Lexus F brand: the massive front intakes, fender vents, and quad exhausts have always been a natural fit. With this latest update, Lexus has taken off the shackles and unleashed something spectacular with the RC F Track Edition.

Lexus RC F Track Edition & Standard

Hyped as the most powerful Lexus since the LFA, the RC F now has 472 horsepower (+5hp) and 395 pound feet of torque (+6 lb ft) while the Track Edition loses 176 pounds of unsprung weight. Add in the new launch control feature, and the RC F Track Edition hits 0-to-60mph in less than 4.0 seconds.

Lexus RC F Track Edition Rear

Both editions of the RC F deserve our through attention, so let’s start off with the full press release and all the official images.

  • Refreshed 2020 Lexus RC F boasts improved performance and updated design
  • New 2020 RC F Track Edition offers exclusive upgrades designed for hard core enthusiasts
  • New launch control feature delivers 0-to-60mph time of less than 4.0 seconds on Track Edition

DETROIT, MI – January 14th, 2019 – Freshly updated for the 2020 model year, the RC F coupe now boasts improved performance, revised styling and an all-new, limited production Track Edition. With the introduction of the RC F Track Edition, hard core driving enthusiasts no longer have to decide between a luxury car for the street and a serious performance car for the track. Blending the luxury and craftsmanship of Lexus with performance upgrades typically reserved for exotic sportscars, the RC F Track Edition is capable of turning hot laps all afternoon and being driven home that night. 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 Track Edition joins the standard Lexus RC F performance coupe which has been extensively updated for the 2020 model year. Improved aerodynamics, reduced weight, a retuned suspension and enhanced styling elevate the RC F to a new level of performance and refinement.

“The new RCF and the Track Edition, in particular, benefit from constant development since their original launch. With the latest improvements, these models help further distinguish the F brand by offering fast, durable, highly capable performance cars that rely on a range of technologies to help make their performance accessible to drivers of all skill levels,” said Koji Sato, Executive Vice President, Lexus International.

The 2020 Lexus RC F coupe gets a wide range of changes designed to boost its performance and freshen its overall look. One of the first targets for the engineers was reducing weight without compromising the coupe’s sense of refinement and solidity. At the rear, hollow half shafts are now used in place of the previous solid shafts while up front a pared down intake manifold and a smaller air conditioning compressor remove weight from the front of the car. Changing to aluminum for the toe control brackets and upper suspension support brackets also reduces weight while maintaining stiffness.

To further refine the feel of the RC F, there are now stiffer bushings for the rear suspension arms and steering rack mounts. More rigid engine mounts were also used to better transmit the power of the RC F’s normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, one of the last such engines available in a luxury coupe. It’s now rated at 472 horsepower (+5hp) and 395 pound feet of torque (+6 lb ft) thanks to a revised intake routing and lower rpm trigger point for the secondary intake opening (2,800 rpm vs 3,600rpm). An eight-speed automatic transmission carries over, but a higher final drive ratio (3.13 vs 2.93) has been installed to improve off-the-line response.

For the ultimate in standing start acceleration, the RC F now includes electronic launch control as standard. With a push of the button on the console, the system automatically adjusts the traction and throttle control for maximum acceleration from a stop. All the driver has to do is press and hold the brake pedal, engage the system, floor the accelerator to bring up the engine speed and release the brake. Using the system results in a 0-to-60mph time of just 4.2 seconds.

Additional performance gains are delivered by new Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires designed specifically for the RC F. Compared to the standard Michelin specifications, the tires on the RC F utilize a unique profile shape, tread pattern and rubber compound. The changes are specifically designed to reduce understeer, improve overall lateral grip and increase durability under extreme conditions.

RC F Track Edition: A Higher Degree of F

There are also subtle but substantive changes to the styling of the RC F that add familial traits to further refine its aggressive overall shape. Up front, the headlights have been updated to a design that features stacked LED lights and integrated daytime running lights. The shape of the signature grille has been altered by adding a lower lip opening that stretches across the bottom to create a visually shorter front fascia. At the rear of the car, new taillights integrate neatly into a reshaped bumper to give the RC F a cleaner, more chiseled appearance.

More than a mere accessories package, the limited production RC F Track Edition features a precisely engineered set of upgrades that work together seamlessly to push its performance to a new level. Developed with input from Lexus race teams in the Super GT and IMSA series, the Track Edition is designed to deliver exceptional performance that enthusiasts can easily exploit in a wide variety of conditions.

Achieving that level of predictable performance was made possible by rigorous engineering and the assembly precision of Takumi masters who oversee production of every RC F. All aspects of the car were scrutinized for improvement, but the Track Edition doesn’t forego refinement for all-out speed. It remains an uncompromised luxury performance coupe with the ability to impress both on the track and off.

A Smoother Shape and a Precise Diet

One key area of improvement is the RC F Track Edition’s aerodynamic signature. Up front, the unique lower spoiler is not only made from carbon fiber to reduce weight, it’s also designed to increase front end downforce for better grip and more precise steering. At the rear of the car, a fixed rear wing made from carbon fiber replaces the active spoiler offered on the standard RC F. The fixed wing is not only lighter, it does double duty by simultaneously reducing drag and adding downforce.

To accomplish that paradoxical feat, the engineers started by shaping the wing in a way that smooths the airflow over the rear of the car to decrease drag-inducing turbulence. They then added a very slight angle of attack to produce downforce without compromising the overall airflow. The result is up to 58 pounds of additional downforce compared to the active rear spoiler.

Like the standard model, weight reduction was a key area of focus for the Track Edition. Preliminary estimates put the total reduction at 176 pounds compared to the previous RC F, but more importantly, the engineers focused on cutting weight that yields the most significant dynamic improvements. This led to keying in on 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 Track Edition model is upgraded with Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors. They are not only significantly lighter than their steel counterparts, they’re also better able to withstand the extreme heat cycling associated with performance driving. They are surrounded by a set of lightweight 19” BBS forged alloy wheels that feature a design derived from the RC F GT3 race car. Between the wheels, brake rotors and calipers, the Track Edition boasts a significant 55-pound reduction in unsprung weight on the front of the car alone.

Additional weight was removed by specifying carbon fiber for the roof and hood along with switching to a carbon fiber partition behind the rear seats and a carbon bumper reinforcement. Many of these carbon fiber pieces are made on the same line that supplied the Lexus LFA during its two-year production run. A standard titanium muffler and tail pipes is yet another area where the Track Edition sheds weight. Rarely seen on production cars, the use of titanium not only reduces the overall weight of the individual parts, it gives the Track Edition a polished look along with a unique sound.

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 capable of launching from 0-to-60 mph in 3.96 seconds.

In order to give the Track Edition a more exclusive look on the inside, a red leather interior comes standard along with Alcantara seat accents and red carbon trim on the doors and dashboard. Only two exterior colors will be available: Ultra White and Matte Nebula Gray, an exclusive color only available on the Track Edition.

Both the 2020 Lexus RC F and the RC F Track Edition will start production in the second quarter of 2019. Pricing will be announced closer to their on-sale dates.

Me RN:

Once the Supra has run quicker 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and 1/4 mile in 12.5@114 mph 0-200 km/h in 14.5 seconds then come back and talk about it. The track edition will be quicker than these standard RCF numbers. Even the new standard RCF probably will run quicker due to better tires and shorter gearing.

Until then, itis about the RCF track edition. You can take your immature, biased opinions back to Supra forums.
Supra will not have the interior experience of RC-F I can tell you that much. RC-F interior ambiance is the best in class, like you are sitting inside of a tank. Honestly the best thing about RC-F is the interior and how awesome it feels. Low seating position, thick door panels, proper arm rest position. It's one of those things you don't know you can experience unless you actually do.
  • R
  • January 15, 2019
Reading through these posts, you are making a lot of assumptions about others and the lack of regard for facts is coming off as steam blowing indeed. Given the ability to stretch its legs on a long stretch, the 472hp RC F should walk away from a 335hp Supra. Will the Supra probably be faster 0-60 or 1/4 mile? Yes - welcome to turbocharging 101. But the RC F's horsepower advantage will trounce the Supra given the opportunity to get into the upper RPMs for an extended run.

All we have so far for the Supra is price, weight, horsepower, torque and 0-60. There is still a lot we don't know - including hypothetical GRMN Supras. What we have now are limited facts about the Supra and a good bit of factual data about the RC F because it's 4 years old. The good news is that this car should be out for media testing very soon, and on sale in something like 10 weeks, if what I hear is correct. We'll have more data very soon.

Again, let's dial back the personal jabs and assumptions. Last time I'd like to make that point.

I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with emotions ... or more specifically passion for one's opinion. What does cross the line is when you are disparaged for your opinion or the way you relay it disparages another. Mutual respect must underpin the back and forth.
My guess is, Lexus has eliminated the LSD version of the RCF and made the carbon fiber/TVD RCF the base model. I completely agree, if that is the case since RCF should never be driven without the TVD. It makes the car so neutrally balanced and responsive in turns that LSD does not do it justice as far as handling goes.
I like the RC-F. Thought about getting one a few years ago.

I'm waiting in the 4IS ISF though. (need a 4 door)
It will be 473 hp. 472 hp would be too little bump. They will not put engineering hours in an engine, that will be built like maybe five pieces a month, for a twelve month production run.

The car will be stripped of amenities, a little carbon fiber panels here and there and thats it. Still it will be hellishly fast!
I have to admit, i came quite close to the final value!!!!!!
Hi everyone! It's been awhile since I've made any comments. Here are mine.

First, I must preface my comments by saying that I have become quite the track junkie with my 2014 911 C2S. So much so that I moved from novice to advanced with a number of track groups and am not going to start as an instructor with a motorsports group.

I was hoping for a TRUE TRACK edition version of the RC F. While I really like the way it looks, I think that they have compromised with this car by keeping too much of the luxury. If you really want to seriously track a car, then you don't care about all the cushions, stereos, infotainment system, and back seat. There is much too much extra weight on this car. I would have had 3 models / builds. The basic RC F (spruced up with some of these extras), a RC F with the additional carbon fiber and maybe a spoiler that was a little smaller than the one they have here (for those who want a car that looks like its for the track, but really don't want to drive it on the track much if at all) and a true track edition that would have more carbon fiber, no back seat, no high end stereo, only the basic safety system stuff, without the excess leather and cushions, and keep the rest on the current edition. They should have shedded more like 300-400 lbs, not 176. Also, if you want to track a car, then its not a good idea to have carbon ceramic brakes because you were go through brakes readily and these things cost way more. Have some large slotted steel/iron disks with huge pads. I'm looking for another car to add to my 911, but I won't buy this one. A Porsche GT3 and above are really too expensive, and clearly out of the RC F's league. They want the RC F track edition to compete with the BWM M4 but I bet the M4 will track better and beat it as well

The best new and exciting dude out there is the new 2020 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500. That car is badass and has upgraded transmission (that apparently compares with Porsche PDK in terms of fast shifts), upgraded suspension (they promise far better cornering that the GT350R), a major upgrade to the engine (now with more than 700 HP, supercharged), and other additional tech and fun. the Shelby Gt500 will likely be cheaper than the RC F track edition and it will absolutely stomp it on the track (and it looks fearsome).

I drive at up to 15 different events a year and I bet that I will never see the Lexus Track Edition on the track. I have seen an RC F once in the past 2 years and most cars beat it (911s, M4s, corvettes, high end camaros, Mustangs etc. It would beat most M3s if the driver is talented.

I think they made this "track edition" for people who want to drive a Lexus that kinda looks like a race car, with a big wing, who fantasize about driving in track event, but are not seriously interested in driving very fast and pushing the car at the kind of track events held by PCA, 10-1oths, Chin, MVP, etc.

so, I am disappointed, but not surprised. Lexus does the best job at comfort, luxury, and reliability, and the F cars are very fast, sound fantastic, look cool, but they are not built for serious track driving. Porsche has that down in spades. BMW has the M4 GTS, and Ford Performance has some serious irons in the fire with their upper end Mustangs as does Chevy with their corvettes and upper level camaros.
Here's the important question: the LC500 beat the old RC-F on track despite being a whale in size and weight. Will the refreshed RC-F (not the track edition) beat the LC500 or will GA-L prevail again?
Here's the important question: the LC500 beat the old RC-F on track despite being a whale in size and weight. Will the refreshed RC-F (not the track edition) beat the LC500 or will GA-L prevail again?
RCF is already quicker especially with TVD. LC500 is slower both in straight line and handling because of 350 lbs, size and understeer. On one fast track, it was a full 3 second difference. LC500 is more luxurious, ofcourse

Reading some of what you guys say I'm not totally surprised that Lexus doesn't go for a top 60 time or biggest engine/HP. It's not what they are best at and they have never really gotten into lap times and fastest car. Honestly does it matter if you can go 0-60 in 3.5 seconds or 3.96...probably not to the average driver or even a sports enthusiast he cares about the car on the road. 3.96 is still fricken fast and so is the new RCF at what 4.2? I think the biggest thing is they just can't be so outclassed it's not even close. A few .1 of a second who cares but a full second slower is where the problem is. I know on one of the threads about the SUV's 0-60 is more of a problem that they will have to solve as those are starting (okay starting is probably a nice way of putting it) to get pretty far behind and without a bigger engine option in any of the SUV's big difference with some of the competitors.

On that last question from ssun30 the RCF should beat out the LC right? I mean losing that weight should only help the RCF right?

Anyway regardless of LC or RCF faster thank god we can even have that conversation! I was really worried that they were going to go back and focus on sales and improvement there on more base models. The RCF, LC and LCF or LSF if we ever get them are very important to the lineup if Lexus ever wants to even continue fighting the big 3 Germans on higher models. It's hard to break their grasp that they have with fast cars but Lexus can't stop. The last few years have shown that they want to continue so they need to stay focused that when we have a brand new RC or IS that there needs to be an F with it. People need to see them on the roads and have their heads turn. They need to be heard on the street where people are looking for that amazing sports car and be wowed with what they hear coming from a Lexus. People have the it's just a Lexus no way it can be fast or fun that's a hard mindset to change but if they want to change that mindset they have to stay the course and honestly one of Lexus's biggest gaps still is that higher engine. They have to have one of those in almost every model. You're not going to sell many but you have to expect that! Our F brand is still really young and look at what they have done so far. Not bad. But will they keep the course? I think that's the biggest question and after NAIAS it looks like it...
One of the best parts from this updated RCF is knowing what Lexus engineers are able to do and imagine what's coming for the LCF :innocent:
This is off topic, but I was so excited to read this
Lexus Cohen
This is off topic, but I was so excited to read this
Yes! Please don't give up on the GS and GS-F.
  • R
  • January 23, 2019
The heart of car-lover Akio Toyoda beats throughout the company! I loved his contagious exuberance at the Supra reveal in Detroit. My hunch, he is the sustaining force which led to this Track Edition.
I love it! I absolutely love it!! The more I look the more I want! I’ve never understood the Matt grey look and have argued with many people against it...I guess I’ve just become a hypocrite.
  • R
  • January 23, 2019
I love it! I absolutely love it!! The more I look the more I want! I’ve never understood the Matt grey look and have argued with many people against it...I guess I’ve just become a hypocrite.
No, you've just changed your mind ... ;)
The most underrated GT-sports coupe in the market