The 2020 Lexus RC F is as refined as it is powerful—plus there’s a special limited edition

Posted: Mar 27, 2019

Picture what it’s like to ride a good roller coaster, especially the visceral sensations that come with the experience. A giddy floating feeling in the torso on a downward plunge. A prickling of the skin as g-forces take hold with each velocity change. Now, imagine you control the roller coaster’s kinetic thrills, and you’ll understand the emotional elation that comes with driving the new 2020 Lexus RC F.

Unveiled in winter 2019, this freshly updated performance coupe received an array of aesthetic, structural, and driving-feel updates—all purposefully crafted to exhilarate the driver. For starters, the model is even lighter than its predecessor, thanks to several weight-reducing components for enhanced performance.

Lexus engineering and design teams also found ways to further accentuate the model’s driver-vehicle connection by increasing rigidity in myriad areas, which helps improve handling response (just one example: a stiffened suspension that helps the vehicle react quickly to driver steering changes). Lexus also added Michelin® Pilot Sport 4S tires*, which are specially designed to transfer the 2020 RC F’s performance enhancements to the pavement.

Related: Sign up for 2020 Lexus RC F updates

Plus, there’s a new version of the model. Called the RC F Track Edition, this limited-edition vehicle isn’t an accessories package—it’s an even more hardcore version of the RC F, thanks to unique performance and stylistic components born from refinement.

For starters, consider the RC F Track Edition’s titanium exhaust system, a rare feature on even high-end performance vehicles. Titanium has long been used to help reduce a performance machine’s overall weight (fighter planes come to mind), which is one reason engineers chose titanium for this system. But Lexus engineers also designed the exhaust system to deliver a sensory thrill—the titanium componentry generates a truly unique sound. Plus, the tailpipes’ artful contours add to the model’s polished, luxury look.

The RC F Track Edition also comes with Brembo®* carbon ceramic brake rotors*, which are lighter than the more commonly used steel brake components. This helps reduce the vehicle’s unsprung weight, aka the weight of vehicle parts not pushing down on the suspension, such as wheels and brake systems. Why is this beneficial? Less unsprung weight helps the suspension react to road imperfections more quickly, which in turn allows the wheels to better grip the road. The carbon ceramic rotors also help dissipate the high friction-induced heat generated when slowing a powerful performance vehicle. This helps the brakes operate more efficiently and responsively for the driver.

Also noteworthy is the RC F Track Edition’s resculpted aerodynamic signature. A key component: an exquisitely devised fixed rear wing. Made of carbon fiber—from the same carbon fiber source that equipped the Lexus LFA supercar—the wing performs two beneficial tasks. First, thanks to its fastidiously designed shape, it helps streamline airflow over the vehicle’s backend, which in turn helps reduce drag. Second, the designers angled the wing to increase downforce—the downward pressure on the vehicle at higher speeds. The benefit to drivers? Better road grip, which in turn translates to enhanced control.

The new RC F and RC F Track Edition are expected to arrive in Lexus dealerships later this year, but if you’re looking to get a preview now, we highly recommend giving the 2019 Lexus RC coupe a test spin (your next service visit is a great time). Many 2020 RC F refinements—both the overall style and engineering enhancements—can also be found in the 2019 RC’s sophisticated aerodynamics, stable ride quality, fine-tuned suspension system and powertrain, and sharp handling characteristics.

Plus, the Lexus RC is a sharp-looking vehicle. For 2019, Lexus designers kept the RC’s athletic coupe proportions, while fine-tuning aesthetically pleasing features such as the sleek front grille, headlamps, and taillamps. The luxury coupe also comes with standard 18-inch alloy wheels* (19-inch wheels are optional*), plus it offers no less than 10 different exterior color options, including a new color for 2019, Blue Vortex Metallic.

By Brian Gill