The updated Lexus RC F has debuted at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, complete with a hopped-up, be-winged Track Edition. What has Lexus done to kick its BMW M4 rival into shape?
Beauty in the eye of the key-holder
Well, it’s certainly not softened up the styling. The RC F still features the marque’s aggressive ‘Predator’-style schnoz, with a bit of added chin and snarl to denote sporting intent.
The lights are updated, with single-piece units at the front and a cleaner design at the back. The RC F, for the most part, looks the same. It remains a visual tonic to some and just a bit fussy to others.
Under the skin of the standard car, bushes and mounts have been tightened to sharpen up the chassis. New, specially-designed Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres are said to reduce understeer, improve lateral grip and be more durable. Launch control now comes as standard, too – you’ll get to 62mph in 4.5 seconds with it engaged.
The lovely old V8 remains and is up on power slightly. An increase of 5hp gives the 2019 RC F 472hp, while torque is up by 6lb ft to 395lb ft. We’d wager the fundamental rev-happy character goes unchanged and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
What’s new for the Track Edition?
There’s no mistaking the Track Edition for anything else. That massive carbon rear wing, heat-treated exhaust tips, carbon bonnet, black wheels and satin paint are a dead giveaway for the more track-honed model.
The fixed wing takes the place of the active item on the standard car and is said to reduce drag while increasing downforce by 26kg. As you’d expect of a track-focused model, weight is down – in this case by between 70kg and 80kg.
A major focus has been put on unsprung weight, with a view to improving driving feel. As a result, carbon ceramic brakes are standard for the Track Edition, as are new GT3-inspired 19-inch forged BBS alloy wheels. All in, that helps lop 25kg off the unsprung weight at the front alone.
Elsewhere, carbon fibre helps fight the paunch, including that enormous bonnet and the roof panel.
An exotic-looking exhaust is made of titanium and helps save even more weight. It should make for a spectacular musical accompaniment, too, given the 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 remains.
What’s the RC F like on the inside?
Inside, the pleasing ‘1990s hi-fi’ aesthetic remains. Lurid leather and ‘F’ badges make sure you never forget you’re in the quick one.
The Track Edition doesn’t appear to rob the standard car of any of its luxo-barge credentials.