Sedans & Coupes

Why the 2020 Lexus RC F Is Too Obese to Succeed

If you’re looking for performance plus comfort, and a luxury muscle coupe is your speed, the 2020 Lexus RC F may be what you’ve been looking for. The 2020 Lexus RC F features a number of small updates as well as a new Track Edition. However, while it’s great to drive, the 2020 Lexus RC F is still a hefty car with a high curb weight.

The curb weight of the Lexus RC F

The 2020 RC F dropped only 31 pounds from last year and now weighs 4,017 pounds. That’s about 400 pounds more than the BMW M4. This high weight is despite several measures to cut weight, including hollow half-shafts, additional aluminum in the suspension, and a lighter intake manifold. Carrying all that weight does add a little time to its acceleration.

Performance dynamics

It might be heavy, but the 2020 Lexus RC F is even better to drive than in the past. It corners well and provides a fantastic ride. Car and Driver called the RC F’s engine “smooth-revving and sweet sounding.” The 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine generates 472 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque – slight increases over the past model. This big engine does add to the weight though. Many competitors feature a smaller turbocharged engine.

The RC F is just 0.1 seconds faster than the previous model, going 0 to 60 MPH in 4.2 seconds. It now has electronic launch control, but Car and Driver found it accelerated faster without it. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Features of the Lexus RC F

The 2020 Lexus RC F has the high-quality luxury that buyers would expect. A number of drive modes help drivers adjust the ride stiffness to meet their preference and the road conditions. The 2020 RC F sports updated front and rear bumpers, headlights, and taillights. The tires have also been swapped out for Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires instead of Michelin Pilot Super Sports.

Car and Driver found that the interior is comfortable and attractive. The front seats are both “cushy” and “supportive,” and the rear seats can fit two adults, though it isn’t roomy. Car and Driver was less happy about the touchpad infotainment system, calling it “distracting.” A 7.0-inch display screen is standard, and a 10.3-inch display is available. Apple CarPlay compatibility is included, but oddly, Android Auto is not.

The Track Edition

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The Track Edition of the 2020 Lexus RC F provides a high-performance special model of a performance car. Only 50 of the Track Edition models are being sold in the U.S. The Track Edition features some high-tech design upgrades, which reduce its weight and improve its performance.

A carbon-fiber hood, roof, and rear wing; aerodynamic appendages; and carbon-ceramic brake rotors help reduce the weight. The Track Edition weighs 253 pounds less than the last Lexus RC F that Car and Driver tested in 2015. Both the standard RC F and Track Edition have an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Track Edition, though, has a limited-slip differential, while the standard RC F has an optional torque-vectoring differential. The Track Edition rockets from 0 to 60 MPH in 3.96 seconds.

Lexus RC F pricing

The 2020 Lexus RC F starts at $64,900. While it doesn’t offer trim levels, the car does have a number of package options. Car and Driver recommended the base model as a luxury coupe but didn’t love its performance abilities. It tested a car with an $89,654 price, including the $5,350 Premium package with convenience features and $11,400 Performance package, which it did not feel was worth the cost.

Car and Driver was more positive about the lighter Track Edition, which provides performance for its even higher starting price of $96,800. While the standard RC F might be too obese and hefty, the Track Edition reduces the weight while still giving drivers everything needed for a consistently thrilling ride.

The 2020 Lexus RC F remains a heavyweight contender, but its combination of luxury and performance is appealing. However, buyers with deep pockets who want more performance will be happier with the lighter Lexus RC F Track Edition.