2020 Lexus RC F review: Power and presence, but still a step behind

I really like the Infrared paint on this check motor vehicle.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The luxurious overall performance coupe segment is dominated by hefty-hitters this sort of as the Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63. But Lexus has been enjoying in this space, far too. The sharp-looking RC F introduced in 2015 — a coupe-bodied successor to the outrageous IS F that came before it — and it gets a few significant updates for the 2020 product year that make it even extra eye-catching than before.


  • Sizzling damn this factor seems great
  • V8 engine brings a awesome rumble to the cabin

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  • Enform infotainment technique requires a major overhaul
  • Transmission could be snappier

What is new

You can find no denying the RC F is a handsome motor vehicle, in particular decked out in the Infrared colour of my tester. But for 2020, the major coupe gets a few smaller styling tweaks. The cool-looking stacked tailpipes are nevertheless listed here, but they’re set off by new taillights and a redesigned bumper. Up entrance, you are going to detect more substantial air intakes and restyled headlights. The substantial spindle grille is as outstanding listed here as it can be at any time been, while it can be really a little bit lesser for 2020.

The RC F gets a few engineering tweaks, far too, reducing 56 lbs . from the coupe’s weight thanks to lighter factors in the manifold and air conditioning technique, as perfectly as a bumper aid piece designed from a blend of carbon fiber and aluminum.

And whaddaya know, the engine gets a few small alterations, as perfectly. The 5.-liter naturally aspirated V8 now produces 472 horsepower at seven,100 rpm and 395 pound-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm — gains of 5 hp and 6 lb-ft. That’s not seriously plenty of to go the needle in any significant way, but hey, extra electric power is extra electric power. Electric power gets down to the rear wheels by means of an eight-velocity automated transmission. Fuel financial state is as dismal as at any time, while, with the 2020 RC F earning EPA rankings of sixteen miles for every gallon town, 24 mpg freeway and 19 mpg put together.

The RC F gets extra linear throttle mapping for 2020, as perfectly as a shorter ultimate-push ratio of three.13:1. Launch manage is also aspect of the bundle now, and Lexus states it’ll assistance propel the RC F to 60 mph in a pretty-darn-fast 4.2 seconds.

On the street

As I make my way to my favored twisty backroad, I swap the push method to Sport S to make use of its a lot quicker throttle response, but I keep the torque-vectoring differential in its conventional setting. The gearbox mostly knows what it can be undertaking, while occasionally I am going to get an early upshift or it is not going to downshift less than braking. Luckily, that is effortlessly remedied by utilizing the paddler shifters, and I even get a little throttle blip when I downshift — a excellent way to hear that V8 roar inside of the cabin.

Going to the Sport S In addition setting gives me most powertrain response and heavier steering really feel. The TVD tech has Slalom and Keep track of modes, the former of which can help the RC F really feel a little bit extra spry on these tight backroads. You should not be fooled by the aforementioned weight reduction — the 2020 RC F nevertheless recommendations the scales at three,902 lbs .. The onboard electronics do a awesome job of creating the coupe really feel a little bit extra svelte, if you are going to pardon that use of an adjective as an adverb. In Slalom method, the RC F rotates greater by means of turns, and I come across myself pushing it more challenging as I careen by means of the corners.

The RC F rides on a staggered set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, with 275/35-series entrance and 255/35-series rear rubber, wrapped about 19-inch wheels. These tires give plenty of grip, and Michelin worked with Lexus to specifically develop these tires for the RC F. It will work, far too — at no place does the rear finish want to stage out less than tricky cornering, and I’ve bought tons of grip at all periods.

The 5.-liter V8 places out 472 horsepower and 395 pound-ft of torque.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

When it can be time to just commute, the Lexus happily settles down. Placing all the options back to Regular reveals a motor vehicle that is nevertheless organization, but not uncomfortably so. Fortunately, the entrance seats give loads of aid for extended journeys, as perfectly as the ideal total of cushiness for my hindquarters.

The conventional adaptive cruise manage will work as advertised, but its procedure is a little wonky. I have to have interaction the technique from a stalk on the decrease left aspect of the steering column, but the length manage is on the steering wheel itself. In simple fact, there are a lot of structure issues with the inside, but I am going to get to that in a minute. The RC F’s other conventional driver-guidance capabilities include lane-departure warning and lane-maintaining assist, as perfectly as forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection. Blind-place monitoring and rear cross-targeted visitors inform are both equally bundle-dependent selections.

Troublesome tech

I cannot talk about the RC F without the need of shaming the Lexus Enform infotainment technique. It is terrible. Definitely terrible. My tester has the optional ten.three-inch multimedia monitor, which is a awesome update over the conventional seven-inch device. Enform is managed by a touchpad that is meant to be analogous to a smartphone, exactly where I can faucet, swipe and pinch-to-zoom to my heart’s information. In actuality, on the other hand, this is just terrible to use. It is very straightforward to swipe past icons, even right after modifying the parameters of the touchpad. There are tricky buttons for the map, key menu and to stage back a person monitor, but all the things else should be selected by the touchpad, which is infuriating to use though driving.

Further, in get to obtain applications like I Coronary heart Radio, Yelp, Amazon Alexa and Waze, drivers should have the Lexus Enform Application Suite 2. put in on their cell phone. You can get about this utilizing Apple CarPlay, but Android Car is absent (even while you can get it on the non-F RC coupe).

The cabin is comfortable, but the infotainment tech is infuriating.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

When the inside of the RC F is comprehensive of tender-touch, high-quality elements, it suffers in phrases of structure and consumer practical experience. In addition to the aforementioned adaptive cruise manage stalk/steering wheel snafu, a button on the ideal-hand aspect of the steering wheel controls a electronic details pane on the left-hand aspect of the gauge cluster. The change indicators and windshield wiper stalks both equally return to area instantly and it can be difficult to get just a few blinker clicks for, say, a lane change, or a person wiper swipe to just take care of a little rain mist. Oh, and why does a motor vehicle so packed with tech nevertheless have a foot pedal parking brake?

I you should not assume a sporting activities coupe to have a lot in the way of utility, but the Lexus falls brief listed here by comparison. There is restricted in-cabin storage and the truck only delivers ten.1 cubic ft of space, which is lesser than what you get in the Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63. The rear seats you should not fold down but there is a pass-by means of to accommodate lengthier objects, for when you want to just take your rear-wheel-push sporting activities motor vehicle snowboarding.

How I might spec it

I really like the way this motor vehicle seems, so my perfect RC F would be painted Infrared, which charges $595. I might add the quality bundle ($5,350) which gets me heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, blind-place monitoring, rear cross-targeted visitors inform and the rear seat pass-by means of. Finally, I am going to add the $1,250 torque-vectoring differential, bringing my excellent RC F up to $73,one hundred twenty out the door.

Lexus also delivers a $6,000 overall performance bundle which tacks on a bunch of carbon fiber sections, which I you should not seriously want. Embedded navigation charges $2,725, which I am going to also skip contemplating Apple CarPlay is free. If you seriously want to go major, you will find also the $97,825 RC F Keep track of Version, but that is a whole distinctive animal.

The RC F is a exciting motor vehicle, but it just cannot keep up with the competitors.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Superior seems usually are not plenty of

At $65,925 to commence, including spot, the RC F is more cost-effective than its important rivals, but not by a lot. The Audi RS5 comes in at $75,195, the BMW M4 starts off at $70,one hundred forty five and the Mercedes-AMG C63 charges $70,895, all including their respective spot expenses. For a few thousand bucks extra you get nicer interiors, extra eager powertrains and a lot greater cabin tech.

The 2020 Lexus RC F is a fine selection for people who favor daily-driving comfort over comprehensive-blast, knock-your-socks-off shenanigans. But with intense opponents that do so quite a few matters greater, it nevertheless winds up remaining a back-of-the-pack decide in this exciting segment, even if it does change heads.

Maria J. Danford

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