2020 Lexus RC F evaluate: Energy and presence, however nonetheless a step behind

2020 Lexus RC F evaluate: Energy and presence, however nonetheless a step behind

I really like the Infrared paint on this take a look at automobile.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The posh efficiency coupe section is dominated by heavy-hitters such because the Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63. However Lexus has been enjoying on this area, too. The sharp-looking RC F launched in 2015 — a coupe-bodied successor to the outrageous IS F that got here earlier than it — and it will get a number of significant updates for the 2020 mannequin 12 months that make it much more enticing than earlier than.


  • Scorching rattling this factor seems to be good
  • V8 engine brings a pleasant rumble to the cabin

Do not Like

  • Enform infotainment system wants a significant overhaul
  • Transmission might be snappier

What’s new

There is not any denying the RC F is a good-looking automobile, particularly decked out within the Infrared shade of my tester. However for 2020, the massive coupe will get a number of small styling tweaks. The cool-looking stacked tailpipes are nonetheless right here, however they’re set off by new taillights and a redesigned bumper. Up entrance, you will discover bigger air intakes and restyled headlights. The large spindle grille is as distinguished right here because it’s ever been, although it is truly a bit smaller for 2020.

The RC F will get a number of engineering tweaks, too, chopping 56 kilos from the coupe’s weight because of lighter elements within the manifold and air con system, in addition to a bumper assist piece constructed from a mixture of carbon fiber and aluminum.

And whaddaya know, the engine will get a number of tiny adjustments, as effectively. The 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 now produces 472 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 395 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm — features of 5 hp and 6 lb-ft. That is probably not sufficient to maneuver the needle in any significant method, however hey, extra energy is extra energy. Energy will get all the way down to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automated transmission. Gasoline economic system is as dismal as ever, although, with the 2020 RC F incomes EPA rankings of 16 miles per gallon metropolis, 24 mpg freeway and 19 mpg mixed.

The RC F will get extra linear throttle mapping for 2020, in addition to a shorter final-drive ratio of three.13:1. Launch management can be a part of the bundle now, and Lexus says it’s going to assist propel the RC F to 60 mph in a pretty-darn-quick 4.2 seconds.

On the highway

As I make my option to my favourite twisty backroad, I change the drive mode to Sport S to utilize its faster throttle response, however I hold the torque-vectoring differential in its customary setting. The gearbox principally is aware of what it is doing, although generally I will get an early upshift or it will not downshift below braking. Fortunately, that is simply remedied by utilizing the paddler shifters, and I even get a little bit throttle blip after I downshift — an effective way to listen to that V8 roar contained in the cabin.

Transferring to the Sport S Plus setting provides me most powertrain response and heavier steering really feel. The TVD tech has Slalom and Monitor modes, the previous of which helps the RC F really feel a bit extra spry on these tight backroads. Do not be fooled by the aforementioned weight reduction — the 2020 RC F nonetheless ideas the scales at 3,902 kilos. The onboard electronics do a pleasant job of constructing the coupe really feel a bit extra svelte, if you happen to’ll pardon that use of an adjective as an adverb. In Slalom mode, the RC F rotates higher via turns, and I discover myself pushing it tougher as I careen via 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 round 19-inch wheels. These tires provide a lot of grip, and Michelin labored with Lexus to particularly develop these tires for the RC F. It really works, too — at no level does the rear finish wish to step out below laborious cornering, and I’ve bought tons of grip always.

The 5.0-liter V8 places out 472 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

When it is time to simply commute, the Lexus fortunately settles down. Placing all of the settings again to Regular reveals a automobile that is nonetheless agency, however not uncomfortably so. Fortunately, the entrance seats provide loads of assist for lengthy journeys, in addition to the correct quantity of cushiness for my hindquarters.

The usual adaptive cruise management works as marketed, however its operation is a little bit wonky. I’ve to interact the system from a stalk on the decrease left facet of the steering column, however the distance management is on the steering wheel itself. The truth is, there are numerous structure points with the inside, however I will get to that in a minute. The RC F’s different customary driver-assistance options embrace lane-departure warning and lane-keeping help, in addition to forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are each package-based choices.

Troublesome tech

I can’t discuss in regards to the RC F with out shaming the Lexus Enform infotainment system. It is dangerous. Actually dangerous. My tester has the elective 10.3-inch multimedia display screen, which is a pleasant improve over the usual 7-inch unit. Enform is managed by a touchpad that’s presupposed to be analogous to a smartphone, the place I can faucet, swipe and pinch-to-zoom to my coronary heart’s content material. In actuality, nevertheless, that is simply horrible to make use of. It is extremely simple to swipe previous icons, even after adjusting the parameters of the touchpad. There are laborious buttons for the map, primary menu and to step again one display screen, however every part else should be chosen by the touchpad, which is infuriating to make use of whereas driving.

Additional, in an effort to entry apps like I Coronary heart Radio, Yelp, Amazon Alexa and Waze, drivers will need to have the Lexus Enform App Suite 2.Zero put in on their telephone. You will get round this utilizing Apple CarPlay, however Android Auto is absent (though you will get it on the non-F RC coupe).

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

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Whereas the inside of the RC F is stuffed with soft-touch, high quality supplies, it suffers by way of structure and person expertise. Along with the aforementioned adaptive cruise management stalk/steering wheel snafu, a button on the right-hand facet of the steering wheel controls a digital data pane on the left-hand facet of the gauge cluster. The flip alerts and windshield wiper stalks each return to put routinely and it is powerful to get just some blinker clicks for, say, a lane change, or one wiper swipe to care for a little bit rain mist. Oh, and why does a automobile so filled with tech nonetheless have a foot pedal parking brake?

I do not anticipate a sports activities coupe to have a lot in the way in which of utility, however the Lexus falls quick right here by comparability. There may be restricted in-cabin storage and the truck solely provides 10.1 cubic toes of area, which is smaller than what you get within the Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63. The rear seats do not fold down however there’s a pass-through to accommodate longer objects, for whenever you wish to take your rear-wheel-drive sports activities automobile snowboarding.

How I would spec it

I really like the way in which this automobile seems to be, so my splendid RC F could be painted Infrared, which prices $595. I would add the premium bundle ($5,350) which will get me heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and the rear seat pass-through. Lastly, I will add the $1,250 torque-vectoring differential, bringing my excellent RC F as much as $73,120 out the door.

Lexus additionally provides a $6,000 efficiency bundle which tacks on a bunch of carbon fiber elements, which I do not actually need. Embedded navigation prices $2,725, which I will additionally skip contemplating Apple CarPlay is free. In the event you actually wish to go large, there’s additionally the $97,825 RC F Monitor Version, however that is an entire totally different animal.

The RC F is a enjoyable automobile, however it simply cannot sustain with the competitors.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Attractiveness aren’t sufficient

At $65,925 to begin, together with vacation spot, the RC F is cheaper than its key rivals, however not by a lot. The Audi RS5 is available in at $75,195, the BMW M4 begins at $70,145 and the Mercedes-AMG C63 prices $70,895, all together with their respective vacation spot fees. For a number of thousand bucks extra you get nicer interiors, extra keen powertrains and significantly better cabin tech.

The 2020 Lexus RC F is a wonderful alternative for individuals who favor daily-driving consolation over full-blast, knock-your-socks-off shenanigans. However with fierce rivals that achieve this many issues higher, it nonetheless winds up being a back-of-the-pack choose on this thrilling section, even when it does flip heads.

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