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

Nancy J. Delong

I like the Infrared paint on this check auto.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The luxury functionality coupe section is dominated by large-hitters this sort of as the Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63. But Lexus has been enjoying in this room, also. The sharp-looking RC F introduced in 2015 — a coupe-bodied successor to the outrageous IS F that came right before it — and it will get a couple of significant updates for the 2020 product yr that make it even more beautiful than right before.


  • Hot damn this matter appears very good
  • V8 engine brings a nice rumble to the cabin

Never Like

  • Enform infotainment system needs a key overhaul
  • Transmission could be snappier

What’s new

You can find no denying the RC F is a handsome auto, particularly decked out in the Infrared shade of my tester. But for 2020, the significant coupe will get a couple of modest styling tweaks. The neat-looking stacked tailpipes are continue to below, but they’re set off by new taillights and a redesigned bumper. Up entrance, you can discover bigger air intakes and restyled headlights. The substantial spindle grille is as distinguished below as it really is ever been, however it really is essentially a bit lesser for 2020.

The RC F will get a couple of engineering tweaks, also, chopping 56 lbs from the coupe’s excess weight thanks to lighter factors in the manifold and air conditioning system, as effectively as a bumper aid piece built from a combine of carbon fiber and aluminum.

And whaddaya know, the engine will get a couple of very small improvements, as effectively. The 5.-liter the natural way aspirated V8 now makes 472 horsepower at seven,one hundred rpm and 395 pound-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm — gains of 5 hp and six lb-ft. That’s not actually sufficient to transfer the needle in any significant way, but hey, more power is more power. Energy will get down to the rear wheels through an eight-velocity automated transmission. Fuel economic climate is as dismal as ever, however, with the 2020 RC F earning EPA ratings of 16 miles for each gallon town, 24 mpg highway and 19 mpg mixed.

The RC F will get more linear throttle mapping for 2020, as effectively as a shorter last-generate ratio of three.13:one. Start management is also portion of the bundle now, and Lexus suggests it’s going to enable propel the RC F to 60 mph in a quite-darn-brief 4.2 seconds.

On the street

As I make my way to my favourite twisty backroad, I swap the generate manner to Activity S to make use of its more rapidly throttle response, but I continue to keep the torque-vectoring differential in its normal placing. The gearbox mainly is aware what it really is doing, however at times I am going to get an early upshift or it won’t downshift under braking. Fortunately, that is effortlessly remedied by employing the paddler shifters, and I even get a tiny throttle blip when I downshift — a good way to listen to that V8 roar inside of the cabin.

Shifting to the Activity S Furthermore placing gives me optimum powertrain response and heavier steering experience. The TVD tech has Slalom and Monitor modes, the previous of which can help the RC F experience a bit more spry on these tight backroads. Never be fooled by the aforementioned excess weight loss — the 2020 RC F continue to guidelines the scales at three,902 lbs. The onboard electronics do a nice job of creating the coupe experience a bit more svelte, if you can pardon that use of an adjective as an adverb. In Slalom manner, the RC F rotates improved through turns, and I locate myself pushing it tougher as I careen through the corners.

The RC F rides on a staggered set of Michelin Pilot Activity 4S tires, with 255/35-collection entrance and 275/35-collection rear rubber, wrapped about 19-inch wheels. These tires provide a lot of grip, and Michelin worked with Lexus to specifically build these tires for the RC F. It functions, also — at no issue does the rear finish want to move out under really hard cornering, and I’ve bought tons of grip at all moments.

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

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

When it really is time to just commute, the Lexus happily settles down. Placing all the configurations back to Ordinary reveals a auto that is continue to firm, but not uncomfortably so. Happily, the entrance seats provide a good deal of aid for lengthy excursions, as effectively as the suitable total of cushiness for my hindquarters.

The normal adaptive cruise management functions as advertised, but its operation is a tiny wonky. I have to have interaction the system from a stalk on the reduced left facet of the steering column, but the length management is on the steering wheel by itself. In actuality, there are a whole lot of format troubles with the interior, but I am going to get to that in a minute. The RC F’s other normal driver-aid capabilities incorporate lane-departure warning and lane-maintaining support, as effectively as forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection. Blind-location monitoring and rear cross-site visitors alert are equally bundle-based alternatives.

Troublesome tech

I are unable to speak about the RC F without shaming the Lexus Enform infotainment system. It really is undesirable. Really undesirable. My tester has the optional 10.three-inch multimedia display, which is a nice upgrade in excess of the normal seven-inch device. Enform is managed by a touchpad that is intended to be analogous to a smartphone, the place I can tap, swipe and pinch-to-zoom to my heart’s content. In truth, having said that, this is just awful to use. It really is unbelievably effortless to swipe previous icons, even immediately after modifying the parameters of the touchpad. There are really hard buttons for the map, key menu and to move back one particular display, but every thing else should be selected by the touchpad, which is infuriating to use when driving.

More, in purchase to obtain apps like I Coronary heart Radio, Yelp, Amazon Alexa and Waze, motorists should have the Lexus Enform App Suite 2. installed on their mobile phone. You can get about this employing Apple CarPlay, but Android Car is absent (even however you can get it on the non-F RC coupe).

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

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Although the interior of the RC F is total of comfortable-touch, excellent supplies, it suffers in conditions of format and user encounter. In addition to the aforementioned adaptive cruise management stalk/steering wheel snafu, a button on the suitable-hand facet of the steering wheel controls a digital information pane on the left-hand facet of the gauge cluster. The turn indicators and windshield wiper stalks equally return to position quickly and it really is difficult to get just a couple of blinker clicks for, say, a lane improve, or one particular wiper swipe to get treatment of a tiny rain mist. Oh, and why does a auto so packed with tech continue to have a foot pedal parking brake?

I really don’t assume a sports activities coupe to have significantly in the way of utility, but the Lexus falls limited below by comparison. There is constrained in-cabin storage and the truck only provides 10.one cubic ft of room, which is lesser than what you get in the Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63. The rear seats really don’t fold down but there is a move-through to accommodate more time objects, for when you want to get your rear-wheel-generate sports activities auto snowboarding.

How I’d spec it

I like the way this auto appears, so my perfect RC F would be painted Infrared, which fees $595. I’d incorporate the quality bundle ($5,350) which will get me heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, blind-location monitoring, rear cross-site visitors alert and the rear seat move-through. At last, I am going to incorporate the $one,250 torque-vectoring differential, bringing my excellent RC F up to $seventy three,a hundred and twenty out the doorway.

Lexus also provides a $six,000 functionality bundle which tacks on a bunch of carbon fiber pieces, which I really don’t actually want. Embedded navigation fees $2,725, which I am going to also skip taking into consideration Apple CarPlay is absolutely free. If you actually want to go significant, there is certainly also the $97,825 RC F Monitor Version, but that is a whole unique animal.

The RC F is a fun auto, but it just can not continue to keep up with the competitiveness.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Excellent appears usually are not sufficient

At $65,925 to begin, which include spot, the RC F is cheaper than its essential rivals, but not by significantly. The Audi RS5 arrives in at $75,195, the BMW M4 starts off at $70,a hundred forty five and the Mercedes-AMG C63 fees $70,895, all which include their respective spot expenses. For a couple of thousand bucks more you get nicer interiors, more eager powertrains and significantly improved cabin tech.

The 2020 Lexus RC F is a fine choice for individuals who favor everyday-driving comfort and ease in excess of total-blast, knock-your-socks-off shenanigans. But with intense opponents that do so numerous issues improved, it continue to winds up becoming a back-of-the-pack choose in this enjoyable section, even if it does turn heads.

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