DETROIT, Michigan – “Thirty years ago, almost to the day, we came to Detroit to tell the world about the creation of Lexus,” said Lexus General Manager Dave Christ. While their newly improved RC F was under the spotlights at the Lexus stand, the automaker used the adjacent hall for the debut of two new vehicles.
First up was a more hardcore performance version of the RC F, developed solely to appeal to the motorsport crowd. When the RC F first arrived in 2015, it never really resonated with its intended audience. Sure, it had a wonderful engine, but its handling was less than stellar. Returning for 2019 with the same 5.0L V8 now tweaked to produce 472 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque, it also features revised suspension and a shorter, 3.13 rear-end gear ratio.
An even more aggressive variant has been unveiled for the track day and enthusiast crowd. There are a number of improvements, according to Christ (pronounced Crist) that give the 2020 Lexus RC F Track Edition more “pow”. For starters, it’s 176 lb lighter. Its 5.0L naturally aspirated engine, same as the one found in the regular RC F, propels the lightweight Track Edition from zero to 100 km/h in just under four seconds.
The Track Edition also includes standard carbon ceramic Brembo brake rotors, 19-inch lightweight BBS wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot 4S rubber, strategic use of lightweight carbon-fibre body panels, revised suspension tuning, and a titanium exhaust system. There are stiffer bushings for the steering rack and engine mounts, a shorter final drive ratio and launch control.
Significant improvements to the car’s aerodynamics include a front air dam to reduce lift, improving both front end grip and steering feel. At the back you’ll find a fixed carbon-fibre wing to smooth out the air flowing over the car, reducing drag and increasing downforce.
Available in Matte Nebula Grey or Ultra White, the RC F Track Edition comes with a red leather upholstered cabin with carbon-fibre accent trim. To further solidify the car’s performance credentials, AIM Vassar Sullivan racing will campaign a pair of RC F race cars in the IMSA GTD class in 2019. The RC F and RC F Track Edition should be available in April.
Lexus’s flagship LC premium coupe also made an appearance on the Detroit stage – in the form of a new open-top concept. “Like the LC coupe before it, this LC Convertible Concept symbolizes the future direction of our brand,” said Christ.
The sleek two-seater concept features sharp edges and tight folds, riding on 22-inch forged alloy wheels. “There’s one way to describe this concept, and that’s ‘Wow’,” said Christ. Considering that the LC Coupe rings in at $102,750, and the convertible will most certainly cost considerably more, that would make the LC Convertible the most expensive car in the Lexus lineup.