Perhaps our expectations have been too excessive. We noticed its lackluster specs on the Detroit Auto Present in January, however you simply by no means know till you get behind the wheel. And whereas there’s rather a lot to love right here — that is probably the most highly effective and monitor-succesful Lexus because the LFA supercar was launched in 2011 — it is shortly obvious that Lexus’ engineers have been held again from making the RC F Track Edition what they needed to make.
The RC F Track Edition makes use of the identical naturally aspirated 5.zero-liter V8 (2UR-GSE) that powered the IS F sedan in 2008 and the standard RC F since 2015. It is the engine Lexus additionally makes use of within the LC 500 coupe and the GS F sedan. The corporate’s strict warrantability requirements imply this engine is restricted to 500 hp, stated Yuuichi Tsurumoto, the chief engineer on the RC F Track Edition and the person liable for all Lexus F fashions. So supercharging the engine was out of the query. Growing the V8’s displacement to five.5-liters or extra was explored, however then the RC F Track Edition would have been topic to a fuel guzzler tax, and that too was deemed unacceptable. The frustration in Tsurumoto’s voice was clear.
And whereas the 5.zero-liter’s output has been elevated barely for 2020, as much as 472 horsepower (+5) at 7,one hundred rpm and 395 pound-ft of torque (+6) at four,800 rpm, the RC F Track Edition does not get any extra energy than the standard RC F. Each variations of the coupe additionally proceed to make use of an Aisin-provided eight-velocity automated, which is actually unchanged.
Lexus is simply going to construct “round four hundred” RC F Track Editions, and it’ll import simply 50 into the USA. That is all. Simply 50 automobiles. And they will value $ninety seven,675 together with a $1,025 vacation spot payment. Who cares a few fuel guzzler tax on such an excessive restricted run of a $one hundred,000 manufacturing unit scorching rod?
Within the age of 797-hp Redeyes and 640-hp Cadillacs, the 472-hp RC F Track Edition might not sound like it might be fast, however it’s. With its new launch management and shorter three.thirteen:1 rear-finish ratio, Lexus says it may dash to 60 mph in three.ninety seven seconds. That is only a tenth or two off the efficiency of the LFA. Sadly, it is also solely two tenths faster than the standard RC F, which Lexus says now hits 60 mph in four.2 seconds.
Launch management is accessible solely in Sport+ mode. The system is activated with a button marked “Launch” on the coupe’s console, and it permits you to rev the engine to only 1,800 rpm, which is decrease than many comparable techniques on the market. Tsurumoto says that is the place the V8 makes one hundred fifty lb-ft of torque, which is all of the rear tires can deal with with out going up in smoke.
Truthfully, it is extra enjoyable to overlook concerning the launch management, shut off the traction management and blaze the coupe’s 19-inch Michelins by way of first and a few of second gear. Though that may get very costly in a short time. Lexus labored with Michelin for a particular model of its Pilot Sport four S tire. They’re sized 255/35R19 in entrance and 275/35R19 within the rear, and the standard RC F get them too.
Michelin’s stickier Sport Cup 2 would definitely add grip, however these tires do not carry out nicely in moist climate, and Tsurumoto was requested to construct the last word day by day driver than might be tracked on the weekends. He recommends consumers get a stickier set of rubber mounted on an additional set of wheels for monitor days.
Lexus makes use of little or no aluminum within the RC F’s chassis and construction, and as a result, it has lengthy been criticized for being overweight in comparison with its German competitors. For 2020, the standard RC F drops about fifty five kilos, and the Track Edition, which will get a carbon fiber roof and hood, drops one other 122 kilos. On the monitor, it does really feel lighter and extra tossable, however do not get too excited: At three,781 kilos, the Track Edition continues to be a porker.
Nearly all of the weight financial savings are from the Track Edition’s Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors. They shave forty eight.5 kilos from the car and work with six-piston Brembo calipers within the entrance. Additionally they carry out significantly higher and with extra consistency on the monitor than the metal models on the standard RC F. Pedal really feel and modulation are wonderful, and warmth soak is not an issue on the Thermal Membership’s 1.eight-mile circuit, which is notoriously arduous on brakes.
Different weight financial savings are much less vital. The carbon fiber roof and hood save about 20 kilos. Changing the RC F’s retractable rear spoiler with a hard and fast carbon fiber rear wing will increase downforce and saves 6.four kilos. The Track Edition’s cast BBS wheels are every 1.5 kilos lighter than the standard car’s wheels. A lighter rear bumper saves 1.1 kilos, and hole half-shafts save four kilos with out sacrificing power. Beneath the hood, the Track Edition makes use of a smaller air con compressor, new aluminum spring help brackets, and shaves 1.5 kilos of extra aluminum from the underside of the consumption manifold.
An extra 15 kilos is saved by the Track Edition’s titanium mufflers and connector pipes, from which the V8 thunders a really satisfying roar. The exhaust ideas are chrome steel and coated in a blue end for a singular look. In Sport+ mode, Lexus makes use of the audio system to control and improve that roar contained in the cabin. Regardless of the weight discount, the engineers swear the car’s weight stability is strictly the identical, with about fifty four % of the coupe’s weight over its entrance tires.
Once we ask Ysurumoto why he did not enhance that stability by shifting the battery to the trunk, he laughs and says, “Excellent query.” Like seemingly many different parts within the RC F Track Edition, it appears his bosses would not let him go far sufficient with that both.
It is also shocking how little the suspension has been modified on the Track Edition. The RC F’s springs and sway bars have been carried over untouched. The dampers have been stiffened, some within the Regular setting, extra in Sport+, nevertheless it is not a radical improve in both compression or rebound. That stated, on the monitor, the Lexus does really feel tied down and safe. Mid-nook bumps and curbing do not upset its chassis. It is easy to select your line and maintain it. Though we did not drive the car on the road, it looks like it might be a cushty day by day for an fanatic driver.
Another small modifications have been made to extend response and scale back understeer. The steering rack is mounted with one hundred fifty-% stiffer bushings that resist deflection in onerous cornering, which may have an effect on the toe of the entrance tires. Stiffer rear subframe bushings scale back camber angle modifications of the rear wheels. The rear engine mount bushing can also be stiffer.
Throttle response is sharper than earlier than because of a redesigned airbox with elevated movement and a smaller however much less restrictive air filter. A flap within the system, which will increase quantity and sound, now opens at 2,800 rpm. That is 800 rpm before earlier than, though we’re unsure that is related as many RC F house owners modify the flap to remain open all the time.
Extra essential, the engineers have additionally remapped the throttle response curve to be extra linear all through the pedal stroke. It is much less abrupt than earlier than, which provides you improved predictability and extra exact management.
“Controlling the vehicle with the throttle was the aim,” says Tsurumoto. “We needed to make it simpler to make use of the throttle to regulate the car. It is the type of driving I choose.”
These modifications have lowered understeer. The entrance finish nonetheless pushes should you overcook a nook entry, nevertheless it’s delicate and will show to be a welcome safety internet on a decent mountain street. As soon as the entrance finish bites and also you get again to the throttle, the Track Edition might be steered with its throttle. And really exactly, because of a extra aggressively tuned Torsen differential. Massive drifts come simply. Shut off its stability management, and there is sufficient energy to hold lengthy, smoky, full-lock powerslides.
General the brand new RC F Track Edition is a powerful excessive-efficiency car. It is easy to drive shortly, it may well deal with a beating on the racetrack, and it will make any driver smile. It is simply not radical sufficient. It is simply not the car it may be, or must be. It is not totally different sufficient from the standard RC F to justify its Track Edition identify or its appreciable further value.
If company would simply loosen the reigns, Tsurumoto and his staff of engineers might have constructed one thing really unique, one thing really particular. An actual extremely-efficiency restricted-version RC F mannequin for a choose few hardcore fanatics, one with a particular powertrain, excessive tires and much more aggressive weight financial savings. As an alternative, the RC F Track Edition comes off as a glorified $32,000 Sport Package deal.
It is unlucky. Lexus can do higher.
– 2020 Lexus RC F Track Edition First Drive Review –
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