The week I test drove the 2020 Lexus RC F there may or may not be some tire tread left in a parking lot from the ‘launch’ control somewhere in the Dallas vicinity. (FYI, the launch control is a new standard feature).
This performance car with a V8 engine functions as a performance car should. Not only does it have lots of charm, but it is not as pricey as competitors, and you get the quality that you have come to expect from Lexus. You will also get a few head turns, as the curves on the RC F just align and connect, making this car delightful inside and out.
This year’s RC F is lighter (by 55 pounds) and just a tad more powerful (5 hp more) than the previous model. That’s the good news. The great news is that there is a Track Edition offered. The only bad news to report, (and it isn’t all bad, more disappointing than anything) is the infotainment interface. I’ll get into that more later.
There are two trims to compare: the Base RC F and the limited number Track Edition. Both have the same powertrain, producing 472 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque.
The Track Edition comes in two exterior colors with a starting price of $96,800. In my humble opinion, that’s quite a difference in price when the only time you notice the difference is truly on the racetrack. It does feature a carbon fiber hood, titanium mufflers, front spoiler, Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, enhanced aerodynamics, 19-inch ultralight BBS wheels and the same estimated fuel economy as the Base trim (19 mpg).
The Base trim comes in six exterior colors with a starting price of $64,900. It features standard LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, power adjustable sport seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 19-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay connectivity and a ten speaker sound system, as well as simulated leather upholstery. The Lexus Safety System also comes standard and includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking. Blind-spot monitoring is available, but it is an added ‘extra.’
I like the ‘Sound and Navigation’ package which adds more tech, including a larger display and my personal favorite, a 17- speaker Mark Levinson sound system.
The RC F has always been a comfortable ride and the 2020 Lexus is no different. Road noise is not an issue and neither are bumps; road imperfections are uneventful.
Inside, the RC F is streamlined in design and therefore, easy on the eyes. The wood trim is my preference, the other option being aluminum inlays. Soft-touch materials are encountered on the significant touch points. There is plenty of room in the front, however the rear is slightly lacking. Not a huge deal, confined spaces are just expected of a performance car. Seating is all around plush and hospitable.
Time to address that infotainments system. It is lacking. It is behind its competitors. The system is just a little distracting and confusing to use. If the infotainment system came together, this Lexus would not fall short in the least.
There’s little to be said about storage in a performance car because there is little of it. It does exist, but it is pretty minimal. The RC F has 10.1 cubic feet of trunk space. Pack light. Inside the cabin you will find two cupholders in the center console. If you want your back seat passengers to have cupholders at all then you need to upgrade to the Premium Package.
Gas mileage averages 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway for a combined 19 mpg. It is relatively average for a performance car, of course your driving style can have something to do with that, but typically you aren’t driving a performance car to get great gas mileage. My take? Enjoy the car, you can enjoy getting great gas mileage another week.