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2020 Lexus RC F 2-DR Coupe Review by David Colman +VIDEO

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2020 Lexus RC-F

I gave it 10 Stars in a 10 Out of 10 Rating...You Can't Get More Than 10 Stars

By David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL

The latest iteration of the RC F is a race car with license plates. Its 472hp V8 is the most powerful engine Lexus has offered to date. In addition, Lexus makes Launch Control available for the first time in the RC-F. Engage Launch Control, and the RC-F will rocket from 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 168mph. Styling has been subtly refined as well, with more dynamic creases along the flanks to rivet your eyes. Base price of the RC-F is a bargain, at $64,900.

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2020 Lexus RC-F

However, our $78,989 test model boosted that base price by $14,089. The most sizeable additions penciled out as follows: $1,500 for 19-inch, hand polished, forged BBS alloy rims; $1,160 for triple beam LED headlights; $2,725 for Navigation with 17 speaker Mark Levinson Audio; $3,350 for Premium Package (heated/ventilated seats, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, power tilt/telescoping steering column, rear seat center console); $1,250 for Torque Vectoring Differential.

If I were placing an order for an RC-F, the only options that would make the cut on my Lexus coupe would be the 19-inch BBS alloys and the Torque Vectoring Differential. Together, this pair costs $2,750. That would save you $11,339 off the sticker price of our test car. And who needs 17 speakers when you’ve got that soul stirring V8 to listen to? And a rear seat console with cupholders? You couldn’t pay me to climb back there for a ride. It’s virtually impossible to scramble in and out unless you are ten years old.

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2020 Lexus RC-F

Let’s examine that BBS package. For the price of what you would pay for just one forged BBS rim in the aftermarket, you get a set of four beautifully crafted alloys, mounted with a quartet of the latest, stickiest street tires Michelin makes today: Pilot Sport 4S rubber sized 255/35R19 front and 275/35R19 rear. These wheels and tires offer the immense grip you need to make the RC-F behave. The Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) is another insurance policy against sudden loss of adhesion - always a liability when you’ve got 472hp and 395lb.-ft. of torque on tap. TVD insures you will remain pointed in the right direction when you elect to flatten a curve.

The cockpit of the RC-F simulates the operating environment of an F-15. Like the jet, this Lexus offers a glass cockpit with digital simulations for speedometer, tachometer and ancillary functions. The advantage of such a system becomes immediately apparent when you use the console mounted drive mode dial to toggle between available states of behavior such as Standard, Sport and Sport+. In each instance the glass cockpit revises the instrument layout you see by altering visual indices like color, font size and style, and tach redline to suit the chosen mode of performance. In Sport+ mode, for example, your gear selection choice is much larger than it appears in Standard mode.

The most businesslike of the offerings is Sport+ which clarifies the color, layout and redline of the tachometer to cue instant observation. Of course, the Sport+ setting does more than just revise the graphics of the dash. Placing the dial in this setting also stiffens steering response, adds a hair trigger feel to the throttle pedal, and drops gearing from a relaxed gait to a more intense state of responsiveness. In Standard mode, for example, we noted that the RC-F was pulling 2200rpm at 70mph in top (7th) gear. When we punched up the Sport+ mode, rpm instantly soared to 3200rpm at the same 70mph. Lexus has slightly revamped the organization of the dashboard for 2020, moving the drive mode control to the central console from its former position at the right end of the instrument binnacle. We preferred the prior location, which was easier to find and manipulate than the new center console dial.

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2020 Lexus RC-F

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2020 Lexus RC-F

Most of the vehicles we test offer a power to weight ratio of 15-22lbs/hp. Exceptional models pare that efficiency number below 15, but very few come close to 10. This Lexus leads the current crop of vehicles we have tested with an amazing figure of 8.2 pounds per horsepower. With that kind of performance on offer, you’d better be ready to ante up at the pump, because the RC-F is a frequently refilled flier at 19MPG overall.

If you find the rather understated appearance of the RC-F too reserved, 2020 offers you the more erotically sculpted RC-F Track Edition. This undisguised race simulacrum features carbon fiber front splitter, roof, hood and rear wing. The endplates of the wing are embossed with the company’s “F” race logo, as are the headrests on the curvaceous bucket seats. Interior tweaks include a spectacular bi-color red and black leather combination. Red covers the seats, dash top and console sides, with black reserved for all other surfaces. This attention to detail will cost you substantially more than the RC-F we tested. The Track Edition’s base price is $96,800. But if you opt for this ultimate refinement of the F theme, you will pick up a couple of tenths in the 0-60mph sprint because the Track Edition cuts the time to an astounding 3.96 seconds.


    ENGINE: 5.0-liter V8, 32 valve DOHC, dual VVT
    HORSEPOWER: 472hp
    TORQUE: 395lb.-ft.@4800rpm
    FUEL CONSUMPTION: 16MPG City/24MPG Highway
    PRICE AS TESTED: $80,014

HYPES: Take It To The Track

GRIPES: Rear Vision Impeded by Buttresses


2020 Lexus RC F Specs

2020 Lexus RC F · Specs


MSRP: $64,900 - $96,800

Fuel economy: 16/24 mpg (city/highway

Weight: 3,902 lbs

Seating: 4 Seats

Engine And Power
Engine5.0 L 472 HP V 8
Horsepower472 hp
Torque395 N·m
0-60 Time3.9 - 4.2 seconds
Top speed168 mph
Engine valvesValves * Cylinder: 4 * 8
Fuel tank capacity17.4 gal
Transmission And Chassis
Transmission8-Speed Automatic
Wheels And Tires
Turning radius35.4 feet
Tire size255/35 R19
Payload And Towing
Cargo volume10.1 cu ft
Dimension (Exterior)
Length185.0 in
Width72.6 in
Height54.9 in
Wheelbase107.5 inch
Dimension (Interior)
Front leg room45.4 in
Rear leg room27.3 in
Front head room37.8 in
Rear head room35.0 in
Front shoulder room50.7 in
Rear shoulder room46.1 in
Front hip room53.9 in
Rear hip room47.8 in


air conditioning · alloy wheels · AM/FM radio · automatic headlights · cargo area light · CD player · cruise control · daytime running lights · driver multi-adjustable power seats · driver/front passenger climate controls · electric steering · fog lights · heated exterior mirror · interior automotive day/night or electrochromic mirror · interval wipers · leather steering wheel · power adjustable exterior mirror · power door locks · power windows · rear window defogger · remote lock/unlock · satellite radio · speed-sensing locks · telescopic steering · tilt steering · tire inflation/pressure monitor · vehicle anti-theft