Lexus has fettled the RC F coupe and introduced a hardcore new twin brother for track-day enthusiasts.
The standard car, powered by a wonderful non-turbo 5.0-litre V8 with new power upgrades, gets a slight weight cut, suspension tweaks and styling updates, but the new two-door will have to concede first place on the oooh-ometer.
That honour goes to the RC F Track Edition, a carbonfibre-clothed brawler with its mind fixed on circuit duties. The rear wing draws your eye immediately and can swing the lift/downforce balance 26kg in favour of the latter, but there’s also a naked carbonfibre chin spoiler, bonnet and roof, hence the darker colours in the pictures. Many of those components are made on the LFA’s production line.
All that cuts a “preliminary estimate” of 70-80kg from the old road-spec RC F. Much of that comes from the unsprung weight, which is chopped by 25kg thanks to a set of lightweight, forged BBS alloys, Brembo carbon ceramic discs and matching calipers.
Power is actually down, though, versus the old RC F. It may be one of the last normally-aspirated performance car engines you can still buy, but it’s not immune to emissions regs. We suspect the WLTP test cycle is to blame, but the old car’s 471bhp has dropped to 451bhp. The same engine powers both versions with no further mods; it’s reliable enough, says Lexus.
Torque is down, too, but only by 7lb ft. The 0-62mph sprint disappears in 4.5 seconds so the car is hardly slow. Everyday tractability is up courtesy of revised intake routing and an 800rpm lower engine speed trigger point for the opening of the V8’s second intake, now at 2800rpm.
To keep the speed in place there’s a shorter final drive ratio that offsets the drop in muscle and demands everything from the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres designed in a bespoke compound for this car. The tread pattern and profile are different to an off-the-shelf Pilot Sport 4S, too.
One further difference between the two cars is titanium in the rear exhaust section that cuts weight and adds an extra zing to the overall sound. The silencers and tailpipes are all made of the exotic metal. Pricing for both versions will be announced closer to March.