► RC F Track Edition: lighter, faster
► Inspired by Lexus GT3 race car
► 5.0-litre V8, more power
Who'd have thought that sedate Lexus would bring a dose of GT3 race car to its most compact coupe? Well, the new, more focused Lexus RC F Track Edition is just that - and these pictures are fresh from its world debut at the 2019 Detroit motor show.
Think of it as the firm's take on the BMW M4 CS – a lighter, tougher, more circuit-focused V8-powered driver's car.
Race-track aero for the Lexus RC F Track Edition
The most obvious change to the racier RC F is the aerodynamic makeover, complete with rear wing that generates 26kg of additional downforce compared with the standard car's active spoiler. It's fashioned from carbonfibre to keep weight in check.
At the front, a chin spoiler is also made from composite and it's been designed to channel airflow to boost cooling and front-end grip. The bonnet and roof are made of carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) too.
That's a lot of carbonfibre... is it actually, you know, lighter?
Yes it is. Lexus claims that the Track Edition is 70-80kg lighter than the regular RC F.
Much of the focus has been on unsprung mass, so the brakes are upgraded to Brembo ceramic discs, nestled inside those 19-inch forged alloy BBS wheels. It's telling that those rims are modelled on the wheels of the RC F GT3 race car...
Light weight is the sole contributor to extra performance on this car: it's powered by the stock, naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8. No complaints from us - this engine is a revvy, aural delight. It's been upgraded in every RC F and power specs now stand at:
- Maximum power 451bhp
- Peak torque 384lb ft @ 4800rpm
Extra grunt comes from a revised intaking routing and the second intake opens at 2800rpm (down from 3600rpm), giving the engine deeper lungs lower down the rev range, according to its maker.
No prices have been announced yet, but the new RC F and Track Edition will go on sale in March 2019, just in time for the new 19-reg number plate. Full specs and details will be announced nearer the launch date.
An updated 2019 Lexus RC F too
It's not just the brawny Track Edition that's being shown at Detroit. The regular RC F is being refreshed for 2019, too - and it's the blue car in the photos here.
This is a modest model year update, but Lexus claims there are aero tweaks, a useful diet programme, retuned suspension and styling modifications to keep this car relevant in the face of ever-evolving German coupes.
We're grateful for the enduring appeal of the Lexus's naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 - one of the last unblown lumps you can buy today. The additional power and torque should make for a seriously rapid performance, and 0-62mph takes just 4.5 seconds.
Spot the 2019 Lexus RC F by those new 'stacked' LED headlamps, integrated day-running lamps (DRLs) and a redrawn spindle grille. At the rear, the taillamp design is revised and the rear bumper has been reprofiled.
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