• The Lexus RC F Track Edition Lives Up To Its Name

The RC F Track Edition goes on a diet in the name of track performance

The updated Lexus RC F has arrived at the 2019 North America International Auto Show, but as intriguing as it looked, it’s likely going to be overshadowed by its evil alter-ego, the much more sinister — and more limited — RC F Track Edition. Lexus’ new track superstar is what its name says it is. It’s lighter than the new RC F, has more power than its predecessor, and is dripping in enough aero aids to make it a tempting proposition for all the track car enthusiasts out there. The Lexus RC F Track Edition arrive later this year. Pricing details will be announced then.

The Lexus RC F Track Edition Lives Up To Its Name
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The Lexus RC F Track Edition is a tempting apple, isn’t it? I haven’t said that about a Lexus model since the LFA, and the RC F Track Edition could be had for probably around one-sixth the price of the famous Lexus supercar. That’s an enticing proposition, especially if you’re looking for a track-friendly sports car that isn’t going to burn holes in your pockets.

The prospect of reasonable pricing aside, the RC F Track Edition has a lot of other things going for it. It’s carrying the same engine as its standard counterpart — a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 that now puts out 472 horsepower — but the Track Edition separates itself from the conversation with loads of aerodynamic features that make it ideally tuned for track use.

Up front, the carbon fiber hood and the downforce-inducing front splitter are impossible to miss. The roof is also made from carbon fiber, too.

It’s the same story with the massive rear spoiler at the back that reduces drag around the car and also makes up to 58 pounds of downforce. That’s an arbitrary number for some, but for those who have spent time on a race track, that’s enough unsprung weight to improve the sports car’s handling, steering, and overall ride credentials.

The Lexus RC F Track Edition Lives Up To Its Name
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All told, the RC F Track Edition weighs 176 pounds less than the standard RC F.

The coupe is still relatively heavy at 3,782 pounds, though you can argue that weight savings on a car that weighs that much has a more profound effect on performance than a car that’s already light in the first place.

What’s important is that the RC F Track Edition abides by the age-old computation that all track cars need to abide by. Less weight + more downforce + lots of carbon fiber = full-fledged track car.

It’s not easy for a car to lose that much weight without any reason. Fortunately, Lexus is clear on the RC F Track Edition’s purpose, and, as well as replacing panels with carbon fiber versions of themselves, Toyota’s luxury unit also tinkered with a few more of the coupe’s mechanical bits. The toe control brackets and the supper suspension support brackets, for example, are now made from aluminum. Hollow half shafts were also installed at the back, replacing the solid shafts that come in the standard RC F. Up front, there’s a smaller air conditioning compressor and a pared down intake manifold. Lexus replaced all these pieces to help shave weight off of the RC F Track Edition, making it more potent, at least on a performance level, than the typical and decidedly less interesting RC F. The result is what you’d expect. The RC F Track Edition is a screamer on the track. We even caught a small snippet last week on what it sounds like in its element. Spoiler alert: that growl is ferocious.

The Lexus RC F Track Edition Lives Up To Its Name
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With how it’s packaged, questions on how the Lexus RC F Track Edition fares against the competition is intriguing to ask. Does it have the chops to go toe-to-toe with a performance coupe like the BMW M4 GTS? Bimmer took similar steps of cutting weight from its own track machine, and the result was a coupe that weighed less than 200 pounds compared to its own standard counterpart. It also featured a 3.0-liter, inline-six engine that produced a whopping 493 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, good enough to hit 60 mph from a standstill position in just 3.7 seconds.

We don’t know how fast the RC F Track Edition can go in that split, but Lexus did say that the standard RC F can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.96 seconds.

With a lighter load and all those aero bits throughout its body, it’s reasonable to imagine the RC F Track Edition hitting 60 mph in around the same time as the M4 GTS.

The Lexus RC F Track Edition Lives Up To Its Name
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For what it’s worth, we’d love to actually find out.

Further Reading

2020 Lexus RC Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Lexus RC.

2015 Lexus RC F Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2015 Lexus RC F

2019 Lexus RC F Sport Exterior Spyshots
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Lexus RC F Sport.

2020 Lexus RC F Track Edition Exterior Spyshots
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Lexus RC F GT.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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