Lexus’ BMW M4 fighter is getting ready for another round in the battlefield

The updated Lexus RC F was recently caught testing at the Nurburgring with the bottom half of its body wrapped in camouflage. The upper half was displayed for all of us to see, but Lexus still did a pretty good job to mask the changes it made to the performance sedan. We do get a good look at some of the changes, but for the most part, the updated RC F is hiding some of the good stuff away from us. That’s not going to stop us from putting our detective hats on, though, because this is one car that we’ve been waiting a long time to see.

Exterior

2019 Lexus RC F Sport Exterior Spyshots
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The bottom half of the high-performance two-door is covered in the swirly bits, but the front section reveals a few minor tweaks, including less provocative LED running lights

The RC F is an important model for Lexus, and judging by the changes that come with this latest episode, it appears that the Japanese automaker is doing it due diligence in keeping it up-to-date. The bottom half of the high-performance two-door is covered in the swirly bits, but the front section reveals a few minor tweaks, including less provocative LED running lights that got rid of the boomerang look in favor of a far simpler straight line. The rest of the front remains largely the same, though. The massive spindle grille is still a big presence. It’s the same story with the just-as-large corner air intakes. The shape of the headlights doesn’t appear to change, too.

The side profile fits the minor upgrades pattern. About the only things we can notice are the side sills, which appear to be less aggressive than they were in the previous version. Even the rear section looks to be largely the same, though it is easy to notice that the integrated trunk spoiler looks bigger now, too. Look closer and you might also notice a revised design on the rear bumper that includes what appears to be a different diffuser and barely-there air outlets. We should learn more about the updated RC F’s design as soon as Lexus decides its time to shed all of its camo. For now, though, the changes appear to be minimal at best.

Interior

2015 Lexus RC F High Resolution Interior
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It should still feature the same clean look as the interior of the current model, though, perhaps some upgrades are needed in some areas

We don’t get to see the interior of the RC F, but like the exterior, don’t expect wholesale changes to come out of the updated model. It should still feature the same clean look as the interior of the current model, though, perhaps some upgrades are needed in some areas. One of the most common complaints about the RC F’s interior is that it doesn’t look as luxurious as the cabins of some of its rivals, namely the BMW M4 and the Mercedes-AMG C 63.

Don’t get me wrong. The interior still exudes a snug feel that’s accentuated by the same kind of techno-modern styling that the Japanese automaker is famous for. The sports seats should still be natural fits in the cabin. The high center console should also still be there. Maybe the optional touchpad remains, too. I’m a fan of that equipment becoming a standard feature on the new model.

The only issue with the RC F’s interior is that if you don’t go crazy with the options and add-ons, you’re going to be left with a cabin that looks mundane when you compare it to its German rivals. There are plastic elements in there that definitely don’t belong in the coupe. Even some of the buttons, knobs, and switches are redundant to the point that they don’t really serve much purpose other than take up space.

A cleaner and more luxurious cabin should be one of the most important updates on the new RC F. It remains to be seen if we’re getting it, but cross your fingers that Lexus knows where room for improvement is needed the most.

Drivetrain

2019 Lexus RC F Sport Exterior Spyshots
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We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but we’d be surprised if Lexus keeps the RC F’s 5.0-liter V-8 engine and does nothing in the way of giving it increased power figures

We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but we’d be surprised if Lexus keeps the RC F’s 5.0-liter V-8 engine and does nothing in the way of giving it increased power figures. The current RC model produces 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque, figures that would be fine if its rivals hadn’t made improvements on their own. Sure, the new Mercedes-AMG C 63 AMG still packs 469 horsepower in base form and 503 horsepower in S form, but at least there’s variety there where there isn’t from Lexus. For its part, the new BMW M4 is in the same boat as the RC F in that it’s still in the testing and development phase, but early reports hint that it could around 500 horsepower, as well. The base versions may still rival the RC F in power figures, but there’s no alternative when it comes to the Lexus. Maybe it’s time that Lexus does something about it.

On that note, it would be a huge win for the RC F to get an uptick in power, even if it’s marginal at best. The LC 500, for example, uses the same V-8 engine that’s been tweaked to produce 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. It’s not much, but it’s a start. There are even rumors that a new version of the LC F will arrive with a new 4.0-liter bi-turbo V-8 unit with as much as 600 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. I’m not saying that Lexus should take that engine and use it on the RC F, but at this point, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t.

If that 600-horsepower V-8 ends up on the performance coupe, it could blow away the BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C 63, leaving it behind to stare at its new rear bumper.

Prices

Pricing for the current Lexus RC F starts at $65,650. The total could go up depending on the options and add-ons you choose. As far as the updated version goes, we can at least expect it to get a hike in price, possibly in the neighborhood of $66,000 to $67,000 as an entry price.

Competition

BMW M4

2018 BMW M4 High Resolution Exterior
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The new BMW M3 is called internally as the G80, and while it’s still covered largely in camouflage, we know that it’s already close to being unveiled. Exterior and interior changes are expected, especially when it comes to improvements made to its aerodynamics. But the big news about the updated M3 is its new powertrain package, one that’s made up of a standard M-tuned twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six that is also used on the BMW M4. Power is pegged to reach 465 horsepower and 450 pound-feet for the lower-tier versions of the performance sedan while the range-topping unit should get as much as 500 horsepower on tap. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but the current M3 starts at $66,500.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M4.

Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe

2019 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Mercedes-AMG just unveiled the C 63, and the sedan is bringing with it a fresh round of aesthetic updates, getting the model in line with AMG’s new styling and performance cues. In fact, there are enough aero upgrades in the performance Merc that will make you wonder if it’s a new model entirely. It is in some ways, especially when you look at what the German automaker is offering in terms of power. The standard AMG C 63 gets a handcrafted AMG-tuned 4.0-liter V-8 that’s stuffed with two turbochargers to help produce 469 horsepower. The same engine is also found on the upper tier “S” variant, though power has been tweaked to about 502 horsepower. Pricing for the Mercedes-AMG C 63 starts at $67,500.

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe.

Conclusion

2019 Lexus RC F Sport Exterior Spyshots
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The upcoming Lexus RC F is arguably one of the most anticipated models to come out of Lexus in recent years. As the model that’s tasked to compete against the German titans, there’s a lot of pressure on the RC F to deliver. Past versions have done that, but as improvements come from all sides of this segment, it’s incumbent upon Lexus to make sure that its updated performance model can not only keep up with its rivals, but literally compete against them. Only time will tell if this ends up happening, but the early returns on the updated RC F are very promising.

  • Leave it
    • * Still lacks interior luxury
    • * Faces strong competition
    • * Needs something BIG to really set itself apart

References

2015 Lexus RC F High Resolution Exterior
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Read all about the 2015-2018 Lexus RC F in our full review

2015-2018 Lexus RC

2015 - 2016 Lexus RC Exterior
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Read up on the standard 2015-2018 Lexus RC

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Read more Lexus news.

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