2020 Lexus RC F review: Power and presence, but still a step behind

    I really like the Infrared paint on this check automotive.
    Emme Hall/Roadshow
    The luxurious efficiency coupe section is dominated by heavy-hitters such because the Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63. But Lexus has been taking part in on this house, too. The sharp-looking RC F launched in 2015 — a coupe-bodied successor to the outrageous IS F that got here earlier than it — and it will get just a few significant updates for the 2020 mannequin 12 months that make it much more enticing than earlier than.

    LikeHot rattling this factor appears goodV8 engine brings a pleasant rumble to the cabin

    Don’t LikeEnform infotainment system wants a significant overhaulTransmission could possibly be snappier

    What’s newThere’s no denying the RC F is a good-looking automotive, particularly decked out within the Infrared colour of my tester. But for 2020, the massive coupe will get just a few small styling tweaks. The cool-looking stacked tailpipes are nonetheless right here, however they’re set off by new taillights and a redesigned bumper. Up entrance, you may discover bigger air intakes and restyled headlights. The large spindle grille is as outstanding right here because it’s ever been, although it is truly a bit smaller for 2020.The RC F will get just a few engineering tweaks, too, reducing 56 kilos from the coupe’s weight due to lighter parts within the manifold and air con system, in addition to a bumper help piece comprised of a mixture of carbon fiber and aluminum.

    And whaddaya know, the engine will get just a few tiny adjustments, as effectively. The 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 now produces 472 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 395 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm — features of 5 hp and 6 lb-ft. That’s not likely sufficient to maneuver the needle in any significant manner, however hey, extra energy is extra energy. Power will get right down to the rear wheels by way of an eight-speed computerized transmission. Fuel economic system is as dismal as ever, although, with the 2020 RC F incomes EPA rankings of 16 miles per gallon metropolis, 24 mpg freeway and 19 mpg mixed.The RC F will get extra linear throttle mapping for 2020, in addition to a shorter final-drive ratio of 3.13:1. Launch management can also be a part of the package deal now, and Lexus says it will assist propel the RC F to 60 mph in a pretty-darn-quick 4.2 seconds.

    On the roadAs I make my solution to my favourite twisty backroad, I swap the drive mode to Sport S to utilize its faster throttle response, however I maintain the torque-vectoring differential in its commonplace setting. The gearbox largely is aware of what it is doing, although generally I’ll get an early upshift or it will not downshift underneath braking. Thankfully, that is simply remedied by utilizing the paddler shifters, and I even get slightly throttle blip after I downshift — a good way to listen to that V8 roar contained in the cabin.

    Moving to the Sport S Plus setting offers me most powertrain response and heavier steering really feel. The TVD tech has Slalom and Track modes, the previous of which helps the RC F really feel a bit extra spry on these tight backroads. Don’t be fooled by the aforementioned weight reduction — the 2020 RC F nonetheless ideas the scales at 3,902 kilos. The onboard electronics do a pleasant job of constructing the coupe really feel a bit extra svelte, in the event you’ll pardon that use of an adjective as an adverb. In Slalom mode, the RC F rotates higher by way of turns, and I discover myself pushing it more durable as I careen by way of the corners.The RC F rides on a staggered set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, with 275/35-series entrance and 255/35-series rear rubber, wrapped round 19-inch wheels. These tires supply a number of grip, and Michelin labored with Lexus to particularly develop these tires for the RC F. It works, too — at no level does the rear finish wish to step out underneath onerous cornering, and I’ve obtained tons of grip always.The 5.0-liter V8 places out 472 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque.
    Emme Hall/Roadshow
    When it is time to simply commute, the Lexus fortunately settles down. Putting all of the settings again to Normal reveals a automotive that is nonetheless agency, however not uncomfortably so. Happily, the entrance seats supply loads of help for lengthy journeys, in addition to the correct amount of cushiness for my hindquarters.The commonplace adaptive cruise management works as marketed, however its operation is slightly wonky. I’ve to interact the system from a stalk on the decrease left aspect of the steering column, however the distance management is on the steering wheel itself. In truth, there are numerous format points with the inside, however I’ll get to that in a minute. The RC F’s different commonplace driver-assistance options embrace lane-departure warning and lane-keeping help, in addition to forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are each package-based choices.Troublesome techI can not speak concerning the RC F with out shaming the Lexus Enform infotainment system. It’s dangerous. Really dangerous. My tester has the non-obligatory 10.3-inch multimedia display, which is a pleasant improve over the usual 7-inch unit. Enform is managed by a touchpad that’s purported to be analogous to a smartphone, the place I can faucet, swipe and pinch-to-zoom to my coronary heart’s content material. In actuality, nonetheless, that is simply horrible to make use of. It’s extremely simple to swipe previous icons, even after adjusting the parameters of the touchpad. There are onerous buttons for the map, foremost menu and to step again one display, however every thing else should be chosen by the touchpad, which is infuriating to make use of whereas driving. Further, in an effort to entry apps like I Heart Radio, Yelp, Amazon Alexa and Waze, drivers will need to have the Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0 put in on their cellphone. You can get round this utilizing Apple CarPlay, however Android Auto is absent (despite the fact that you may get it on the non-F RC coupe). The cabin is comfortable, however the infotainment tech is infuriating.
    Emme Hall/Roadshow
    While the inside of the RC F is stuffed with soft-touch, high quality supplies, it suffers by way of format and consumer expertise. In addition to the aforementioned adaptive cruise management stalk/steering wheel snafu, a button on the right-hand aspect of the steering wheel controls a digital info pane on the left-hand aspect of the gauge cluster. The flip indicators and windshield wiper stalks each return to position mechanically and it is powerful to get only a few blinker clicks for, say, a lane change, or one wiper swipe to care for slightly rain mist. Oh, and why does a automotive so full of tech nonetheless have a foot pedal parking brake?I do not anticipate a sports activities coupe to have a lot in the best way of utility, however the Lexus falls quick right here by comparability. There is restricted in-cabin storage and the truck solely presents 10.1 cubic ft of house, which is smaller than what you get within the Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63. The rear seats do not fold down however there’s a pass-through to accommodate longer gadgets, for whenever you wish to take your rear-wheel-drive sports activities automotive snowboarding.How I’d spec itI love the best way this automotive appears, so my splendid RC F could be painted Infrared, which prices $595. I’d add the premium package deal ($5,350) which will get me heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and the rear seat pass-through. Finally, I’ll add the $1,250 torque-vectoring differential, bringing my good RC F as much as $73,120 out the door.Lexus additionally presents a $6,000 efficiency package deal which tacks on a bunch of carbon fiber elements, which I do not actually need. Embedded navigation prices $2,725, which I’ll additionally skip contemplating Apple CarPlay is free. If you actually wish to go massive, there’s additionally the $97,825 RC F Track Edition, however that is a complete completely different animal.The RC F is a enjoyable automotive, however it simply cannot sustain with the competitors.
    Emme Hall/Roadshow
    Good appears aren’t enoughAt $65,925 to start out, together with vacation spot, the RC F is cheaper than its key rivals, however not by a lot. The Audi RS5 is available in at $75,195, the BMW M4 begins at $70,145 and the Mercedes-AMG C63 prices $70,895, all together with their respective vacation spot fees. For just a few thousand bucks extra you get nicer interiors, extra keen powertrains and significantly better cabin tech.The 2020 Lexus RC F is a nice alternative for many who favor daily-driving consolation over full-blast, knock-your-socks-off shenanigans. But with fierce rivals that achieve this many issues higher, it nonetheless winds up being a back-of-the-pack decide on this thrilling section, even when it does flip heads.

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