The Lexus RC F just got a nice face-lift for the 2020 model year, and it’s actually quite a bit more than just a revised look. Lexus managed to squeeze a little more power and torque out of the car’s naturally aspirated V8, launch control is now standard and it’s lost some weight, which all adds up to a pretty nice update.
But the most significant change for this sporty luxury coupe is the addition of the Lexus RC F Track Edition. The Track Edition adds a bunch of carbon fiber, which improves both the look and the lightness — along with a fixed carbon fiber rear wing, which provides a lot more downforce than the active spoiler on the regular RC F. There’s also carbon ceramic Brembo brake rotors, a titanium exhaust, BBS wheels and a few other perks here and there without any engine upgrades.
The new Lexus RC F Track Edition will undoubtedly be a blast to thrash around a track, and its crazy aesthetic certainly makes it stand out, but who is going to buy this thing? What I’m concerned about is the price. Pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet for the updated 2020 RC F, but the 2019 model has a starting MSRP of $64,750 — and the RC F 10th Anniversary Special Edition starts all the way up at $80,810. I think the regular RC F will have a pretty similar price tag as the 2019 car, but how much is the Track Edition going to cost? Will this be an $80,000 car?
If so, what exactly is the RC F Track Edition competing with? Among the Japanese luxury brands, Acura doesn’t make anything like this — and the closest Infiniti gets is the Q60 Red Sport 400, which is a car I didn’t know existed until I checked Infiniti’s website to see what the hottest Q60 you can get is. That’s a pretty cool luxury coupe, but its performance falls short of the Lexus on paper, and it only costs $54,900. Not exactly a direct competitor.
As for the German competition, there’s the Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG E 53 coupe. Those are all luxury coupes that are in the same neighborhood as this Lexus performance-wise and the starting price for all of them are in the low-mid $70k range.
Or maybe the RC F Track Edition is competing with the track-ready American coupes like the Chevrolet Camaro 1LE models and the Ford Shelby Mustangs. Being more crude muscle cars, those can make more power (a lot more in the case of the ZL1 1LE) for quite a bit less money.
It might be competing with all of the above, but here’s the problem: I don’t think anyone is cross-shopping a Shelby GT350R or an RS5 with a Lexus. People who want a sophisticated, high-performance German coupe are going to go with just that, and probably not consider a Lexus. The same is true about drivers with a budget and an appetite for a high-powered American muscle car that can actually behave itself on the track. This is especially true considering the RC F Track Edition will likely be more expensive than all of these competitors.
Again, there’s no doubt in my mind that the 2020 Lexus RC F Track Edition will be a tremendous track toy, but I just can’t help but wonder who it’s for. The standard RC F serves as a more budget-friendly alternative to similar German cars, but I have a feeling the Track Edition will be priced out of reach of anyone who would be interested in it.