Lexus Philippines recently presented the updated version of its RC F coupe. Marketed as a 2020 model, the model receives a myriad of changes “designed to boost its performance and freshen its overall look.”
Lexus brand VP Carlo Ablaza said in an exclusive interview with Wheels.ph that the car “targets customers who are into sportscar driving, are car enthusiasts, or are sportscar owners who would like a big, normally aspirated V8 performance coupe from Lexus.”
The nameplate first appeared at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, with the compact executive two-door coupe’s initials standing for “Radical Coupe.” In a speech at the preview event held at the Lexus Manila, Inc. (LMI) showroom in Bonifacio Global City, LMI president Raymond Rodriguez said that the new RC F debuted at the 2019 Detroit Motor Show just last January, and its recast appearance “expands its potential to provide that signature Lexus ‘F’ experience.
“Our F Philosophy was born from a pure passion for driving. As you may know, F takes its name from Fuji Speedway— the birthplace and home test track of the Lexus F high- performance division located near the base of Mt. Fuji.”
Lexus Philippines revealed in a release that “one of the first targets for the engineers was reducing weight without compromising the coupe’s sense of refinement and solidity.”
To this end, the RC F now boasts hollow half shafts at the rear, while up front “a pared-down intake manifold and a smaller air-conditioning compressor remove weight from the front of the car. Changing to aluminum for the toe control brackets and upper suspension support brackets also reduces weight while maintaining stiffness.” After all’s said and done, the RC F is 55 pounds lighter than its older version.
Powering the mew RC F is the familiar 5.0-liter V8 which it shares with its bigger, more expensive sibling in the LC 500. “It’s our tried and tested engine which Lexus is noted for,” remarked Ablaza.
The V8 musters 471hp and 530Nm of torque, figures that Lexus says are due to a revised intake routing and lower rpm trigger point for the secondary intake opening. Mated to a familiar eight-speed automatic transmission, Lexus says the new RC F gets better off-the-line response due to a higher final drive ratio. Electronic launch control is also thrown in as standard for maximum acceleration. Of course, use only when safe to do so.
The vehicle is also given new shoes – specifically Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires designed particularly for the RC F. These tires bear a “unique profile shape, tread pattern, and rubber compound” leading to reduced understeer, improved overall lateral grip, and increased durability.
Ablaza added that the new RC F features revised front and rear bumpers: “The front has larger intakes to feed more air into the transmission. The oil cooler is different, and the car has new brake ducting.” Stacked LED lights and daytime running lights are integrated within the headlamp array. “There are also new rear taillights with a slight teardrop design on the side to accentuate the car’s hips for a wider look,” said the executive.
As for the even lighter RC F Track Edition, which boasts carbon-ceramic brakes, a carbon, fiber hood, and a rear wing, among other accoutrements, Ablaza maintained, “There are no plans yet; we’re gauging customer interest. If there is, we can study the possibility of bringing it in.”
The RC F is priced at P5.928 million and is available in six colors: Radiant Red Contrast Layering, Heat Blue Contrast Layering, White Nova Glass Flake, Sonic Titanium, Graphite Black Glass Flake, and (new to the RC F) Naples Yellow Contrast Layering. On the inside, the RC F comes in three semi-aniline leather colors: Flare Red, white, and black.