2023 Lexus RCF The upcoming Lexus sports coupe aims for better performance for both road and track versions and could take cues from the GR GT3 concept, according to TRD president David Wilson.
Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson said that the next-generation Lexus sports coupe would be developed with GT3 racing in mind from the start.
The current Lexus RC F GT3 race car was created as an “afterthought”, hampering its ability on the track. Wilson hinted that the car will be heavily influenced by the Toyota GR GT3 concept shown earlier this year.
While the Lexus RC—first introduced in 2014—is a sharp-looking car, the coupe has always been a little on the pig side. That extra weight not only affects the road car’s performance, it also hinders the efforts of a sports car in the GT3 class.
At last week’s Daytona 500, Car and Driver spoke with Toyota Racing Development president David Wilson and learned that we may not have to wait any longer for a more dynamic next-generation Lexus coupe built with a racing focus in mind.
2023 Lexus RCF Review
The current RC road car wasn’t developed with motorsports in mind—Wilson describes the current F GT3 RC race car as “an afterthought.” This has compromised its on-track performance.
The RC F is heavier than its competitor GT3 and has a larger front area, increasing drag and blocking top speeds in straight lines. “What we’ve all learned is that’s not how you bring a GT3 car to market,” explains Wilson.
“Before you put your first line down on paper, you decide you’re going to race that car and that shapes the design parameters, the performance parameters of that production car.”
Having learned that lesson, Wilson suggested that the next Lexus sport coupe be developed from scratch with motorsports in mind.
And while he stressed that no official announcement had been made, he hinted that the car would draw a lot from the Toyota GR GT3 concept spotted earlier this year at the Tokyo Auto Salon.
“It’s safe enough to connect the dots and suggest that it could be the precursor to the next global GT3 car for Lexus,” Wilson admits.
Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division claims to be running a prototype GR GT3 concept by the end of the year.
The prototype will be powered by an internal combustion engine, as demonstrated by the concept of side exhaust pipes behind the front wheels, and it is likely that the next-generation Lexus production car will have a hybrid powertrain.
We’ll probably get more clues about the shape the road and race car will take when the walking prototype hits the track, and luckily we won’t have to wait too long to see the final product, with Wilson saying the race car will arrive “hopefully in a few years.
2023 Lexus RCF Redesign
The aggressive styling of the 2023 Lexus RC F is a big sign that this V-8-powered coupe is something special. Although based on the tamer RC coupe (reviewed separately), the RC F offers 472 horsepower, adaptive suspension, Brembo six-piston brakes, and a limited-slip rear differential.
In other words, this is the ultimate RC. Even so, the RC F doesn’t quite compare to rivals like the Audi RS5 or BMW M4 in terms of performance and handling.
Lexus instead opted for a lighter ride than the two-door alternative, so it might be a plus for people who intend to drive it every day. Likewise, the front seats of the RC F are comfortable and supportive for the task and a number of driver assistants are standard.
Lexus has removed the mid-range Track model from the RC 2023 Lexus RC 350 F Sport coupe and left only the base model and the top-spec Fuji Speedway Edition, the latter of which uses all the high-performance gear of the discontinued Track model.
This year, only 50 Fuji Speedway Edition models will be produced, and all sport the Electric Surge blue exterior paint. Both the base and Fuji models sport newly designed 19-inch alloy wheels this year.
2023 Lexus RCF Interior
The RC F cabin is renowned for its luxurious comfort and elegant design. The front seats are a fun place to spend your trip, and the interior is home to chic style and premium materials.
Technically, this 2023 Lexus RC Coupe provides seating for four passengers, but the narrow rear seats are best used for cargo storage. At the back, the RC F trunk offers 10 cubic feet of space for your belongings.
That’s less space than you’ll get with rivals like the BMW M4 coupe (12 cubic feet) and the Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic (11 cubic feet).
Lexus has equipped the RC F with the technological features that modern buyers want. Base models are equipped with Scout GPS Link navigation and a 10-speaker audio system with SiriusXM satellite radio.
Bluetooth connectivity is standard, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both ready for hassle-free device integration.
All models come with Amazon Alexa compatibility as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot that lets you easily connect to the internet. The infotainment system comes standard with a 7.0-inch display; a larger 10.3-inch screen is available as an upgrade.
Integrated navigation and a Mark Levinson sound system are optional.
2023 Lexus RCF Engine
All Lexus RC F coupes are powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that produces 472 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels.
During our 2014 test, the RC F managed to go from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds.
In 2020, the RC F received a slight increase in power and a lighter weight, which allowed it to hit 60 in just 4.1 seconds this time; The Fuji Speedway Edition does it in 4 seconds flat.
Even with this slight upgrade, other options in this segment provide faster acceleration. For example, the manual-equipped M4 we tested got it from standstill to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.
The RC F comes standard with a driving mode setting that lets you customize the car’s performance. Its smooth handling makes it a comfortable choice for everyday riding.
2023 Lexus RC MPG
According to the EPA, the Lexus RC F achieves a mileage of 16/24 mpg city/highway. It’s less fuel-efficient on the road than rival coupes like the rear-drive BMW M4 (16/25 mpg).
In our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, the RC F managed to hit the EPA’s best estimate with a 26-mpg result. For more information on the RC F’s fuel economy, visit the EPA website.
2023 Lexus RCF Price
We think most buyers will be happy with the base model RC F, which is sold with an interesting range of standard equipment.
The RC F uses 19-inch forged aluminum wheels and is equipped with exterior features such as a spoiler, black grille with metallic accents, automatic LED headlights, LED brake lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and heated mirrors with integrated turn signals.
The list of standard interior features includes simulated leather seats, a manually-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering column, and auto-dimming mirrors.
All RC F models come with the Lexus Safety System+ driver-assist suite of technologies, and this includes perks such as forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control.
- RC F $66,945
- RC F Fuji Speedway Edition $102,170
2023 Lexus RCF Release Date
Pricing for the 2022 Lexus RC F range was not disclosed in the release but the company says that the updated model will arrive at dealerships this month.
But for the 2023 Lexus RCF, we hope to be present in the 2022 showroom for the 2023 model next year.