Here's a low-down on the new Lexus models which are turning heads at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (more commonly referred to as the Detroit Motor Show).
1. 2020 Lexus RC F
After revealing the facelifted RC at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, Lexus has now unveiled a refreshed version of the range-topping RC F at the 2019 Detroit Motor Show. Being an upgraded version, most prominent cosmetic changes include redesigned LED lights. The headlamps now incorporate the DRLs which gives the unit a cleaner look while the taillamps are now wider, giving the performance coupe a meaner look. The designers have also modified the large spindle grille by adding a lower lip to it, which stretches across the entire width.
In terms of mechanical specs, not much has changed as the underpinnings remain unchanged. However, the 5.0-litre V8 motor has received a tuning upgrade so that it now produces marginally more power and torque. The power output is now rated at 466bhp (up by 5bhp) and the torque figure is pegged at 535Nm. While the power is sent to the rear wheels via the same eight-speed automatic transmission, engineers have revised the final drive ratio for improved response. Further, Lexus has now given the RC F an Electronic Launch Control feature as standard, which propels the car from 0-100km/h in about 4.2 seconds. Lexus has also partnered with Michelin to give the updated RC F bespoke Pilot Sport 4S tyres to reduce understeer and increase lateral grip. A redesigned intake manifold and downsized AC compressor have also resulted in weight reduction, although Lexus won't put a finger on an exact figure.
2. 2020 Lexus RC F 'Track Edition'
Making its debut alongside the 2020 RC F is an all-new, track-focused version of the performance coupe called the RC F Track Edition. As understood by the name, the Track Edition takes care of the standard car's key foible - the weight, which according to experts, has always been its Achilles' heel. Lexus claims that they have been able to shed around 80kg from the car's 2018 iteration. However, despite the diet, it still weighs more than a comparable BMW M4 CS. But Lexus engineers say that the car will still perform like a true track-worthy star. Due to the weight loss, the RC F Track Edition is capable of hitting the 100km/h mark in 4.0 seconds.
While the power and torque figures remain the same as the 2020 RC F, the main focus lies of the Track Edition lies on the multiple body panels like the roof and hood which have undergone a carbon-fibre treatment. On the inside, the back row of seats has been replaced by a carbon-fibre partition. On the outside, most noticeable changes come in the form of lightweight 19-inch BBS forged-alloy wheels painted black, which house Brembo carbon ceramic brakes. At the rear of the car, a fixed carbon fibre rear wing replaces the active spoiler offered on the standard RC F. The extensive use of carbon fibre, as per Lexus, has reduced the weight of the Track Edition by around 25kg when compared to the 2020 RC F coupe.
Both the 2020 Lexus RC F and the RC F Track Edition will go into production in the second quarter of 2019.
3. Lexus LC Convertible Concept
Amid rumours of Lexus working on a convertible version of the LC Grand Tourer, the Japanese manufacturer finally broke the seal on the matter by presenting a Concept version of the LC Convertible at the 2019 Detroit Motor Show. While Lexus says it is too early for them to make a call on the car's production version, the concept still points in all the right directions about the brand's future design philosophy.
Ignoring the chopped-off roof, the concept bears an identical silhouette to the existing coupe. While the car bears an elegant look, its short overhangs, 22-inch wheels and wide stance are all indicators of the car's performance pedigree. According to Lexus designers, we won't be able to see the car with the roof up since there is no roof to be deployed at the moment. Just the cut lines in the back let us know where the roof will be housed when folded, and we are expecting it to be a soft top. On the inside, the concept features a mix of white leather seats and a black dashboard.
Even the powertrain details have not been revealed yet, which still begs the question of whether Lexus will give it the existing 5.0-litre V8 or a hybrid 3.5-litre V6. But, before this conundrum, we are yet to hear if and when Lexus will put this into production.