Sport S+ mode. It could just change your life. Or certainly take it up an octane or two. Because, wow, does it get the blood pumping in the new for 2021 Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Edition! Decked out in carbon fiber, the Fuji is a sports coupe designed to satisfy your need for an adrenaline rush, without any pretenses otherwise.
Named after the “Temple of Speed” racetrack in the Mount Fuji foothills, only 60 models will be built. While the name and inspiration is new, Car and Driver points out the Fuji Speedway Edition gets its roots from the upgraded RC F Track Edition in 2020.
The RC F’s overall, sleek design is attention-grabbing to start with. The Fuji edition takes things to a whole new level with its GT3 racing-inspired looks. A rear wing with “F” spec badging is perfectly proportioned and it really gives the profile a sleek look. Look closer and you’ll see the other big story: that rear wing is made of carbon fiber. So, too, is the hood, roof, front spoiler, rear diffuser, and rocker-panel splitters.
As for wheels, it rides on 19-inch ultra-lightweight BBS forged alloys and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. You can’t miss the red Brembo brake calipers on both the front and rear. Up front the black grille is flanked by optional Premium Triple Beam LED headlights (Bi-LEDS are standard). In the rear, you get LED tail lights and a unique titanium exhaust along with the carbon fiber rear diffuser. I love the look of the entire tail end.
The rear-wheel drive 2021 RC F is the most powerful-V8-powered Lexus to date. The Fuji shares its 5.0-Liter naturally aspirated V8 engine with the base RC F. It delivers 472-horses and 395 pound-feet of torque. I didn’t test Launch Mode, but I did get a taste of its powerful acceleration on the highway using Sport S+ mode with the 8-speed automatic transmission’s paddle shifters. The Fuji ups performance with its carbon fiber aerodynamics and weight reduction. The Fuji Speedway Edition weighs 3,781 pounds, less than the RC F’s 3,902 pounds. Lexus reduced weight by using Brembo Carbon Ceramic brakes, titanium exhaust and the aerodynamic carbon fiber pieces mentioned earlier. Lexus cites a Fuji 0 to 60 time of 3.96 seconds. The standard RC F achieves it in 4.2 seconds. Top track speed is 168 mph.
The RC F Fuji’s red hot interior more than lives up to the exterior’s promises. You open the door to Red Circuit Alcantara-trimmed F Spec sport power front seats with silver accents and F Spec logos on the headrests. The driver’s seat is 10-way power adjustable and feels terrific with bolstering that holds you perfectly in place.
You’ll find red carbon fiber trim on the door armrests and above the glove box. Soft touch materials abound, and are mixed with silver accents on the door panels where you also find black Mark Levinson speakers. An F-Spec leather-trimmed steering wheel greets you from the driver’s seat. Above it you’ll see the digital-analog instrument cluster. The digital display gives you various driver info and a G force meter.
The overall design and layout is user-friendly and hallmark Lexus. The center console is home to a leather-wrapped gear shift knob, drive mode selector and launch control button. You’ll get two cupholders up front. The console also houses the Lexus Remote Touch Interface that controls the infotainment system.
It’s considered a four passenger coupe, but space in the rear seats could be a challenge. There’s not a lot of head or leg-room for taller people. The back seat is also missing a drop down console of any kind. Trunk space is what you expect for a coupe. You’ll get 10.1 cubic-feet of space back there.
Standard features include dual zone climate, aluminum pedals, and illuminated door handles.
My test model is equipped with the optional Navigation system with a 10.3-inch multimedia display and 17-speaker Mark Levinson sounds system, along with Lexus Dynamic Voice Command, which is one of the best voice recognition systems I’ve come across. The multimedia screen delivers Lexus quality resolution and graphics. But I felt like it was set back a bit too far in the dash for my gaze. A backup camera monitor comes with dynamic gridlines. Connectivity includes non-wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with Bluetooth.
Ride and Drive
Handling is fantastic, especially in Sport S + mode, and I’m talking about a curvy road here, not the track. It delivers a really engaging and fun ride. The RC F is equipped with F-Adaptive variable suspension and double-wishbone front suspension. It’s also a coupe that doubles as a daily driver and gets you quite comfortably around the city in Normal mode. It’s not the quietest ride Lexus offers in terms of road noise, but then again this is a track-ready sports car, not a Lexus luxury sedan “cruiser.”
Other options on this model aside from the Navigation package include the aforementioned Premium Triple Beam Headlights, Intuitive Parking Assist, a carpet trunk mat and wheel locks. An all weather package includes windshield wiper de-icer.
The Fuji edition comes with Lexus Safety System+ with pre-collision and pedestrian detection and high-speed dynamic radar cruise control, along with intelligent high beam headlamps and lane departure alert with steering assist. It’s missing blind spot alert which is newly standard on the RC F model, but not the Fuji.
What You’ll Pay
Lexus thinks a lot of the Fuji, pricing it to start at $97,100, well above the RC F’s $66,000 starting price. A pretty penny to be sure, but not really unexpected given its exclusivity and all the Fuji’s performance upgrades over the RC F that include all the carbon fiber exterior pieces and the Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes. But that price will keep it out of reach for some, plus competition at the $100,000 mark is fierce.
The limited-edition Fuji’s looks, power and performance will appeal to the RC F enthusiast who can open their wallet to the tune of three figures.
- What I Liked Most: Performance, Looks, Carbon Fiber, Red Circuit Seats.
- What I would change: Add Standard Blind Spot Monitoring on the Fuji Edition.
- Fuel Economy: 16 city/24 highway/19 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 4,860 miles.
- Weight: 3,781 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Inflator Kit.
- Length-Width-Height: 185.4” long/80.7” wide /54.7” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.4 gallons with filler on driver’s side.
- Towing Capacity: N/A
- Official Color: Sonic Chrome.
- 2021 Lexus RC F Fuji in a few words: The Fuji backs up its tracked-inspired carbon fiber looks with performance but with a hefty price tag.
- Warranty: 4-year, 50,000 mile basic new vehicle warranty; 5-year, 70,000 mile powertrain.
- Final Assembly Location: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
- Manufacturer's website: Lexus