The Lexus RC-F coupé has been unveiled ahead of the Detroit motor show and will rival the new BMW M4 when it goes on sale, powered by a V8 engine producing “in excess of 450bhp” and incorporating technology derived from the Lexus LFA supercar.
The new 5.0-litre V8 is central to the RC-F's driver appeal, according to the car’s chief engineer, Yukihiko Yaguchi. At 450bhp it out-punches the 425bhp of BMW’s new twin-turbo straight six, and Lexus says it is the most powerful road-going V8 it has ever built. However, other critical figures, such as its torque output and economy, have not been released.
Although the Lexus LFA ended its production run in 2012, Yaguchi outlined how it still influences all engineers working on Lexus’s F-branded cars, and how lessons learned in its development had been incorporated in to the new RC coupé, which uses the standard car’s platform but which has several bespoke modifications, including the suspension, powertrain, chassis strengthening and exterior and interior styling.
The dramatic exterior styling is said by Lexus to boost performance and demonstrate the car’s capabilities. The bonnet is set higher on the RC-F than the standard car, while the wheel arches are flared in order to house the standard 10-spoke, 19-inch wheels. The front bumper and wings carry air ducts to boost cooling, while aerodynamic fins are designed to aid stability. Stacked, trapezoidal quad exhausts also add to the rear-end drama.
Inside, the instrument panel is dominated by a central dial that shows different displays according to which of four driving modes are selected. Although Lexus has not revealed the driving mode types, Yaguchi confirmed a bespoke track option was available. Leather sports seats are standard, as is a new steering wheel design to Lexus, with elliptical cross-section and thick grip, and shift paddles.
The standard RC coupé was shown at the Tokyo motor show last year in two forms, with the RC300h hybrid, which mates an electric motor with a 2.5-litre engine, taking centre stage. The RC350, powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine, was also shown.