The New Lexus RC-F coupé will make its exciting UK debut at the latest Goodwood Festival of Speed, and will be available towards the end of the year.
This new model – which was shown at the Detroit motor show back in January – it will rival the new BMW M4 when it goes on sale. It will be powered by a new V8 engine producing 450bhp and has technology derived from the Lexus LFA supercar.
This latest 5.0-litre V8 is “central to the RC-F's driver appeal”, said the car’s chief engineer, Yukihiko Yaguchi. At 450bhp it out-powers the 425bhp of BMW’s new twin-turbo straight six engine, and Lexus said it is the most powerful road-worthy V8 it has ever built. It also outputs more than 384lb ft of torque.
“In our analysis the naturally aspirated V8 delivered the best high-performance machine,” said Mr Yaguchi. “We didn’t consider any other power unit. We wanted an engine that could be smooth in normal use, but deliver large power on track. We looked at hybrid technology, and one day it may be suitable, but at the moment it cannot operate at these levels in consistent track use.”
Lexus says the RC-F will include a Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD), which can offer three different selectable driving modes named Slalom, Standard and Track.
Although the Lexus LFA ended its production run in 2012, Mr Yaguchi explained 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 brand new RC coupé, which uses the standard car’s platform but has several bespoke modifications, including the suspension, powertrain, chassis strengthening and exterior and interior styling.
“The LFA remains at the top of the F models, and it influences how we approach a project,” explained Mr Yaguchi. “We try to follow its direction as much as possible, so for instance the airflow is inspired by it, especially for cooling, we have an active rear wing that deploys above 50mph, the sound of the engine is tuned to emulate the LFA sound and the optional carbon fibre bonnet and roof are made by the same company who made the carbon fibre for the Lexus LFA.”
The exhilarating exterior styling is said 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.
The standard RC coupé was on show 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.
Meanwhile, the Lexus LFA will take part in the supercar runs up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which begins with the Moving Motor Show on 26 June.