On looks alone the new RC F should give BMW’s M4 a run for its money, otherwise it seems decidedly dated when we look at its oily bits.
In contrast with BMW’s super-efficient 425bhp turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder, Lexus has fitted a 5.0-litre V8 engine with a power output ‘well above’ 450bhp. There’s no word yet on the new engine’s peak torque, but it’s unlikely to trouble the 550Nm available in the M4. Its predecessor, the Lexus IS F, wielded 505Nm from its 5.0-litre V8.
Likewise efficiency. While the IS F was one of the most frugal in its peer group (compared with Audi’s RS 4 and BMW’s M3) it still gulped fuel at the rate of 24 miles per gallon – BMW’s latest wunderkind can achieve a parsimonious 34 mpg by comparison.
Yet despite its powerplant we’re still excited to see a new ‘F’ model join the IS/RC range.
Its styling has been optimised for stability at high speeds, and included wider wheels and tyres, an active rear wing, air scoops, cooling ducts and lashings of carbon fibre. Each element delivers what Lexus calls “functional beauty”, which to translate means form follows function.
“Unique air outlets in the bonnet and rear section of the front wings contribute to optimum engine cooling and handling stability,” said RC F Chief Engineer, Yukihiko Yaguchi. “They create a powerful look that immediately conveys the expectation of a dynamic driving experience.”
The RC F features design cues taken from two of Lexus past high-performers; firstly that of its predecessor with its flared arches, stacked trapezoidal quad-outlet exhausts and a bonnet set higher than on the standard car. The second is that of the LFA supercar, which inspires an active rear wing that automatically deploys at 50mph and retracts back down when speed falls below 25mph.
There will be three variations of alloy wheel available, all based on a 10-spoke 19-inch size, but with differences according to grade, including a set hand-polished by craftsmen.
Inside you’ll find the same driver-centric cockpit as the regular RC, with unique features including the seats, steering wheel, trim detailing, pedals and additional instruments.
The RC F will be unveiled during next week’s Detroit motor show when we’ll have further information to share.