Lexus RC-F (2014) first official picturesWed, 08 Jan 2014
By Ollie Kew
First Official Pictures
08 January 2014 20:00
Make no mistake, Lexus is making a statement with the RC-F. It’s the lairiest-looking production Lexus this side of the now-defunct LFA supercar, and packs an AMG-sized V8 punch to back up the visual aggression. Read on for the specs of what could be a two-door dark horse to worry BMW and smash the unloved Audi RS5.
Spec-wise, it’s only bare bones so far. Like the old IS-F saloon, the RC-F uses a 5.0-litre V8 that’s naturally aspirated, unlike BMW and Mercedes’ upcoming hot coupes, which are bowing to twin-turbo forced induction.
Power is up from the IS-F’s 417bhp to ‘well above 450bhp’, putting the RC-F ahead of the 425bhp BMW M4 coupe, and Audi’s 444bhp, non-turbo RS5. Its closest rival, the 457bhp 6.2-litre V8 in the nose of the Mercedes C63 AMG coupe, will die in 2014, ushering in a 4.0-litre, bi-turbo replacement. After the LFA’s screaming 4.8-litre V10, we know Lexus is a dab hand at getting the best from atmospheric engines. Bring in on!
No performance figures have yet been released, but it’s expected the rear-drive RC-F will reach 62mph around 4.5sec. The old IS-F had its top speed limited to 168mph – a cheeky 13mph faster than the limiters applied to its German rivals. Are you sweating yet, Herr Teutonic Engineer?
The muscular bodykit isn’t just about show, say Lexus’ engineers. The brand states every curve, hump and bulge adds ‘functional beauty’, and that ‘each component is carefully designed to contribute to performance’. So, like the McLaren P1 supercar, this is supposed to be an exercise in performance first, and beauty second. Tell us in the comments if you think Lexus has got the balance right or not. Those stacked exhausts, carried over from the IS-F, surely can’t be justified as anything more than a design flourish…
Atop the bootlid sits an active rear spoiler, which pops up at 50mph and drops down again at 25mph. Other standout ‘F’ cues include a huge sock-in-jocks bonnet bulge, wider tracks teamed with blistered arches, carbonfibre garnish, and 19in forged aluminium wheels available in a hand-polished finish.
There’s no manual gearbox here – only the BMW M4 offers that old-school delight in this class. The Lexus is expected to offer an eight-speed automatic – the company says it’s fitted shift paddles to the ‘optimum location’ of the sports steering wheel. Pretty difficult to mess that task up.
Inside, the stunning front bucket seats are supposedly inspired by ‘athletic sportswear’. You also get an LFA-style adaptive dashboard featuring a central rev/speedometer dial, which changes colour and readout depending on which of the four driving modes is selected. RC-Fs also wear polished pedal jewellery, featuring Lexus motif-shaped rubber slits for extra grip. Too flashy, or just the right amount of occasion? We can’t wait to hear your comments…
More information about the Lexus RC-F will be announced at the Detroit motor show on 14 February 2014. Expect to pay just south of £60,000 for one in the UK – and attract a lot of glances as you rumble past.
By Ollie Kew