DETROIT – Lexus unveils its much-teased ’15 RC F sports coupe here at the 2014 North American International Auto Show.
The RC F appears to be theluxury brand’s answer to German competition, namely ’s upcoming 431-hp M4. The performance variant of the ’15 RC coupe is expected to generate more than 450 hp from its V-8 engine.
“I’ve built RC F to be enjoyed by all enthusiasts – no matter their level of expertise,” Yukihiko Yaguchi, the car’s chief engineer, says in a statement.
The V-8 engine is a 5.0L 32-valve unit, making it Lexus’ most powerful V-8 yet and capable of achieving 383 lb.-ft. (519 Nm) of torque. The M4 uses a 3.0L twin-turbo I-6, which peaks at 406 lb.-ft. (550 Nm).
Electric cam phasing reportedly allows the RC F’s V-8 to operate in both Atkinson-cycle and Otto-cycle modes, increasing fuel economy during cruising.
The V-8 is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission that Lexus says improves linear throttle response and helps the driver control torque as it is applied.
Lexus introduces a torque-vectoring differential on the RC F, with three operating modes. Standard and slalom modes emphasize stability and nimble steering, respectively, while track mode keeps the RC F on its intended cornering line during acceleration.
Body adhesives, laser-screw welding, laser brazing and multispot welding in the manufacturing process boost body rigidity.
The RC F has coil-spring independent suspensions in the front and rear, as well as monotube gas-filled shock absorbers and ball-jointed stabilizer bars.
The car wears perhaps the most aggressive version yet of the brand’ signature spindle grille, with the grille occupying the real estate from the car’s lower lip to its hood line.
The hood vent and active rear spoiler on the RC F are inspired by Lexus’ LFA supercar and improve aerodynamics. The spoiler gives downforce above 50 mph (80 km/h).
A clearcoated carbon-fiber roof and carbon-fiber spoiler are available in an option package.
Also inspired by the LFA is the RC F’s gauge cluster, which has a large center tachometer, G-force meter and differential torque vectoring monitor, among other indicators.
With spirited driving in mind, Lexus interior designers give the RC F an elliptical cross-section thick-grip steering wheel and high-back seats. The seats are constructed with an integrated foaming technique, which Lexus claims keeps seat trim taut and gives good support to the driver.
In pictures released ahead of the car’s debut here, a unique stitching pattern can be seen on ivory leather seat cushions.
Lexus has not discussed pricing for the RC F, due on sale this fall in the U.S., but reports suggest a starting price near $100,000.
TheM4 is expected to begin around $60,000 when it goes on sale in the U.S. this year.