Lexus just completed its press conference at the Detroit motor show where it yanked the covers off the new RC coupe and its high-performance sibling, the RC F that will compete with the BMW M4 Coupe and Audi RS5, and in the near future, the ATS V Coupe as well.
We already knew many things about the RC F, but besides a plethora of fresh photos, Lexus revealed an interesting fact about the car's powertrain and specifically, the all-new 5.0-liter 32-valve V8 engine.
For the first time, a performance Lexus unit utilizes the Atkinson cycle (used in hybrid models) at cruising speeds for improved fuel economy before switching to the traditional Otto cycle at higher rpm to boost performance levels.
Lexus won't give out specific output numbers yet, stating that the naturally-aspirated eight-cylinder mill delivers more than 450-horses and over 383 lb-ft (519Nm) of peak torque. By comparison, the BMW M3 and M4's straight-six turbo is rated at 425hp (431PS) from 5,500rpm to 7,300rpm and peak torque of 550Nm (406 lb-ft) between 1,850rpm and 5,500rpm.
Unlike the M4, there's no manual option for the RC F that comes with a standard eight-speed Sports Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission driving the rear wheels through a Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD).
Lexus fitted the RC F with front and rear coil-spring independent suspension, with monotube gas-filled shock absorbers and ball-jointed stabilizer bars, while the car rides on new 19-inch diameter forged aluminum wheels shod in tires size 255/35 on the front axle and 275/35 on the rear.
“I've built RC F to be enjoyed by all enthusiasts – no matter what their level of expertise,” said RC F chief engineer Yukihiko Yaguchi.
“There's a misconception that racing cars are hard to drive. In fact, they're easy in the right hands because they've been purpose-built for the skill level of their drivers. It's the same with RC F. Electronics can be modified instantly on board to provide appropriate levels of performance and protection. But even at its basic setting, it's a blast” he added.
Other notable features include an active rear spoiler incorporated into the trunk lid to provide down force at speeds of more than 50 mph (80km/h), and an available carbon fiber package offers a clear coated carbon fiber roof.
The new RC F is scheduled to go on sale in the States this fall.