Lexus took the wrap off their new 2015 RC F Performance Coupe this week (Jan. 14) at the North American International Auto Show declaring that it is their most powerful V8 engine to date and that it would surpass the power and performance metrics (including fuel economy) of the 2014 Lexus IS F.
The new RC F is will not be available until later in 2014 and Lexus is still going through the final tweaking of the performance and fuel economy metrics of the new performance coupe, so they were not able to tell us exactly what it will do.
Lexus officials did reference the 2014 Lexus IS F specifications and performance metrics stating that the new RC F is expected to exceed the IS F metrics.
For the record, the IS F has a power train that generates 416 horsepower with 371 ft.-lbs. of torque. It will do 0-60 in 4.6 seconds and tops out at 170 mph. Fuel economy for the IS F is 16/23 mpg City/Highway with an estimated average of 18 mpg.
The 2014 RC F performance model (based on the new RC Coupe) will get its roar from 'more than' 450 horsepower and 'more than' 383 lb.-ft. torque generated from an all-new 5.0-liter 32-valve V8 engine that will provide increased maximum power at higher engine rpm than previously possible through a new twist.
For the first time in a Lexus performance engine, the RC F uses the Atkinson cycle at cruising speeds for enhanced fuel economy and then switches to the Otto cycle at higher rpm to develop impressive performance levels. This will be where they gain fuel efficiency from the more powerful (than the IS F) powerplant in the RC F.
The 450+ horses will transfer through a newly calibrated (to improve linear throttle response) eight-speed Sports Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission with paddle shifters to a Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) in the RC F.
The Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) is a first in a Lexus and increases performance through three operating modes:
• Standard for a balance of nimble performance and stability;
• Slalom for emphasis on nimble steering response; and
• Track to help with consistent stability, ensuring the vehicle stays on the intended corning line as the driver applies more throttle.
A newly calibrated VDIM adds a vertical G-sensor to provide greater vehicle stability to enhance the performance of this powerful RC F - from the ground up.
To enhance road performance, the new Lexus RC F uses a highly rigid body with large cross-section rocker panels and a very stiff front lower brace that, coupled with specialized Lexus manufacturing techniques such as the use of body adhesives, laser-screw welding, laser brazing and multi-spot welding, help direct the power and torque of the vehicle to the road.
RC F uses a wider tire and wheel assembly with a front and rear coil-spring independent suspension using monotube gas-filled shock absorbers and ball-jointed stabilizer bars. Unsprung weight is reduced by the adoption of new 19-inch diameter forged aluminum wheels which minimize tire/wheel assembly mass and maximize rigidity.
The 2014 Lexus RC F is intended to be a 'driver's car' according to Lexus and they have designed the interior to meet a driving enthusiasts with combination meters, the steering wheel, seats, ornamentation and pedals - all with Lexus style.
RC F’s all-new combination meters are developed from the Lexus LFA with visual reference to aircraft cockpit instruments. The meters will provide a wide range of easy to read information for the various drive modes.
The combination meters include a large centrally mounted tachometer that alters according to drive mode, digital and analog speedometer, differential torque vectoring monitor, G-Force meter, oil and water temperature gauges, mileage information and a stopwatch.
Making sure the driver keeps a solid handle on the performance, the RC F debuts a Lexus-first elliptical cross-section thick grip steering wheel for greater control during performance driving. The placement, shape and operation of paddle shifters make it easier to change gears on the track and in other performance circumstances - says Lexus.
All-new high back seats have been designed for exceptional holding performance. An integrated foaming technique creates a highly supportive and taut fitting seat with trim material that stays fixed.
As you would expect, no pricing was given. Usual practice is to announce pricing 4-6 weeks ahead of actual launch. The 2014 IS F has an MSRP of $63,000. We think the RC F will be a bit more than that.
There is still a lot more to learn about this new RC F and we hope to get a first drive by early summer.
In the meantime, we are going to do week long test drive of the new 2014 IS F in late February and will give you a report following - as well as make copious notes to compare it with the new 2014 RC F when get behind the wheel later in the year.