2015 Lexus RC F makes a sudden impact in Detroit
The eagerly-anticipated 2015 Lexus RC F made its global debut in Detroit, and this enthusiast-grade iteration of the Lexus RC Coupe revealed last November in Tokyo takes the exhilaration index up a major notch with an even bolder appearance, more tautly tuned suspension and a potent V8 engine under its prominently bulged hood. While the vehicle is still undergoing final development, Lexus offered enough hard facts at the unveiling to confirm the 2015 RC F will be one seriously fast and furious addition to what it promised will be an expanding high-performance lineup.
As with previous "F-spec" models, the bodywork on the Lexus RC F imparts a new edge to its appearance while enhancing the car's aero profile and includes a number of carbon fiber components to help trim weight. For openers, both fascia treatments have been revised to convey more menacing character manifested in details like a prominent recasting of the signature Spindle grille form, large outboard air intakes and supplemental stabilizing fins up front that are countered with a more powerfully configured diffuser, canted-quad stacked exhaust outlets and an LFA-style auto-deploying rear spoiler that rises when vehicle speed exceeds 50 mph and retracts when it drops below 25 mph. The side view of the RC F further contributes to its bad-boy flair with the unique hood design complemented by functional vents aft of the front wheelwells and more deeply contoured side sills, all set off by a choice of three different 19-inch forged alloy wheels.
The cabin of the new Lexus RC F gets an equally focused remake that overlays the basic RC Coupe design with a host of bespoke RC F details that also pay homage to the automaker's LFA supercar. It starts with a new elliptical-rim steering wheel - the first on any Lexus model - wrapped in leather and fitted with finger-friendly shifter paddles that overlooks an instrument panel that includes a programmable main gauge cluster with four driver-selectable modes -- each offering its own color scheme and data display. Other highlights include a navigation/infotainment system that features a 7.0-inch screen as well as a new touchpad interface to simplify operation of all related functions. Bedecked with an embossed F logo on each headrest, the RC F's unique high-back sport buckets can be had in any of five different leather trims while its metal sport pedals feature distinctive L-shaped rubber elements.
Although output specifics have yet to be finalized, the 2015 Lexus RC F packs a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 that's its maker says will develop "more than 450 horsepower and more than 383 pound feet of torque." In addition to being the most potent V8 ever to appear in any Lexus model, it also will be the first to incorporate Atkinson Cycle combustion technology that enhances fuel efficiency under most normal driving conditions. However, the engine can switch back to conventional Otto Cycle operation to deliver full power on demand. Motive force will be shipped to the RC F's rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. Other elements in the mix include a Torque Vectoring Differential with three driver-selectable programs that can optimize the car for street or track use, a comprehensively retuned version of the base RC Coupe's front-strut/rear-multilink suspension and upgraded brakes.
Like the 2015 Lexus RC 350 Coupe, the new Lexus RC F will start arriving in showrooms here this fall. Pricing, final spec and EPA numbers for both cars will be announced closer to their on-sale date.
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