Lexus RC-F coupé has been unveiled at the Detroit motor show.
The model will go head-to-head with the new BMW
M4 when it goes on sale, powered by a V8 engine producing “in excess of
450bhp” and incorporating technology derived from the Lexus LFA
The new 5.0-litre V8 is central to the RC-F's driver
appeal, according to the car’s chief engineer, Yukihiko Yaguchi. At
450bhp it out-punches the 425bhp of BMW’s new twin-turbo straight six,
and Lexus says it is the most powerful road-going V8 it has ever built.
However, other critical figures, such as its torque output and economy,
have not been released.
The engine runs on an Atkinson cycle at
cruising speeds, to improve fuel economy, before switching to the
conventional Otto combustion cycle at higher revs for better
Lexus says the RC-F also includes a Torque Vectoring
Differential, which offers three selectable driving modes named
Standard, Slalom and Track.
“In our analysis the naturally
aspirated V8 delivered the best high-performance machine,” said Yaguchi.
“We didn’t consider any other power unit. We wanted an engine that
could be smooth in normal use, but deliver large power on track. We
looked at hybrid technology, and one day it may be suitable, but at the
moment it cannot operate at these levels in consistent track use.”
Although the Lexus LFA
ended its production run in 2012, Yaguchi outlined how it still
influences all engineers working on Lexus’s F-branded cars, and how
lessons learned in its development had been incorporated in to the new
RC coupé, which uses the standard car’s platform but which has several
bespoke modifications, including the suspension, powertrain, chassis
strengthening and exterior and interior styling.
“The LFA remains
at the top of the F models, and it influences how we approach a
project,” said Yaguchi. “We try to follow its direction as much as
possible, so for instance the airflow is inspired by it, especially for
cooling, we have an active rear wing that deploys above 50mph, the sound
of the engine is tuned to emulate the LFA sound and the optional
carbonfibre bonnet and roof are made by the same company as made the
carbonfibre for the LFA.”
Thanks to: Autocar